Nocturnal Lives

Musings from the mind of Amanda S. Green – Mother, Writer, Possessed by Cats

Tag: rant

Customer Service Fail

This isn’t the post I’d planned for this morning. That one would come later. This is a rant. I spent too many years working jobs where I had to deal with the public on a regular basis. I understood when I did that I represented not only myself but my employer. So, no matter how bad my day might have been, I did my best to show a good face to the customers. That’ why my experience with one of the local grocery stores this morning hits my hot buttons. Not only was the clerk less than helpful — we won’t even discuss cordial, etc. — but the store manage had completely fallen down on the job and no one working seemed to care one bit.

A little background. I made a quick run to the store to pick up coffee — cooooffffeeeee — and get some cash. It was approaching 0730 when I arrived. The first indication I should have had that this was not a smart move was when the doors that should have been unlocked half an hour earlier hadn’t been. Okay. No sweat. I could walk the short distance to the other set of doors.

It didn’t take long to find coffee that didn’t completely suck (yes, yes, I’m a coffee snob. There’s a reason I order Death Wish coffee each month). So I made my way to the only shopping lane that had an actual human to check out customers. That should have been my second clue. This store, which is located within a mile of several schools and has heavy early morning traffic because of it, was understaffed.

On a side note, it was also under-stocked. But that is nothing new. And then they wonder why people aren’t shopping there as much as they used to.

Anyway . . .

I finally get to the checker, hand over my coffee, my discount card as a “valued customer” and slide my credit card. Simple enough. Then, because I needed some cash, I hit the cash back option. And I wait. And wait. And wait.

Then the oh-so-bored cashier informs me she doesn’t have any cash.

Wait? what?

You’re running a till and you don’t have cash?

Well, not exactly but she only has a few dollars in the till. She might be able to give me my change but it would all be in ones and fives. Did she offer to give it to me? Hell no. Instead, when I continued to stare at her, dumbfounded and kicking myself for not going to the other store in the area that’s only slightly further from home, she finally calls to see if anyone has any cash.

Now, there were four self checkout lanes open as well. I was told after being insulted by the way she referred to me on the phone with her co-worker that I needed to go to one of those lanes and I would be shown the one that had cash. I asked if she had canceled the transaction and she actually did an eye roll at me and did everything but go “Duh!”. (And yes, I did check my account before leaving the store to make sure it had been canceled.)

So, muttering imprecations, I crossed to the far end of the store where the self-checkout lanes are located. Then I asked the checker stationed there to “help” which register I should use so I could get cash back. Mind you, this is the same person the original checker spoke to. I think you can imagine my reaction when I was told I’d just have to pick one and see because she didn’t know.

Yes, I made a comment about being unprepared for the business day and having less than stellar customer service. Worse, I needed a specific amount of money for something today and couldn’t request that amount because the self checkout lanes let you choose in increments of $20. So, I left with $10 more than I needed and also had the need to break a $20 so I had the exact amount for the yard guy. Which meant stopping somewhere else to get change.

Needless to say, I’m not a happy camper. The only reason I’d been going to this store the last month or two has been for its butcher block. But they aren’t keeping it stocked and its prices are far above any other store now. After today, I doubt I’ll be back in. What store opens without having cash in the cash drawers? What store opens without having its shelves stocked? Here’s a hint for grocery stores everywhere. You customers don’t want to have to trip over stockers during the middle of the day — and yes, this has happened more than once in this store — in order to pick up a loaf of bread or cat food or whatever.

Now I’m home and have a fresh cup of coffee and ready to settle down for work. As for the neighborhood store, it lost a customer this morning. I can forgive a bad customer service once. Sometimes even twice. But when it becomes clear this is a trend the store management isn’t putting an end to, it is time to say “bye” and move on. Fortunately, there are two other major grocery stores within 2 miles of my house and two smaller stores within 4 miles. Giving this one up will not be any sort of hardship, something the managers would do good to remember.

Those poor kids

There are days I find myself praying this has all been a bad dream. Between the changes in schools where it is more important to make sure our children feel good about themselves than it is to make sure they learn the curriculum to political derangement syndrome (because it exists on both sides of the aisle), I find myself wondering what happened. What happened to the Can Do! spirit of the “Greatest Generation”? What happened to personal integrity and responsibility? What happened to common sense?

Very rarely has an article made me ask those questions as much as this one — and the one that came before it. I am linking to an archived version of the article because, to be honest, I don’t want to give this poor excuse for a mother one more click than necessary. Yes, I said it. She is a poor excuse for a mother. As the mother of a son, I feel for her two sons and what she is not only teaching them but doing to them.

Here is a woman who begins by calling her sons “strong and compassionate”. Then she goes on to describe how much they aren’t and how badly they have disappointed her. Oh, she tries to cloak it with maternal concern but it is there. This is a woman who wanted daughters and didn’t get them. The fact her sons have penises make them bad from the moment of birth. It is up to them to prove to her they aren’t like every other man.

Poor kids.

I have two sons. They are strong and compassionate—the kind of boys other parents are glad to meet when their daughters bring them home for dinner. They are good boys, in the ways good boys are, but they are not safe boys. I’m starting to believe there’s no such thing.

Wow, way to support your kids, Mom. Praise them and then pull the carpet out from under them. They are good but not “safe”. Not that she believes there is such a thing as a safe boy. But wait, maybe she explains why. Surely she explains what a “safe” boy is.

The next paragraph gives us some insight into the mother’s mindset. She is raising her boys in a “rape culture”. Those are her words. Then she goes on to talk about her previous article and how, after it went viral, her boys were suddenly confronted by her words. Their teachers and friends read the article and — gasp — talked about it where her kids could hear.

First of all, she claims she didn’t think her article would garner any real attention. Bullshit. To begin with, she wrote it for The Washington Post. Unless she lives under a rock, she knew she would have potentially thousands of people reading it. But she never thought it would go viral. Bullshit again. The very wording of the article was such that it would inflame in one way or another. I doubt very much she hadn’t hoped for it to go viral and more.

It was one thing to agree to be written about in relative obscurity, and quite another thing to have my words intrude on their daily lives.

Well, duh. Not that she seems to care since — another big DUH! — she is once again writing about her sons in an attempt to justify her position. Poor kids. Mama’s more worried about showing her Woman Card in public than in making sure they are all right.

In the next paragraph, she talks about how her younger son is angry at her. Of course, the son has never said he is. She goes on to say he doesn’t understand why she lumped him together with his older brother in the essay. Of course, he hasn’t said that either I assume. But she knows he is angry and misogynistic. Why? Because he has been visiting conservative websites. “places where he can surround himself with righteous indignation against feminists, and tell himself it’s ungrateful women like me who are the problem.”

Guess what, lady, you are the problem. Not because you’re a feminist. Sorry, Feminist. But because you don’t give a flying fuck about your sons’ emotional welfare. Because you won’t sit down and think before you hit the enter button. You obviously don’t give a damn what your crusade to paint your sons — children you are supposed to love and protect — as evil simply because of their sex. I can only imagine the sort of ridicule you have opened them up to at school and elsewhere. I wouldn’t blame your kids one bit for being “angry” with you.

Hell, lady, I’d be furious and plotting my escape from your grasp as soon as I legally could. I’d even be taking notes and recording everything I could in case there was enough to build a case to bring in CPS to take me away from your sick grasp.

Is it my job as his mother to ensure he feels safe emotionally, no matter what violence he spews?

Once again, she throws out a statement like this — remember her earlier statement about there being no “safe” boys? — without any evidence of what this “violence” might be.

When I hear his voice become defensive, I back off but question whether I’m doing him any favors by allowing his perception of himself to go unchallenged. When I confront him with his own sexism, I question whether I’m pushing too hard and leaving him without an emotional safe space in his home.

Why am I picturing her taking on a passive-aggressive stance where she does anything but back off? If there are any micro-aggressions going on in that home (hell, who am I kidding? Aggressions of any sort), I have a feeling they fall directly at her feet. Dear God, if a child can’t have a safe emotional space in his own home, what hope does he have?

As I said before, I feel for these boys.

As a single mother, I sometimes wonder whether the real problem is that my sons have no role models for the type of men I hope they become.

Thank God. The poor kids have enough to put up with Mommy Dearest.

But when I look around at the men I know, I’m not sure a male partner would fill that hole.

No, because you want to make your sons into daughters and most men, real men, wouldn’t put up with that. They would, however, teach your sons how to be gentlemen who respect women and honor them. But that wouldn’t fit your agenda one bit, would it?

It goes on. Dating is a “necessary evil” because she is starved for adult conversation. I guess she hasn’t figured out that’s what friends are for. You can find friends by joining a church or volunteering, by socializing with people in your neighborhood. But no, you “date” for conversation. Wuh?

Then she comes back to what is blurbed at the top of the article. If feminist men aren’t safe, then what man is? And why? We don’t really know. All she says is this, “But, feminist or not, the men are no different from the men anywhere else….”

What. The. Fuck?

Here is a woman who hates men. She lumps them all together and condemns them simply because they are male. She gives no examples, soft or hard. Then she doesn’t understand why her sons have an issue with what she says. Dear sweet merciful heaven, those kids are so fucked. I can only hope they get out from under her roof as soon as possible.

Keep reading though, just in case your blood pressure hasn’t risen enough. She manages to hit one more hot button for all the right thinking folks out there. She notes that a white person can’t grow up without becoming racist — yep, you read that right. In fact, she said it is “impossible” for a white person to grow up without adopting racist ideas.

But it even gets better. She says her sons and “most” progressive men she knows won’t rape an unconscious woman behind a dumpster. By implication, she means that all non-progressive men and even some progressive men she know WILL rape such a woman. What a sad, sick opinion of people she has.

Here is perhaps the worst thing she says when it comes to her sons: I love my sons, and I love some individual men. It pains me to say that I don’t feel emotionally safe with them, and perhaps never have with a man. . . .

She doesn’t feel “emotionally safe” with her sons?

These are kids. Kids in school She doesn’t claim either of them are abusing her physically or doing anything other than being male. My heart breaks for these boys.

If I had anything to say to them it would be this:

Don’t listen to your mother. You have worth as a person and that worth, or lack of it, isn’t based on your sex. It is based on who you are. Never let anyone denigrate you because of your biological plumbing. And, please, don’t judge all women by what your mother has done to you. Grow up to be loving, caring gentlemen who are proud of yourselves and who respect women. Be your own persons, not the cardboard caricatures your mother is trying to force you to become.

As for the mother, I’d like her to spend a few minutes in the shoes she’s made for her sons. See what life is like for them. Not that it would help. In ten years, she will be wondering why at least one of her sons left home and never talks to her. And no, she will never admit she might have had a hand in it. The cause will be because of the appendage hanging between his legs.

All I can do is think about my son and how proud I am of him. He is a responsible, respectful young man. I think I’ll finish this post and then let him know just that.

Why?

There are times when all I can do is ask “why?”  Well, to be honest, it’s usually, “WTF were you thinking?” or “WTF, did you think?  Do you even know how?”  This morning has been one of those days already.

My usual routine in the mornings is to stumble to the coffee pot — thank goodness for auto-timers so the coffee is ready when I get up — down a mug of that wondrous liquid why forcing my eyes open.  After a quick read of the newspaper, I listen to the local news, eat and then figure out what’s on the plate for the day.  This morning was no different, with one exception.  I left the TV on after the local news and caught the teasers for upcoming segments on Good Morning America.

One of the stories they blurbed was the classic, “WTF are you thinking?  Can you think?” moments.  It showed a 30-something mother giving her 8 year old daughter botox injections.  Yep, that’s right.  Botox for a child.  No, there was no medical reason for it.  Yep, it gets worse.

In what I can only believe is a mother projecting onto her daughter, this woman — and I use that term loosely — defends injecting her daughter with botox because her daughter wants it.  Her daughter who competes in beauty pageants.  This 8 year old who worries about lines (lines that are, in reality, very cute dimples).  Mama’s defense, the daughter wants it and you have to understand just how cut-throat the pageant circuit can be.

Wait, there’s more.  Mama is giving these injections in her home.  She is getting the botox from someone she won’t identify because, gee, if it is a doctor he could be sanctioned or worse.  Mama is more worried about protecting her supplier than she is about the psychological issues she is creating with her daughter.  After all, Mama uses botox and it’s safe.

Head->desk.  Repeat.

This is the same mother who waxed her daughter’s upper legs.  The 8 year old said it was okay, although she won’t do it again because it hurt so much, but it was okay because hairy legs aren’t ladylike.  Somehow, I don’t think this is something she thought of on her own.

Mother’s head->desk.  Repeat.

This is the sort of story that just burns me.  Here is a kid who is being forced to fit a stereotype instead of just being a kid.  To this 8 year old, I hate to say it, but you need to be the grown-up and tell your mother to stop.  To the mother, damn, woman, if child services doesn’t investigate you, you’re lucky.  More than that, you insisted on this interview so you could tell your side of the story.  You gave no thought to how it would reflect on your daughter or how the kids at her school will react.  Get a life.

End of rant.  Back to work now.

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