Monday, January 25, 2010

No Offense, But...

Oh, the things you learn about people working in retail. Last week, people seemed particularly crabby. Whether it was the weather or the fact that many were returning to work or school for the first time since the holidays began, I don't know, but people were a little crabby pants.

One woman came into the anonymous store in which I work and made a comment which began, "No offense, but," and ended, quite obviously, in something offensive. I can't give all the details without giving away where I work, but basically she was making a comment about something in the store being less than clean (a clearance item which had been through the wringer, but was essentially fine. Trust me, this was not actually gross). I commented that it was easy to clean. Her response was, "No offense, but if that were true you all would have done it already."

Well, excuse me. I didn't tell her off, but in my mind, I thought about the nine hours I had spent here on my last shift, with about six other people until three in the morning setting up the store, changing the tables and putting up new posters about the new deals for the week. I'm sorry that after killing my feet and making myself sore for days afterwards that I didn't wash down each individual clearance item for your convenience. I mean, sure it's 90% off, but hey, that's worth stretching into four in the morning, just to make sure that you don't have any "eww" factor when gracing us with your custom.

Ahh, that feels better. Sometimes the annoyance builds up, and it has nowhere to go. Here's my suggestion: never use the phrase, "No offense, but..." It's like oxymoronic, and actually pretty rude. It's like punching someone in the face, but telling them not to complain about it. It means that you get to say something mean, and the person you say it to has to forgive you, otherwise they're being super-sensitive. Because, after all, you didn't mean to offend. It's a faux-superiority, and I think that most of the time, people know exactly what they're doing when they say it. We all dabble in superiority after all. But from now on, I'm going to make sure to stop myself any time those words start coming out of my mouth. Then I can feel superior about not acting superior!

I do feel the need to apologize yet again for being an absent blogger, but I'm feeling a resurgence in productivity, so fingers crossed that I'll be pestering you with my thoughts more frequently in the coming weeks!

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