The Rudeness of You

People who work for The People should be nicer. I'm not naming any names, specifically. It would take a book to cover all of them. Some work for government agencies. Some are in the health "care" field. Some sell stamps. Customer (dis)service reps. Poverty pimps.

I'm not talking about the folks who toil for private industry, long hours for sometimes low pay and an insecure benefits package. You could understand them being tired and cranky, making mistakes. And if they are, and if they do, they'll probably be shown the door.

I'm talking about you folks who supposedly serve the public in your work. You break your own rules. Ignore the people whose taxes pay for your jobs. When a citizen contacts you with a legitimate complaint you imperiously talk down to them, tell them to "lower their voice, or you will hang up" on them, tell them to let you finish talking. Who the h**! do you think you are? You are digging your own graves with your superior attitudes toward the public.

You also damage the reputations of your excellent co workers who do provide excellent service, who are courteous, competent, and professional. 

In a way, you have made the road ahead of you by your own walking--walking over all the "little people" on Medicaid and Medicare and Social Security: the homeless, the evicted, the unemployed, the hungry--treating them like your personal scapegoats while profiting from their misery.

One nasty encounter too many, and you lose the support of the weary public.

The road ahead of public employees is paved with uncertainty and insecurity. Pensions are in jeopardy.  Benefits are threatened. Your regular pay raises are not a sure thing anymore. You might have to stand in a food stamp line like a low wage worker, or apply for Medicaid. You might have to stay in a shelter when you lose your job and can't pay your rent or mortgage.

We can sympathize--up to a point. Most of us working today have never had collective bargaining rights. Most of us have no pensions to look forward to. Too many of us have inadequate health care coverage that we have to pay too much for, both out of pocket and out of our paychecks. For most of us in service sector jobs-- from fast food restaurants to airlines-- talking down to our customers will get us fired faster than you can say: press 1 for billing.

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