The customer is rarely right.

“Treat others how you would want to be treated.” PAH.

I just don’t understand people.

We spend so much time raising children to not have a tantrum and scream the place down when they don’t get what they want, so why do adults have to do exactly the same thing?

Case in point: I work in a shop. I know my job. It’s hardly my dream job but it pays and that’s all I need right now. What I don’t need is customers deciding to shout about complaints and going elsewhere because I’ve told them they can’t have whatever they want (e.g. a better exchange rate, free vouchers, a free mansion with unicorns in the paddock etc.). And what makes it worse is the managers, who will do anything to avoid someone being a tad miffed, which only encourages them. Oh you don’t have any ID on you so we can’t serve you? Yes the system requires it, so here’s a gift card. You came after we closed and we can’t serve you? So sorry, our mistake, we forgot to check with you when you’d be coming, here’s a gift card. We need more managers who are willing to say to people that they’re being pillocks/morons/twatbaskets, whatever tickles your pickle, and tell them to grow up. Tell them that if they want to take their business elsewhere, do it. Tell them to put the situation into perspective and think about the actual problems in life. Tell them to do one.

There’s another problem: customer service. If I was a random person in the street and they yelled at me, I could yell back. I could look them in the eye, tell them to do one, and walk away. But because I work in a shop I’m not allowed to defend myself? I just roll over and ring for a manager? (Who by the way knows a lot less about my job than I do, so he just asks me questions about the whole situation and I end up repeating myself again and again.) How is this fair? Yes I work in a shop. It doesn’t take away the fact that I’m still a person (maybe a small one, but a person all the same). I don’t deserve to be treated like dirt because I’m not giving you the world for free. This may surprise some people, but my life doesn’t actually revolve around making sure you have money to go on holiday with. I actually care very little about whether you could’ve saved £1.53 if you’d gone elsewhere. I’m not stopping you leaving. Go. Please. Now.

There is always going to be a time when you feel the need to kick off at your friendly ‘sales advisor,’ but everyone should try to remember that golden saying “Treat others how you would want to be treated.” It’s quite simple. If you want me to do the best I can for you, don’t start yelling because someone else promised you this and someone else can do better. I’ve told you what I can do for you. That’s it. Shouting at me won’t help. Your ranting is getting you absolutely nowhere, I still can’t do whatever you want. I don’t actually own the software company that is stopping this happening. I don’t actually own the shop. I don’t actually care.

What people don’t realise is that no matter how many lovely and understanding customers you have in a day, you will always remember that one. The one that was never going to be happy, and you know there’s nothing you could’ve done to change that, but it will play on your mind for a long time after they’ve left to make someone else’s life a misery. But they don’t care about that. They don’t care that they might be giving hell to someone who is having the worst time of their life and work is their only escape, or someone under extreme stress at home, or someone with anxiety issues that they are trying to work through every single moment of their life. They tend to forget that we’re all the same, just trying to lead happy lives and get through the bad times together. They forget that other people might be having to put on a brave face every morning just to get through the day, that they might not go back to work ever again, or anywhere at all for that matter, just because you wanted to save a few pence.

People can say “oh just forget about them,” but that’s a lot easier said than done. What would be easier to do would be to just be lovely, understanding and considerate people. It’s not hard.

Don’t give up on being you.

A small rant.

Being around someone new will always change you in one way or another, and hopefully for the better. Learning about them and the different life experiences they’ve had will give you different perspectives on certain issues, like money, family, and whether the Tory party are actually just a bunch of elitist twatbaskets or not (NB: nobody is going to change my view on that. Sorry.). This is what should mould us into bearable people, the type that has friends with similar interests and and differences that we accept because we’re all different. Unless of course you decide you need to fit in so badly with a certain group of people that you change everything about yourself to make them like you.

I’ve never understood the need to do something you don’t like just to make someone like you. I mean I’m not going to buy a certain type of clothes that I know I’ll be uncomfortable in just because it’s in fashion. And I’m not going to start talking to certain people differently because my new friends think they’re uncool. I think it’s a shame when people do. It’s especially a shame when it’s someone close to you.

We have been close for many, many years. Well, we obviously annoy each other sometimes and disagree on a LOT, but we still count each other as close friends. We’ve been through the same issues at home, we’ve always been interested in the same things (mostly), and we’ve never been bothered about fitting in with the ‘popular’ crowd. We’ve been happy as we are. In fact, we still are…when it’s just us together. As she has moved away, we don’t see each other as much, but we always text and send emails with links to webpages we know they’ll enjoy. With this in mind, I visited her thinking it would be lovely to actually spend some time together, just the two of us, with just a bit of time spent with her housemates, who I assumed would be lovely, just like her. Turns out they are…but she isn’t when she’s with them. Just us in the room? She’s nice to me, we watch mind-numbing programmes and we talk about other humans as if they are actually the same species as us. Someone else joins the fun? She decides it’s time to insult me (which in front of people you don’t know isn’t great fun, to be honest), she suddenly has to watch intelligent programmes which use long words nobody understands, and she’s mean. All of a sudden she is better than the other humans she is forced to live amongst, they’re all common, stupid and have no future job prospects, because anything they can do isn’t worth doing. This leaves me ever so slightly confuddled. She wasn’t raised like this. Her father has always been a hard-working manual labourer, and her mother works in a shop. She was brought up to treat everybody the same, and family came together to support each other through hard times. I suppose it all started to go wrong after she met the (now ex) boyfriend.

We’ve all met people from very different backgrounds. On the scale of zero to a mansion and a villa in Monaco, I was a lot closer to the former whilst growing up. So was she. Hand-me-downs were passed down through so many kids by the time I got them they’d been worn for about ten years. Obviously when you’re small you don’t care, but growing up you start to wish you had the new clothes like everyone else at school (although let’s be honest, they were all wearing them too). However looking back now, I’m glad I didn’t have brand new clothes/toys/ponies every time I cried, it’s made me more appreciative of money and of the poorer people in our society, who all just want to get by and be happy. For some reason this passes over some people. Like her. She was the same as me at school, happy to get on with work and happy at home with a happy family. Then she went to university, and met him. A guy from a well-off family, with a large house and a private school education. Sure, he was nice enough at times, which seemed a miracle after meeting his father, but I just knew after that first time of visiting his home she had changed. Shouting at home about how small the house is. Talking down to people who didn’t understand her science conversations or TV programmes. Laughing when she understands a cryptic crossword and nobody around her does. Not going to lie, it’s tedious conversation, trying to make her see the side of ‘normal’ people, and how ridiculous she sounds by being mean about them/me. She has suddenly become extremely bothered about what she is seen wearing, whether her laptop (now a Mac, because anything else isn’t worth the time of day) is up to date, and whether her mother is embarrassing her by not understanding degree-level chemistry. She can’t possibly be nice to her little sister in front of other people (I still can’t think of a reason for this other than to appear funny, as the people she insists on you meeting are very sweet and interesting). She won’t admit to what her family does unless she deems it worthy, which it never is because heaven forbid someone not have a doctorate or £12 million in a bank in Switzerland. And she won’t pronounce certain words in her actual accent when other people are around to hear, even though they’re all intelligent and understand the concept of accents.  All because she’s embarrassed of where she comes from.

I think it’s about time we made people understand that where they come from has shaped their character, parents have (hopefully) shown you that everyone deserves respect, no matter their background, and that meeting new people gives us great experiences that prove to us that we all need to be different to make the world work. Maybe one day those who see themselves as better than the rest will see the light, and realise that we all deserve happiness, no matter how we find it. If you feel pressured to be different to who you are inside, you’re surrounding yourself with the wrong people. It shouldn’t be too hard to find someone who is accepting of what you see as your flaws, they may even love you more for them. Just don’t give up on being you.

Just listen.

When will people learn?

Illness affects everybody differently. Whether it is mental or physical, each and every one of us will react differently to a situation. However if it isn’t you going through it, who’s to say you have the right to judge how they deal with it? You wouldn’t tell a person in a wheelchair to stop making a big deal about stairs. You wouldn’t tell a person with cancer to stop making a big deal about the end of their life. So why are we allowed to judge how others deal with mental illness?

Maybe it’s the stigma. Mental illness? You’re crazy. You obviously can’t think like a ‘normal’ person so you need to be told how to act. How to think. How to live. It can be even worse when a person has been through it themselves, and now think they have been through the worst life can throw at you, so everything else is ‘trivial.’ Well done. You survived. Now help someone else do the same. Don’t tell them that because you’ve been through being beaten up in children’s homes, attempting suicide and having drug addictions that their problem is nothing. To them it is. It was also probably a terrifying ordeal just to tell you about it, as they’ve heard how ‘normal’ people see mental illness. Now hearing someone tell them they’ve been through worse will only make them feel bad about focusing on such ‘trivial’ things. But we can’t help it. It might sound small and insignificant to you, but to us it is just the tip of the iceberg. We don’t always know why it started, but at the minute it’s never going to end. That one thing that happened ten years ago when somebody laughed at us? We’re going to remember it forever. We’ll use it against ourselves and never put ourselves in that situation again. We’ll close off. We won’t take opportunities. We’ll convince ourselves we’re worthless. We won’t bother anyone else with our existence. We’ll suffer in silence until we can’t take it anymore. We’ll die believing nobody cares. All because of one laugh.

I was recently put in a situation where the issues I’m facing were made to sound pathetic. “You’re making it bigger than it is.” Thanks. Thanks for not listening. Thanks for making your mind up about it without even trying to understand. Sorry it isn’t as big or important as something that happened in your past…but it could be if you carry on like this.

Never belittle somebody’s problems. If you don’t understand, listen. Voicing your opinion about whether you think the issue isn’t as bad as it could be will only make them feel worse. Make them feel like they have no right to be thinking these things. Make them wonder why they do. Make them wonder why they bothered telling anyone…make them keep it bottled up inside. Make them feel worthless. Make them wonder whether their life is worth living. All because you think you know better. You don’t.