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I think I’ve grown wiser as I’ve grown older, not that I’m old, because we all know that 60 is the new 40.  But, as a Baby Boomer, I’d like to share some pearls of wisdom I’ve learned along the way.  I’ll try not to lecture or rant but you’ll notice I’m not without fault, so please bear with me.

The pearl – Please say please – and Thank You and You’re Welcome and May I Help You, and all the rest of the civil niceties.  Please say them often, thank you; particularly if you’re clerking in a retail store.

Shopping on two Black Friday’s in one month this year, I heard, “That’ll be $37.50. Credit or debit?” /  “That’ll be $104.30.  Credit or debit?”  /  “That’ll be $9.60.  Credit or debit?”

Never once did I hear “That’ll be $37.50, please.  (I hand over card and clerk takes card)  Thank you.  Credit or debit?  (Clerk asks and I reply)  Thank you.”  

Even at lunch with a friend, after hitting the stores all morning, we took a break at a real sit-down restaurant.  The only thank you we heard was from the maître d’/greeter, who, as we left, said, “Thanks ladies, come again.”  Ugh.  I think that’s the land-level equivalent of the airline’s “bah – bye.”

I was shopping mostly for women in stores geared to woman, so all of the salesclerks I ran into were female,  none of them seemed to be over 30, they all looked like that size zero you hear about, and although their hair wasn’t extremely high, most of them reminded me of that ’80’s “Valley Girl” syndrome, except they lacked the chipper part.  Okay, “chipper,” is probably hard to do in a recession. 

But if you’re behind a counter and are lucky enough have a job, even a seasonal one, you could work yourself up to at least, be civil, please

I’ve worked a checkout register and was instructed/trained/forced to say please and thank you.  If I didn’t, a supervisor would quickly bring it to my attention – one way or another and sometimes publicly in front of the customer – oh wait, I’m having a flop-sweat flashback. 

I want someone saying Thank You when I hand over my money because eventually it’s going to be part of that person’s paycheck.  That’s why it’s called CUSTOMER SERVICE!  (Rant – told ya’ I wasn’t perfect)

A breather – You can tell we didn’t hit Nordstrom, where everyone says please and thank you, then walks around the counter to hand you your package in the aisle, not backhandedly push it along the counter like it suddenly, magically has turned into a bag  filled w/dog poop. 

But those clerks work on salary plus commission, which proves that money does talk – it says PLEASE and THANK YOU, which is fine w/me, thank you very much. 

And thank you for taking the time to read this.