Wednesday, June 10, 2009

TELL 'EM WHY YOU MAD: Nonsense in the mall

I was visiting home last week. On Friday night decided I would head out with my brother to the mall. I knew that this was already going to be a problem because it's a Friday night in a city that doesn't have much else ever going on (I think of the mall on the weekends as kind of like a day care center for teens). Yeah, I know it's the epidemic in all major cities with a mall but it just bothers me (damn, have I turned into the grumpy old man saying,‘those damn kids’?) but I digress...

The only reason I’m in the mall is because my brother is trying to grab a case for his BlackBerry. First spot we hit has a sign on the cash register that says "back in ten minutes" (side bar: these signs annoy the hell out of me because it never lets you know when the time started. Did it just start, started 8 minutes ago and I should hang or what?). A 'back in ten minutes' sign doesn't seem like the smart thing to do for a kiosk. Maybe I'm wrong and this is common practice but in no way was dude's merchandise protected and it was in a spot in the mall that was kind of out of eyesight, and someone could have just snatched things up (folks that have worked in the mall please fill me in on this practice).

So, I tell my brother there is a spot a little further down in the mall. At the second cell accessory kiosk we run into a similar situation with no one around. Then a dude approaches who is handling some chicken wings and Spanish rice. With a chicken wing in hand and a half mouth full of chicken and rice, dude mumbles out ‘can I help you playa?’ We're initially confused by the situation. Then we're like, ‘oh dude must work here’. My brother tells him he’s looking for a case for his phone. The dude hit him with a head nod, and said ‘cool’ (and then proceeds to handling the next two pieces of chicken and finishing off the rice).

See, this is a problem for me. Dude was like 17-years-old, maybe 18 and had no concept of quality customer service. Hey, I get that you need to eat. You work at a kiosk and some times it's just you. But you can't think to put the food down and not waste a customer’s time while you handle the rest of your food? It’s definitely questionable.

But the story continues...

After he's done with the chicken, he grabs a phone case and gives it to my brother. Then proceeds to talk to a girl that's hanging around the kiosk (hey, not a cock blocker but damn this dude specializes in wasting time). ‘What's up?! Soooo, where you going? Nah, stay here.’

She seemed to have some common sense because she responds with, ‘I'll be back, you're at work and have a customer.’

‘Nah, it's cool... what's up,’ he responds.

Now, if this was me and I was preparing to spend my money I would have been out after dude picked up that second chicken wing but my brother is a grown man, makes his own decisions and wanted a case for his phone.

Then while he's having this conversation with the girl, I kid you not, another dude comes along and smacks her ass.

I looked around to see if this was one of those hidden camera shows. Too many things were happening and I was like, ‘oh, they got me on The Boiling Point on MTV or something.’

No camera found.

‘You gonna play be out like that, papi?’ dude said. ‘Word, that's how it is?’ He throws arms in the air.

Girl is trying to calm him down but he is understandably upset. But, time and place were never a factor in his mind. Finally he comes back over to my brother who is patiently waiting (he's better than me for that). Proceeds to start handling his cell phone with his greasy hands. ‘Oh, oh... my bad... let me clean my hands. Damn, handling your phone with my greasy shits.’

Now this is the part that gets me, here is my brother, 6'6" black man wearing a pair of Jordans, baggy shorts and a fitted ... does that mean that he's automatically cool and should understand the situation? Does that mean you can say "greasy shits"? Does that mean you can fool around while you have a job to do?

After a painful ten minutes, the process was complete and dude concluded the sale with a ‘God bless’ and dap.

As I walked away it left me wondering, was he ever trained one second on proper customer service? Did this young man even understand the concept of being professional? Did he think any part of those ten minutes were inappropriate? Hey, yeah I enjoy when someone is friendly and cool with me but there is a line and dude was well past that point. We had to endure him eating, talking to a girl and his greasy shits.

It’s just frustrating to see these young'ns sometimes with no common sense and no real understanding yet we’re forced to interact with them on a daily basis in various customer service capacities.

When will the madness end?


Check out more from The Mad Bloggers


  1. I agree with you whole heartily on this topic and with that said may I commend you on your choice of words - the visuals in my head while reading this brought a smile to my face thank you for posting.

  2. This has been a gripe of mine for a looong time... The bottom line is this: If you're hired to do a specific job and get PAID for doing it, then why the hell aren't you doing it excellently? It pisses me off when I go to BK and they fuck up my order for the same reason -- they are there all day long taking orders so because of that they should be GOOD at it due to much practice. With this guy, he's at a kiosk who's business revolves around people like your bro. Not selling him his product and moving on to the next sale basically assures that it's not earning the revenue needed to support his [90% undeserved] wages [from the sounds of it].

    So yes, you're right. That is bullshit, I'd be pissed and taken my business elsewhere.

  3. I also agree with you on this topic but what I find really interesting is that I just moved to Florida and it's really different here, or at least in the area that I moved to. My friend's brother works at the local grocery store and he was recently put on suspension for "poor customer service" because he didn't strike up a conversation with a person buying one item.... He greeted him but said nothing else. Told him to have a nice day when the transaction was finished and that was it.. I have heard many similar situations as this and my theory is that they are finding any reason possible to cut back hours of the people who get paid more since the economy is so bad right now. Jussayin'.

    Oh and I also cracking up as I read this and the whole scenario played out step by step in my head. Thank you. ;)

  4. Mom Dukes9:35 PM

    LOL OMG, sooo true, thank you Q.