Customer service in America is a lost amenity — that’s not exactly a secret. You’d have to hire a sherpa, a burrow, and file a missing persons report with the F.B.I. to find somebody to help you at Home Depot. Salespeople at Target try to help, but they’ve only worked there a week and don’t know where anything is.
It’d be easy to commiserate with somebody on the receiving end of lousy customer service, we’ve all been there.
But, here comes CBS Sunday Morning “humorist” David Sedaris riffing on the sorry state of retail courtesy.
After listening to Sedaris whine, now I’m rooting for the supermarket cashier who’s taking a smoke break while only one check-out lane is open and there are 20 people in line.
Sedaris’ rant is a good reason why so many Americans don’t like the media, and journalists are two rungs below convicted perjurers for trustworthiness. The author recounted a recent nightmare experience he and his sister endured while buying “a number of very expensive cups and saucers.”
Already, without another word, I have no sympathy for this pampered snob. He had to add “very expensive?” That’s what we need, another rich person complaining because something didn’t go exactly right in their precious world. It seems the salesperson didn’t have a box or bag or bubble wrap to pack the cups and saucers. This sent Sedaris into a tizzy.
Good thing his sister was there to hold Sedaris back.
“Do you have a purse? If so, you need to get it and go home. My sister and I are firing you.” That’s Sedaris’ side-splitting proposal to deal with poor customer service. Sack the salesperson, who’s probably making minimum wage and isn’t in charge of ordering bubble wrap.
“During this difﬁcult time when so many Americans are looking for work, I'd like introduce an idea for something I'm calling the ‘citizen's dismissal.’ It's like a citizen's arrest, but instead of detaining someone, you get to ﬁre them!” Sedaris said. Thank you, Gomer Pyle.
There’s one person in Sedaris’ commentary who deserves to lose their job, and it isn’t the salesperson.
Who buys cups, anyway? I probably have 20 coffee cups in my kitchen cabinet, and each one has the logo of a car dealer or radio station on it.
I don’t know which is more offensive, Sedaris’ elitism or his truly tone-deaf comedy bit during an economic crisis.
Not funny, not one bit.
This is the week before Christmas, stores are going to be busy, cashiers are going to be stressed. The last thing store help needs is some network butthead throwing a snit over a slight inconvenience. Nobody needs your bull in a china shop.
One trick of a comedian is to get the audience on your side. Like when stand-up comics do 10 minutes on the airlines losing their bags, people talking in movie theaters, “and what’s the deal with those Kardashians?”
Sedaris took the opposite approach. Poor baby and Big Sis didn’t get to carry their “very expensive cups and saucers” home in a nice box with a pretty bow on it.
That’s not a First World problem. That’s an idiot jerk problem. I know that CBS Sunday Morning isn’t supposed to be Open Mic night at the Laff Factory, but Sedaris’ comments, essentially let them eat cake, was really bad thinking.
Sedaris’ elitism made me yearn for the down-home, folksy musings of Charles Osgood.