Thursday, 27 September 2012

Andrew Mitchell's symptomatic of society.

There is no denying that what Andrew Mitchell said to Police officers last week was uncalled for and rude. In my Grandfather's day as a Police officer you would have faced immediate repercussions and even arrest as Officers were people to be respected. Now however times have changed.

I've worked with the General Public for around Fourteen years now and, if I'm honest, society has got ruder to people in uniforms be it Civil servant (like the Police) or corporate. A very "Upstairs/downstairs" attitude has come in where the ideology of the Customer is ALWAYS right has come in and is now fundamental.

Because you are a nametag/uniform you have to obey my whims

Well, this is not always true.

I worked for MacDonald's for three and a bit years and the way the public spoke to you sometimes was just unbearable - it was like you'd been scraped from their shoe. One guy for example kept telling me that he was the customer and demanded that I opened a till for him. When I politely pointed out that I was kitchen staff and exceptionally busy with no float or switched on till available, he just repeated his demands and demanded to see the manager - who then repeated what I had said.

I've seen commuters lose their temper and scream at platform staff about a train which failed to stop at London bridge. I understand their anger (I wanted that train too!) but its not the poor sod on the platform's fault it didn't stop.

It even occurs in workplaces. I've found in my current and previous jobs that certain departments are looked down upon and treated as servants at times. As a supervisor in the Catering department I was treated as almost like a skivvy and ordered around by officer administrators and Conference/events staff. I've even had a finger clicked at me followed by a point with; You, clean this.
 There can also be a big disregard for procedure and some staff think that the Poloshirt wearing name tag who is refusing to do something (for procedural reasons) is wrong and further more beneath me. I am telling you to do it ergo you must do it.

I admit that sometimes staff are rude. We all have bad days, you never know the guy who is being short with you at Sainsbury's wife might have just left him. Others are just straight up rude or unhelpful and by all means let these guys have it but lets be clear staff are staff not servants or slaves. I was brought up to talk to people politely and patiently but society it seems has gone another route - apparently you can talk to everyone else as human beings until they don a uniform and name badge and this is not limited to Conservative Chief whips but to the person on the street as well.

Maybe I'm more patient with staff because I've been there but I would urge readers to be patient and polite - speak to people as you would expect to be spoken to. Don't make assumptions and do not think that people are there to serve only you. We're all equal and should be treated as such.

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