When Did We Start Hiring Complainers?


I stopped in at Walgreen’s today to pick up a prescription and made the mistake of asking the young clerk how her day was going. By the time I checked out, I think I could have charged her for a therapy session.

When did stores stop training employees that customers are not there to hear their problems, and that complaining on the job in front of customers – much less directly to the customer — is just not permitted? Believe me, when a customer asks a clerk how their day is, they just want to hear, “Fine, thank you. And yours?”.

This teen employee went on and on about how unfair it was that she had to work on her day off
… and that she hated her job
… and that her mom had yelled at her before she left (gee, I winder why)
… and that she’d rather be home doing homework, because now she was going to have to stay up late
… and that she hated the wind
… and that her allergies were making her miserable (I was so grateful to her for not sneezing for emphasis)

If she’d been working the liquor counter, I would have suspected she was trying to drive up sales. She was that depressing.

When did we start hiring complainers? And when did managers stop reprimanding employees for not creating a positive environment for customers? I won’t stop using Walgreen’s, because my insurance company says I won’t, but I definitely won’t be asking that young clerk any more questions.

Published by Lisa Abeyta

Entrepreneur and passionate foodie.

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