You People

Several years ago I worked in customer service for a mail order gift store. Overall, I would say that people are generally reasonable and polite but, of course, there are always exceptions. I’ve never forgotten one of my coworkers telling me that her pet peeve was when snarky customers used the term you people. I suppose there’s really no reason why you people couldn’t be used nicely, e.g. “You people have done an excellent job fulfilling my order,” but it never was. You people, when spat out by an angry customer, is condescending and accusing, and meant to group everyone in the company into one large school of scum-sucking bottom-dwellers who only rise into the light to better view, and bask in, the frustrations of their aggrieved customers. THOSE customers should remind themselves that sometimes things legitimately go wrong: a package was sent out when promised but got lost in the mail (nothing to do with the store), the supplier who promised to have an item available for shipping by the store on a certain date didn’t deliver as promised (not the direct fault of the store), or a package, for whatever reason, didn’t get sent out on the day it should have (okay, that is the fault of the store staff, but hey, everyone makes a mistake once in a while). THOSE people should remember that the odds that the telephone representative they’re harassing is the one who made the original dire mistake are slim to nil. I had some exceptionally nice colleagues who made every effort to provide top-notch customer service and they hardly ever laughed demonically … while on the phone.

I’ve been the frustrated person on the line with a stereotypical customer service representative who is one twist short of a slinky. I’ve been passed from department to department before finally having my problem resolved.

But I still never say you people.

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