Saturday, September 20, 2008

Grown-Up Brats

Have you ever noticed the number of people, who, when they don't get their way, act like spoiled children, i.e., throw a grown-up version of a tantrum? This is prevelent in service-oriented industries. I've seen peolpe, adults, mind you, get angry for no other reason than they aren't getting their way. They aren't being treated unfairly, or being discriminated against in any way...they simply are not getting exactly what they want when they want it, no matter how unrealistic or ridiculous their demands are. This kind of behavior is reinforced when , say, at a retail store or a restaraunt, a patron acting out gets what they want so they will be quiet and not create a scene. This teaches the patron that if they make a big enough ruckus, they will get their way, no matter how unrealistic their requests. I know a friend whose in-laws , whenever they go anywhere to eat, create a scene in order to get discounted or free meals. I actually saw these people in action once. I believe it was at a IHOP or Denny's or some such place...the wife told the waiter that she wanted to speak to a manager, because there weren't enough fries on her child's plate...let me tell you, there were plenty of fries there for an adult, much less a child. But because she was making a scene, the manager comped the kids' meals to shut her up. What he should of done is told her to shut her pie-hole and eat somewhere else if she didn't like it, and then throw her out if she kept bitching...but that's just me.

I onder if it's people who behave like this while travelling that give Americans a bad reputation. Fortunately, not all foks from other countries hate Americans...I have a pen-pal in Belgium who thinks Americans are cool.

Sorry if this is a negative sounding post, but I saw this kind of behavior the other day at work, and I saw it far too many times back when I worked retail years ago, and it just bugged me.


Charles Gramlich said...

My Ex would do this at restruants and she only quit when I told her I would walk out and leave her there if she ever did it again in my presence. The first couple of times it happened I was taken by surprise and didn't know how to react.

Lana Gramlich said...

As a former resident of the Niagara region of Canada, I can assure you that it's exactly that kind of behavior that helps the rest of the world hate Americans. One "yank-me" (as we called them in Canada,) was giving the cashier at my "usual" convenience/gas store a hard time one day. I said what she wasn't allowed to; "If it's tourist season, why can't we shoot them?" That shut the bastard up! ;)

writtenwyrdd said...

Hello, I'm over from Charles' blog.

As far as tantrums go, yes they do occur in service industries a LOT. Having to deal with the public myself, I see it regularly.

But sometimes it's so easy to get peeved. I just had to have a hissy with Earthlink service reps to get them to do what I wanted (switch my service to stop my dsl) rather than keep hearing about hwo they were going to give me a free month's service and et cetera. It took being snotty as hell to get them on track.

Not that it's right to be snotty. I did try polite first, though.

Josephine Damian said...

Scott: Charles sent me. Welcome to the blogosphere!

You have quite the understanding of psychology, and the effects of positive and negative reinforcement.

A well-known author contacted me over the summer asking me to promote his book on my blog by having a contest. I said I would, and then gave him a date. He asked could I change the date to later since I'd just returned from a long blog hiatus and he wanted to wait till I built up more blog traffic.

I said, OK (positive reinforcement for his demand). He asked could I let the post run for two days instead of one and I said, yes (see above).

This week he contacted me demanding that start running the promotional post on Monday instead of Friday (he believed less people are online on the weekends) and told me I had to run the post for five days, superceding the posts in a blog series I'm running.

I finally realized by giving in to his earlier, smaller demands, he figured he could make more, bigger demands, so I bitch slapped him, hard by saying: Just because I agree to do you a favor, doesn't mean you get to dictate the terms. That was just for starters.

Needless to say, no way am I doing any promotional posts for his (badly written) book. He was in serious need for some negative reinforcement. Hopefully, I put a dent in his big ego.

I see a lot of published authors taking advantage of the wannabes who blog - getting us to do the work promoting them, and on their terms. Bloggers need to wise up that these authors will never have the time or inclination to help them with their writing, or show their work to their agent.

Virginia Lady said...

Found you via Charles.

I agree, it constantly amazes me how people act in public. I always want to ask them if they need a time out or something. A leftover from having young children.

Scott said...

Charles, I reacted the same way that time my friend's in-laws did that. Now I think I'd sound the Bullshit Alarm.

Lana, I remember when I worked retail , after a typically asinine customer left me, the next lady in line said, " I think everyone should work a mandatory year of retail." I thought she wasd a genius.

Writtenwyrdd, thank you very much for coming by my blog. I agree, unfortunately, sometimes you have to yell to get something done. When I was in college, I cancelled a class within the allotted time period to get a full refund. Everyone else I knew that did so got their refund checks , but not me. I was given the runaround, and wasted an entire Friday afternoon going from department to department, window to window, only to come full circle to the first place I started at. The following Monday, I went to the front office, slammed my fists on the desk of the lady in front of me, and told them I wanted my damn refund check , and I was not going to any other window, office, or building to get it. They gave it to me. :) I only have issues with people that raise a ruckus for no good reason, other than they aren't getting their way, whether it's a reasonable request or not.

Josephine, good for you for standing up to that jerk. And thank you very much for checking out my blog...hope I don't dissapoint you!

VL< I think that most people would benefit from a time-out.