Teaching the Kids

Do parent’s know their children watch them, witnessing how they interact with other people in different situations thus developing an understanding of how they will eventually interact with the world when they grow up?

When parents walk into a store, ignoring a kind hello with a cold-shoulder, their children see this and they’re learning; when a sales person offers them help, when they are obviously looking for something, and they are rudely brushed off with “I’m just looking” even though they actually do need help; when parents treat salespeople as slaves, only existing when you need them, and essentially less than human, just mobile fixtures in a store, only useful when you acknowledge them and need something only a salesperson can ‘find’ for you–your children are there watching every moment, growing and understanding that is how they should act, that is how they should treat other people, acting like this is right not wrong. Treating another human being like garbage is fine, because mommy and daddy do it all the time. Yes, you are obviously a good parent. They say parenting doesn’t come with a book, well common-sense doesn’t grow on trees either.

One day, these children will be adults, pushing their strollers through stores treating sales people in the exact same way, passing on these valuable, unconscious lessons to their offspring so that your grandchildren will be rude, unconscionable human beings. Do you not think these lessons are passed on beyond the retail world? Do you not realize you set a bar for how people can be treated? You may not be hitting or abusing them, but treating them like they’re worthless is still terrible parenting. From what I know from social teachings to religious beliefs, human beings are important, special, unique, etc. but the way we have developed our meandering society which belittles being human based on ridiculous situations based entirely on monetary value, not human value.

This is a perpetuation of a lack of respect, a rudeness which makes no sense. You wouldn’t walk into a doctor’s office acting the same way, walking into a bank treating tellers like this, yet certain sectors of the ‘service’ industry have grown and developed into an accepted avenue where mistreatment and degradation is a norm, is accepted and expected–that treating someone like they don’t exist, that they are less than human, that they only exist to serve you–this is good, this is right, and this is okay.

The customer is always right. No, I’m just looking, can I shove my hand in your face? If I meet you outside the store, then you, salesperson, are an equal, a human being, you exist and you are real, but once you clock into work, you’re worthless, insignificant, invisible, and useless, unless I need you. If I meet you outside the store, how many of your rude, disgusting humans look away or pretend you don’t recognize me, when your reaction says you do? Compare this to kind, good, respectful customers who engage with sales people, talking to them. We actually recognize each other outside the store, wave, and say hello. This is a huge difference, almost a revelation of what it would be like if everyone treated people like human beings and not modern-day slaves.

Remember that son. Remember that daughter. Look both ways before you cross the street. Don’t talk to strangers. Salespeople are modern-day slaves, you don’t need to give them any respect.

Because you know, if you did give them respect, then the entire structure of sales and retail would be worthwhile, enjoyable, and not as much of a life-draining, self-esteem crushing, pride-absorbing industry that makes you feel so shitty inside. If you actually went into a retail store and treated people as human beings, what a difference you’d make; what a difference everyone would make.

Remember, it’s so simple to just say hello when someone greets you, your children are watching.


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2 Responses to “Teaching the Kids”

  1. whatidesiredtosay1 Says:

    You know as a customer myself, being a competent, independent person, I can find things on my own. I know my style and what I like, I seriously do not need a salesperson to tell me what to buy. Also, as a person who is on a budget and knows exactly what I want, I REALLY do not need a salesperson to be trying to upsell me. I know it’s your job, but really in that scenario, the “I’m just looking” ‘brushoff’ is the most polite thing I could do. Or would you rather that I take 10 minutes of your time and your fashion sense and reduce it to worthless by then just buying what I was going to buy anyway?

  2. memoirsofretail Says:

    hmm, you have an angrier point-of-view than my own. I deal with social evolution as an ideal, and the teaching of basal respect. Since I’ve read your blogs, I also understand you wish people to have a basic level of respect, dignity and humility when they deal with you, not to treat you as some ‘thing’ just because they put $10 into your business or company. It is our culture which has created and perpetuated this belief, as my mother has said, “Leave your brains at the door,” but for me, it is “Enter here, you don’t need to act with respect to other human beings.” I don’t know what type of brush off you receive, but my District Manager was with me once and was taken aback by how rudely people react to a greeting, and I told her, “What, you don’t get that? That how people always act.”

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