raisedbymoogles: (Default)
raisedbymoogles ([personal profile] raisedbymoogles) wrote2017-07-20 10:48 pm
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One way or the other I suck at customer service.

Kinda-but-not-really seeking reassurance that I'm not an asshole, here? I've reached the point where I just Cannot anymore when someone asks me where I'm from*, for various reasons ranging from "it is fucking embarrassing being from the US given the state of our politics right now" to "I don't wanna." I used to try to explain as quickly as I could that my family was military and I moved around a lot, etc., but - again. Just Cannot anymore. (I said I was from Virginia, that being my most recent place-where-I-kept-my-stuff before I emigrated, exactly once. I was promptly lumped in with the Confederacy. Never again.)

Don't think I haven't thought about lying, but for some reason I can't do it. Even if I plan for it, when I'm in the moment I just freeze up and what falls out of my mouth is the truth. I've started saying lightly, "Nowhere, really!" which is true from a certain point of view, but people almost seem... offended by that? Like, I've gotten a few scolding "Everyone's from somewhere!"s, and today there were two guys in near succession who just would. not. let it go. Was I from America? Was I from Canada? Well, I'm certainly not English.

No, dude, I'm not, chill out about it.

I get it, you know? I'm a cashier. I'm supposed to be amiable and friendly and yield to the slightest impulse of everyone I talk to. I am aware that I fall well fucking short in this regard - I am blunt and frequently stressed and I'm not very good at smiling on command - but on this issue, I feel like I am well justified being irritated. Why do I owe complete strangers my backstory, again? Just because I run a register? Buy your crap and leave me alone, goddamn it. Why is my reluctance to talk about where I'm from taken as a personal challenge?

...you know what, I take that last sentence back, I'm totally an asshole. And I don't care. I'm tired of my existence being available for other people's gratification.

Jesus in a cat dish, I need a new job.

*As happens at least once every shift. For those of you just joining us, hello, I'm a Yank living in the UK.
megpie71: Simplified bishie Rufus Shinra says "The stupid, it hurts". (stupid hurts)

[personal profile] megpie71 2017-07-20 11:56 pm (UTC)(link)
You could try any of the following:

1) Give them the suburb/town/city you're currently living in;

2) Try telling them you're from New Zealand or Australia, just for the resultant linguistic confusion.

3) Pick a different Commonwealth country every week.
Alternatively, pick a fictional location every week. Week one, you're from Cybertron; next week you're from Nibelheim; the following week you're from Much-Binding-in-the-Marsh; etc etc etc. Or pick small towns from the map. There are heaps of variants on this one, the main thing to remember is it changes every week, and if you get called on it, you just say "oh no, this week I'm from X instead".

You'll still be a filthy immigrant, but the resultant confusion from returning customers should at least keep you entertained.

The thing to remember is the majority of these people are doing it to social; they don't need actual information, they just need a token to lodge as the answer to the question. Silly or nonsensical answers basically fill the dual purpose of supplying the relevant token, and pointing out the information they're demanding is none of their business in the first place. So embrace the asshole nature (after all, the customers did it first) and just be calmly bland about the whole business of handing them information which is either completely accurate but also totally useless (option 1) or information which is inaccurate, but appropriate to the situation (options 2 or 3).
megpie71: AC Reno crouched over on the pavement, looking pained (bad day at work)

[personal profile] megpie71 2017-07-22 01:24 am (UTC)(link)
The thing with "nowhere" is it's explicitly marked in people's heads as an invalid token, and throws up a mental error message. Whereas "Much-Binding-in-the-Marsh" fills the token space, and it might take someone (particularly a younger someone) a couple of parses to realise they've been handed a dud token. Sort of the equivalent of handing over entirely the wrong sort of coin as incorrect change, or handing over very similar ones.

(Here in .au, I'd use the example of NZ currency - their 5c and 10c pieces are the same size and weight as the Australian version, but not, strictly speaking, legal tender here in Australia - thing is you have to be pretty attentive to spot 'em in your change. So an obviously fictional answer is the equivalent of a kiwi 5c piece; whereas "nowhere" is the equivalent of one of those flower-shaped coins from Bangladesh)
metalloprotease: Ribbon model of half of an ADAM17 dimer, colored by secondary structural element blue shading to green on a black background with coordinated zinc in red (Default)

[personal profile] metalloprotease 2017-07-21 01:16 am (UTC)(link)
If it's your thing, you could use the embarrassment at being from the U.S. right now part and flip it into a "got out just in time" joke.
princess_kessie: purple filligree butterfly (Default)

[personal profile] princess_kessie 2017-07-21 06:12 am (UTC)(link)
I agree with both of the previous comments. I love the "got out just in time" thing, though. I personally would run with that :)
white_aster: (protective)

[personal profile] white_aster 2017-07-21 01:12 pm (UTC)(link)
I'm sorry they keep asking such things. My introvert!bear! is making >:< faces. Honestly, dude, I am interacting with you for thirty seconds, why extend this to my personal info?

I can see how people think it's just a friendly question (though it's a minefield question...what if the person IS from where you are? I've seen people who bitch about PoC being asked "where they're from" and the answer is duh, I'm an American?), but given that you have an emotionally draining People!job and don't want to get into sociopolitical discussions in addition, you're perfectly justified in being grumpy about it.

A few thoughts:
- turn it around (if you can/have time/etc.). Be honest, but don't give them time to react before asking them a question. "Oh, I'm from the US. How about you, are you from here?" Like, all in one breath. In general, asking someone a question about them or something else will be a speedbump and might derail them. Weather. Their day. Whatever.
- practice a quick, true answer and then just stop at it. "I'm from the US." Then, have a stock, noncommittal answer to the next nosy/analytical whatever. "Uh huh.
Crazy world, isn't it?" or "I hear you. Have a nice day!" Having stock answers may help relieve your brain of the freezing response. Also, if they press and want to know WHERE, Virginia is totally "the DC area", which would probably get you a different response than "Virginia".

:hugs: Good luck.