Posts Tagged ‘cultural’

I Pick APEC of Zippers

November 14, 2011

My coworkers and I are helping an interesting couple, they’re European, at least by accent and attire. At one point, the husband comes up to me asking for help. He needs some sweaters, so I am glad to oblige. I search the floor where I’ve seen extra pairs–as sometimes they end up where they aren’t supposed to be. Seeing none, I ask for someone to check the back, as I double-check our inventory at our register.

The man comes up to me, “Well?”
“They’re checking in the back.” I search the computer, and I see him come behind the register to stand behind me looking over my shoulder. “Oh,I’m sorry, I need some space, sir.” I take a few steps away from him walking through the register area to get away. Finally, they find the sweater, well I actually go into the back to get farther away.

Later, he’s in the fitting room trying on the zip jacket, and unzips it, walking to me. I wonder if he’s going to ask for another size.
“You know, where I come from, the zipper is on this side,” he points to the right, while shaking the hanging end, “for men. For women, it is on this side.” He shakes the end of the zipper, where our zipper also ends. I stare at him blankly. “It’s backwards. Your zipper is backwards. The females have it on one side, the men have it on the other.” I stare at him blankly, because I suddenly think he’s crazy. “It’s okay, it fits good. I am just letting you know, it’s backwards.” He walks away, seeming almost proud to have informed me of this great wealth of knowledge.” I leave the fitting room behind, and leave him in the hands of other people.

I examine every single zipper in the entire store. Every single one connects on┬áthe left side. There is no ‘male-side’ or ‘female-side’ for these zippers. Sure, I know buttons are on the left for men, right for women. I tell one of my coworkers this ‘revelation’, noting, perhaps, in his country men’s pants and women’s pants must button on different sides. (Go ahead and look, your button should be on the left side.) So I begin to wonder what kind of country he’s from.

I see the couple approach the register as I go back to the fitting room, free of their backward zippers. Then I hear the cashier ask, “How do I do a Tax Exemption? These people are from APEC.” (APEC stands for Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation, they have conventions–The Greatest Convention in the Pacific; people from around the world take part in it, hammering out trade-agreements and forward visions of future financial status.)

Either way, I am suddenly stunned that my financial future is in the hands of guys like this. (Even though a coworker has pointed out, some people are very knowledgeable about one thing, and absolutely clueless about every thing else.) I don’t know how far they had to travel from Kazakhstan, but I can tell they sent their best delegates from the Kazakh Ministry of Finance this time around.

Customer Types: The Dumb, Lowered Expectations

Cultural Heritage

January 10, 2011

In terms of rudeness; in terms of backwards illegitimate ignorance; in terms of throwing acid on someone’s face, disfiguring genitalia, basic human cruelty; in terms of using your culture to be inhuman, irresponsible, and absolutely, ridiculously narrow-minded and ignorant–there is no excuse.

Okay, I write about retail. I write about modern-society. I write about everyday instances which can happen to anyone. I also write about people, about culture, about society. I write about what people consider normal, just, about habits and actions people have which they think is totally fine, okay, and socially acceptable. I may just write about idiots who don’t know how to calculate one-half of a price, about people who can’t discern between one or all, sale or regular-priced. Yet, each and every one of these people, these human beings will inevitably rely on, lay upon, and use principles of their societal belief to justify their own ignorance and stupidity. They will blame society’s rules, how things are as a reason, as a way to excuse themselves for acting like moronic half-wits.

When I espouse evolution, when I speak about teaching society, to help us take steps forward into a real future, a real society where we can finally understand equality, true compassion, and true realizations about how to act as a real society–it is the simplest, smallest instances of stupidity which manifest and tear down these dreams. Why can people not act reasonably? Why must they walk into a retail store and suddenly become brainless, yet so many of them expect the people working there to be less intelligent than they are? Why can people never apologize, or say sorry when they are wrong, especially when they’ve made a huge scene about their stupidity? Why do they think ‘the customer is always right’ so they can abuse salespeople, whine and cry like irresponsible children just to get their way? Why have people learned, why has society created a world where this is even acceptable?

Why shouldn’t a customer be wrong? Why can’t they admit they’re stupid, admit they’re wrong, and apologize for acting like immature, worthless brats? Why can’t they be called out when they act racist or act with gender-discrimination? Why can’t their intelligence be called into question? Why must salespeople walk carefully upon the tracks of idiots, just to satiate them and make them feel grand in the most empty and meaningless of ways? Why does a society promote this?

You see, people of all cultures come in and act like rude, dumb customers. They can say it’s okay in their culture, they can say it’s how they were raised, but is that really a good reason, other than an excuse? When will we as a human race, a species agree together there are many, many glaring social structures, social rules which are just archaic, if not lost in the annals of time. Some cultures still allow discrimination between genders, some countries still allow race and religion to alter their decisions. This is far down the line, but one day, one day people will look at other people as human beings and give them the respect and dignity they deserve, because they are human beings–not because they are a woman or a man not, Caucasian, Asian, African or Middle-Eastern, not because they believe in Christ, Allah or the Buddha; only that we are all human beings.