To: Wealthy customers
We've noticed you've been doing some things wrong. Here are some suggestions.
+ Don't act like we don't exist. Say please, thank you and excuse me, even if the conversation we're having with our co-worker is not work related. Don't put your money down in coins on the counter when we put our hands out. Get off your goddamn mobile phone.
+ Be polite. It's not hard. We aren't asking for masses of over-friendliness, just civility. Use your judgement and give us the benefit of the doubt about if we've had a bad day. If we don't respond to your small talk the way you'd like, we are exhausted: deal with it. Think about whether the money you are handing over is going to be a pain in the arse for us to give you change for. Stay while we count it. We don't care if you use canvas shopping bags or even buy fair trade if you can't be nice to us first - if you can't show respect across the counter then it's likely that your buying FT coffee is just guilt-relieving trendy box-ticking. Your actions are more important than your shopping.
+ Don't assume that just because we are young that we are students - as if only someone working towards better things would degrade themselves to doing such a shitty job temporarily. This attitude is what allows large employers to deflect criticism of their workers rights records with "well, they won't be here forever" - as if having to do shit work is a rite of passage. There is no inherent reason the jobs we do should not be better and worth doing for life.
+ Don't assume we live in the same area as you. In the age of bigger shops, everything is further away. We may travel far. Don't assume we can afford to drive there or own a car. Corporate retail and its beaten down prices is for you and any trickle-down benefit to us is purely accidental and hides the losses we suffer (like breathing in the fumes from your car on our way to work..). Along these lines don't assume we go to the restaurants you do or that we can relate to your recent holiday in Spain, Greece or anywhere else.
+ Don't tell us how to do our jobs. We wouldn't come down to your office and blah blah blah. Don't tell us if you think someone we served before you was underage for alcohol. We know how many things a plastic bag will hold before it rips, we have bagged a fuckload more than you.
+ But also don't assume we don't know anything except how to bag shopping.
+ Don't misuse your advantage in our "the customers money is always right" society. You know without a doubt that the manager will take your side if you complain, and you will feel a satisfactory glow, even if all that happened was the cashier had the gall to stand up for themselves against you BEING A WANKER.
In general these rules apply to everyone, but surprise surprise, other working people don't tend to break them. And we can give them a break because we can tend to tell when they've had a bad day too.