I’ve noticed the past decade or so that kindness seems to be a dwindling commodity. Even people in service and sales positions don’t have the realism of fake kindness any longer. It seems that everyone is so desolate or depressed or can’t feel anything at all that they don’t dare use what little energy they have left (because no one sleeps right these days) to fake a little kindness.
I never know what to attribute this loss of kindness, too. I understand if someone was kept up all night by their sick child or newborn baby. I understand if they are overworked and very stressed. What I don’t understand is young people (20s young) entering the workplace, say a store at the mall so they can get a discount on their favorite clothing, are then mean or rude to customers. Not just one of them, but all three or four of them. Rude, unhelpful, it’s a good thing most of these people don’t try to earn tips!
I try to be kind to people in these positions because I know they tend to get the short end of the stick. Once they start acting like an ass though all my kindness goes out the door, out of my eyes and I allow the coldness in my mind to be absorbed into my words. When I’ve reached this point, there is no turning back. I deal with rude customers every single day, from people telling me how we should run the business (as if I have a say in that…) to yelling at me about something that went wrong (another thing I don’t have control over).
There are things that people can do to put a little kindness out there even if they aren’t feeling it. Such as if someone says ‘have a nice day’ you don’t say ‘uh huh’ ‘yep’ or ‘whatever’. You reply with something like ‘you as well’ ‘you too’ or ‘thanks, and you’. Especially over the phone to a (usually) very busy receptionist who is kind and polite and does her damnedest to get you to who you need to speak with.
Other things I recommend against (which I have to deal with every time I become acting receptionist) is not to repeatedly call back when you get someone’s voice mail. Especially if it’s lunch hour. Calling back to the front desk 5 times in a row isn’t going to get you to someone any quicker and anyone who goes into voice mail before you will get called back first. These are the things you should consider.
Yelling at the receptionist will only get you kindness in a facetious manner (at least from me) and you’re screwed. We will make sure someone knows you’re being an ass and therefore you’ll be treated with kindness in a condescending manner as needed.
On that note, I do hope you have a fantastic evening. Enjoy.