Monday, February 28, 2011

I'm Sorry (No You're Not)

This is not a rant blog.

That being the case, every now and then, I notice something that I feel compelled to point out, and thus drag any readers I actually have down the rabbit hole of justification and rationalization with me. So let's go.

I have a thing about people not really meaning what they say. I reference my post on people asking "how you are?" I'm not sure I put up a post on it, but the same goes for people saying the dreaded words "we should do coffee sometime." When I whip out my calender and say "OK, what time looks good this week?" and I catch the "deer in the headlights" look, I know that they didn't mean it. Then comes the interesting task of trying to let them off the hook without them realizing you've realized that they didn't mean it. It just gets awkward.

Something I've noticed while working the drive-thru window of MexiGong is the particular habit many of my coworkers have of saying "I'm sorry" every time they mishear or mispunch something in.


Them: 5 tacos please.

Us: Okay, crunchy tacos.

Them: I wanted them soft.

Us: Sorry about that...Okay, 5 soft tacos?

Problem 1: They aren't sorry. Why should they be sorry? It wasn't really a mistake per say. Misunderstandings happen. Between you and the customer, the order will be resolved to proper correctness, and throwing out a casual "sorry about that" does not mean you are sorry. Which leads to...

Problem 2: Getting into the habit of saying sorry when you don't mean it. It's kind of like the "how are you" thing. It feels uncomfortably like lying to me. It becomes something you just say, soon to be devoid of any meaning whatsoever.

When I'm taking an order, I only apologize when something was truly a mistake on my part, not just when the customer misspoke and therefore I mispunched. And when I apologize, you can hear that I actually mean it.

It just makes me want to put my plan into effect.

A) win the lottery

B) open a restaurant of the fast food variety solely for the purposes of the following experiment:

All my employees must be absolutely truthful. When asked how they are doing, they must tell it like it is. If they are not sorry, don't say it. If a customer is being rude and crazy, you are not required to be nice. When catheter Carl comes in, you do NOT need to give him dollar bills for his skeezy pennies.

What about you? What sorts of things do you find yourself saying that you don't mean, just because it's part of your job or your life?


Anonymous said...

"have a nice day!" when I mean "curl up and die, slimebag!"

Anonymous said...

Holy guacamole, gimme extra sauce! I have a code name! Now if I ever have a secret mission I am ALL set to invade somewhere, or blow something up. possibly both. not that I ever would oh great and powerful internet police!!!!!
Annabelle Lee
Oh yeah, and the first comment is mine too

lifeshighway said...

I am terrible for the auto-response "thank you" response.

How are you today
Thank you, and you

Did you find everything you need
Yes I did, thank you.

Welcome to our store!
Thank you.

I am a serial thanker.

redgirl said... would be in a bad way if you had to deal with're not allowed to thank them b/c they can take liberties with you then :)