Be nicer to the people who work

In last week’s NewsCut post — and yesterday’s radio show — on the best jobs,the worst jobs, and the jobs we learned the most from, one theme came through: Be nicer to people at work, particularly in the service sector. Empathy is in, people. Rudeness is out.

  1. Listen Labor Day 2016: Your best/worst jobs

    September 5, 2016

And someone should tell that to the people — middle-aged people, by the way — at the Wendy’s in Maple Grove who treated one employee so rudely recently that she’s started a GoFundMe page to give them a break from the customers. The employee in question, and one other staffer, are 88 years old, Taya Brodin-Hanson, of Osseo, writes.

While waiting in line the couple in front of me ordered three frosty’s. Two medium vanilla & one small chocolate.

Mrs. Fran did her best to hear them but asked the couple to repeat themselves a few times and therefore repeated the order back to them incorrectly a couple of times before she got it right; they both got snippy with her, rolling their eyes and taking multiple big sighs just to make sure Mrs. Fran would know how irritated they were with her service.

They again got rude with her when Mrs. Fran told them that they do not have M & M’s or any other toppings (Dairy Queen is right across the street). By the time they left (no thank you of course) you could see by Mrs. Fran’s body language she felt embarrassed/irritated and a bit defeated.

So when it was my turn I did the best I could to show her the respect she deserves; smiling, saying please and thank you & yes Ma’am (what we teach our kids to say to our elders from the time they are two years old.

I tried to lift her spirits best I could during our brief interaction and I went to sit down when it hit me and hit me hard what the Universe wanted me to do for them for all these years.

If this middle-aged couple thought it was OK to treat Mrs. Fran they way they did how must other people be treating Mrs. Laverne & Mrs Fran badly on a daily basis? My guess is sadly, many.

We live in a country where our elderly population have to work later and later in life, that is a sad fact. I say that it is our job as a society to take better care of them all. So until the laws/government catches up to what we should all be doing I say we all step up in any way we can. This is one of the ways I want to step up and am asking for your help.



(h/t: City Pages)

  • >>So when it was my turn I did the best I could to show her the respect she deserves; smiling, saying please and thank you & yes Ma’am (what we teach our kids to say to our elders from the time they are two years old.<<

    Personally, I've called out people when they show no respect for those waiting / serving. So far as tipping goes, 20% is my norm (wish we would just do away with tipping as they have done in much of Europe).

    • Anna

      I’m with you, Onan. I also call out people who park in handicapped spots who ARE NOT handicapped and who do not have a plate or a tag.

      It doesn’t happen very often in Minnesota but one Christmas in Louisiana, my mother and father were shopping at the local mall and someone was parked in a handicapped space with no tag and no handicapped license.

      My father parked behind them and then went into the mall to find security. The woman’s excuse,”I was only going to be a few minutes.” She got a $200 fine.

      The elderly might need a little extra time but there is no excuse to be rude and impatient. I think it’s great that they are working at their age for whatever reason.

      I’ll probably be working well into my golden years if not for the money then for the social enjoyment of being around other people.

      Social isolation is one of the enemies of living a long life.

      • DavidG

        While it’s probably fair to call out people parking there without a disability plate/tag, I’d be leery of calling someone out for appearing to be able bodied.

        • Anna

          I don’t call out anyone who has a valid handicapped tag that appears to be able bodied. They have the tag for a reason.

          I have a friend in Florida who had a Giant Cell tumor on his spine. The tumor was removed but there was some residual damage to the nerve roots. Sometimes his legs will weaken without warning when he is walking.

          He doesn’t use his hang tag often but if he is really physically tired, he uses it. He said it’s better than landing on his face walking from the far end of the parking lot.

          Having worked with the elderly as a geriatric nurse, people who are hard of hearing are often thought of as “slow” or poorly educated. It’s the most common stereotype of the elderly and those who are hard of hearing.

  • wjc

    “Empathy is in, people. Rudeness is out.”

    I wish!

  • MrE85

    We all might be that 80+ year old working in a fast food joint some day, so cut them a little slack, okay?

  • Mike Worcester

    Showing my age here again — I guess I never understood why it’s not hard to be polite in general, even when others around you are being total jerks. Yes, it’s not always easy, but I do want to be able to like when I see in the mirror. Is that so difficult to figure out?

  • Rob

    Whenever I’m dealing with call center agents, I always make sure to be totally courteous with them, even if a given agent lacks customer relations skills. I always remind myself that they aren’t the ones who built the failed product or programmed the bug-riddled software. Anyone who heaps abuse on these folks deserves a dope slap.

  • tboom

    Ever driven in Maple Grove? Higher percentage of “high-strung rudeness” on the road in that city too.

  • DavidG

    The behavior exhibited by that couple is quite well known to anyone with significant hearing loss in almost any type of setting.

    I’ve even been subjected to it myself from servers and retail workers.