Some people become incensed when they encounter the false friendliness that you often find in stores and restaurants. I, on the other hand, don’t mind it as long as it doesn’t go overboard. In fact, I appreciate the effort of a store clerk or restaurant server who is sufficiently skilled at acting to trick me into momentarily believing that he or she is not totally indifferent to me and to his or her job.
Nonetheless, there’s a fine line between perfunctory pleasantness and nauseatingly excessive disingenuous congeniality. I’m a pacifist, but I can understand how a customer could become violent after being subjected to the latter. I would never condone such a response, but, if I were on the jury at his trial I would certainly take the stimulus into consideration as a major extenuating circumstance when it came time to consider sentencing.
Of course, the problem is that there are no generally agreed upon rules as to where the boundary between acceptable and excessive niceness, sincere or not, lies. This is a problem for people in the service industry. If they appear too uninterested in their clientele, customers will become indignant over the rudeness of the people serving them. If they go too far to the other side of the line, passing into the realm of extreme mock-chumminess, those same customers will reach for the nearest blunt object and begin hitting with all of their might. Thus, I think our lawmakers should immediately set about establishing rules that define an acceptable limit for fake amiability in the service sector. In the interest of peace among the citizenry, this should be one of the government’s highest priorities. It’s certainly a lot more important than some of the other crap they spend their time worrying about.
Categorised as: customer service