Being nice shouldn’t be seasonal

Ed Murphy, Photo Editor

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     “Thoughts and prayers to all my retail workers,” “Pls be nice to retail workers this season!!! We work hard too!!!,” “Please be rational with your requests. They are people who work hard. They don’t need your sass…”

     I’m not going to say I’m sick and tired of seeing these types of tweets and posts, but I’m pretty close. I understand working on Black Friday and the weekends of holiday season must be rough, but they signed up for it. They signed up for whatever position they agreed to work. It’s not like it was a surprise that they were going to deal with customers.

     The modern department store system is not new. It’s been around for almost 100 years. People going into a retail job should understand that their job is going to suck, but some, not all, can accept it.

     I have worked the shitty jobs. I have worked as a side cook, warehouse worker, as a grunt on a construction crew and most recently as a dish washer.
I know what it’s like to serve an awful customer with a smile on my face, how to deal with a shitty boss, or burning your arms digging through cement hopper while being yelled at by passer bys as my crew and I make sure that these people have a constant source of water to their home.

     I’ve had the rough jobs. I’ve had maybe the worst jobs. But I don’t complain about it. I know what I signed up for and put my head down and just went to work and did my job.

     In fact, I’ve enjoyed if not loved these awful jobs that some people would never consider working. Not everyone can literally “block out the haters,” like I did, but I think I have a solution to the problem.

     The solution: just be nice. No. Not be nice, but just be normal. The vast majority of the experiences I’ve had with customers have been pleasant because they’re normal.

     The problem is the last five percent. They are the people who complain that their food came out slow, or that the crew didn’t get enough “T”- to half inch reducer connectors, or that my crew wasn’t working hard enough or fast enough.

     Shit happens. It happens in every job. In retail it happens more visibly than others.

     So, my solution of just being nice and understanding doesn’t just apply to retail, food, or construction. It applies to all jobs and careers. Maybe I’m just a simple-minded grunt grinding his way through art school, but I wish we could all just get along and be normal.

     Be understanding, be considerate and be forgiving. Retail jobs suck during the holiday season there is no doubt about it. But grouting during the middle of August on the side of a highway sucks. Working as a secretary in a hospital or as a part of an assembly line in a plant is always a shitty job.
Year round. Those are the jobs no one considers. Maybe its because the majority of people I follow have never worked a real post/non-college job, but things get worse. Things can always be worse.

     So not only be considerate of the cashiers, the side cooks, the grouters, the secretary’s, the stockers and the assembly line workers, but just be considerate of everyone. Year round. No matter what the job. Just be understanding.

     People work hard in front and behind the scenes. So as a person who has worked on the front end and in the rear, please be considerate of all workers during all seasons. And mostly just be normal.

Ed is a junior Art major, a resident of DELCO and the Photo Editor of The Voice.