Friday, July 31, 2009

Differences: Now & Then

I hadn’t thought about it until I was having a conversation with a group of people whom I only had only met a couple of days earlier. One asked: “Do people treat you differently now?” Now meaning: that I am 25kg’s lighter and no longer fat.

I’ve thought about this a fair amount since that conversation. And because of it (the conversation), I’m now more aware of how people treat me. And I spend more time thinking about how they’ve treated me as well.

I work in Customer Service, customers are my job. I know how to properly greet you so that you’ll feel warm and welcome where I work. I’ll ask enough vague, but personal questions, and respond friendly enough, that you’ll feel that I’m familiar to you. And then I’ll do my job and send you on your way with a smile on my face and a promise to “See you next time!”

Because of my awesome skills to do all this ;-) and for it to be second nature, I critique others. Kinda. While I don’t rate them on a scale from say 1-10, I am critical of how I’m treated as a customer. I hate loathe it when people who are serving customers 1) Do not smile; 2) Do not have a personality of any sort (Come on! You’re nothing but a sponge in there?! Everyone has some kind of personality!); 3) Hold out their hand in anticipation of you paying them (A note to those of you that do this and are reading: This is just greedy. You’re going to get your (company’s) money, so just wait until I’m ready to give it to you. You wouldn’t have to put your hand up if I magically wished for the correct change, and I wouldn’t have to be served by you if my order was taken by a robot and my meal technologically appeared on the table just as I sat down. Look, just don’t fucking do it! And the same goes for customers who do this. Did you leave your manners at home today?); 4) Act as though I’m annoying you and stopping you from being somewhere way more important. (To my readers that fit this description: This is your job. You do this, to earn money so you can go out and buy the latest craze 15 and 16 yr olds are into today. Yes, these are the teenagers, which CLEARLY have better and more important places to be. You have a job to do. Do it. Period. And if you are that person, leave now. This is an adult blog intended for adults only.) More things annoy me, but I’m slightly off track, so I’ll get back to my point.

I hate to say it, but yes, I am treated differently now. Now that I’m not fat. Now that my figure is hourglass and not round. Now that I don’t have the start of a double chin.

Okay, so I’m easier on the eye now. But does that really deserve you treating me better than when I was 25kg’s heavier? No, no it does not. I didn’t treat you any differently when I was fat. I’ve been in customer service for 5yrs now, and I know how to be a good customer, and I know how to be a good customer service representative. I am a good customer to everyone, until something you do or say makes me feel less happy. Simple as that, you all start at the same level, where I am my friendly, nice, happy self, but if you do one of those things mentioned above, I will think twice about how big I smile or if I even smile when I leave. (Clearly the holding out the hand thing is something that really pisses me off, so that’s an instant explosion down to “Oh she didn’t!” and you get nothing more from me.)

I could understand this if I was in the US, but here we don’t rely on tips. In fact, I’ve never tipped anyone in my life. Nor have I been in the presence when someone has. And I have never been tipped at work. So why is it, that I’m being treated better now that my waistline is smaller, but my smile and attitude are just as wide and friendly as ever? I don’t know. Maybe for guys it’s the question of “Can I get her to flirt with me?” (Men, guys, feel free to leave me your thoughts, even if you don’t work in customer service. Why would any male treat me better now?). And I don’t know about the girls. Maybe the whole bitchiness aspect comes into it somehow. I just can’t see what’s in it for them to be nicer to one person (i.e. thinner me) than another (i.e. fat me).

If anyone can enlighten me, please do, because I’m at a loss to see what it could be that’s causing them to be nicer to me now. Are all people really that shallow? Is it even a conscious decision?

*I must note that although I focused more on how I’m treated as a customer, strangers on the street are friendlier towards me now that I’m thinner. Just in case you were wondering.

Would love to hear some feedback on this one! Pretty please??

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