Sunday, August 26, 2007

Who's the Adult?

I just returned from a trip to Salina. In the retail outlet where I'd gone to get my made in China bargains, I encountered a woman at the service desk, insisting that she get her way.

What she wanted was not unreasonable, and perhaps, had the manager been there on Sunday afternoon she might have gotten what she wanted. Instead, she was attempting to bully the two very nice young women at the service desk into giving her exactly what she wanted. They treated her with respect, and explained that the chain's policy would not allow them to do what she wanted. I think they offered to get someone higher up to work on her problem. She turned away from the desk and walked away. The gave a hand el under the chin "forget it" gesture and re-enforced it with "ya know what, forget it. I'm never going to shop here again."

As I said, the request was not unreasonable, just contrary to company policy, and the persons with whom she was dealing were unable to change company policy. It's not the request that became unreasonable, it was the woman.

She seemed to me to be like a little child, insisting that she could too get her way, if only she threatened, blamed and insisted. I really wanted to tell her to grow up. Adults used to know that they didn't get everything they wanted, even if they cried really, really hard and held their breath and threatened to hate their parents forever.

She's, of course, not the only one. We have a new generation who've been raised to be assertive of their needs, wants and desires; not to take no as an answer. The problem is sometimes there is a reason for the no that can't be overturned, overwhelmed or beaten into submission.

Most often the attitude that we ought to get our way, and the angry frustration that we don't get exactly what we want comes when we're working with new software.

Here's a humorous take on the phenomenon of new software and getting a member of the geek squad to come and bring a little live tech support.

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