This weekend, when I was at Ikea buying my new couch (see below) I found that my fellow shoppers and indeed the people who worked there were some of the most unfriendly people I have encountered. Now, we all get a little pissy when shopping, but I know that I always try to be extra polite to the staff because having worked in customer service, I know you can catch a lot of shit just for doing your job.
However, when I ordered my couch, the woman who helped me barely acknowlaged my presence and behaved as though I was inconvienecing her.( I walked up to her station where she wasn't doing anything and requested my furniture specifically. I was not a difficult customer) I don't think this is acceptable, but it was a busy sale weekend, who knows what she had been going through all day. then, at the register, I spoke to the cashier about the coffee table I wanted and how I couldn't lift itand since I was having the couch delivered anyway could I just pay (like I was with the couch) and have someone else pull the table? (generally, I don't buy anything I can't lift) Apparently not. Apparently there are people on the furiture floor to help, even though I didn't see one when I was over there. So I had to get out of line, and go find someone to help me. The cashier's attitude told me that he thought be pretty dumb for not knowing that. What would the store do if someone came along with an obvious physical disability?
Returning to the sales floor, I chased down a helper who pulled the table for me and, since it wouldn't fit under my cart, told me that I would need a flat cart for the item. Ok. So I went and got one. When I returned, my table was sitting on the floor, which meant that I would have to lift it in order to get it on the flat cart. Without the cart rolling away. Helper boy was gone. As I was mauvering it (it was a 4" lift, and I managed to get it that far) a woman happened by. She offered her help, although at that point I had it covered.
This was the first real kindness I had encountered that day. I told her so, and thanked her for her offer.
It was then that I learned that people from elsewhere find west coasters to be antisocial. That we have a reputation for having tunnelvision. This saddens me. I rarely talk to people because I am shy, but I have to say that when I do make a snarky comment in the grocery line, I am uaually ignored or greeted with strange looks. SO I have to admit that it is true. I guess I should come out of my social anxiety and do something about it. Start talking to people like my cousin Richard (maybe not that much!) and help to change this view. Not for my fellow natives, but for me. life's too short to be rude to people, it's too short to be a snob.
Meanwhile, Zube Girl says that people should try to be more like dogs. and I was thinking about that. I think she's right! who doesn't love a puppy? dogs love everyone. they sniff your hand, lick your fingers, and if you pet them, they'll love you for life (hey, maybe I am like a dog!) they don't care what you think of them, they don't worry about fitting in, of course, they also crap on the street, but it all boils down to, they are who they are and will be whether you like them or not. Just like children, everyone is their friend. I think we should all take a lesson from puppies and children.