Perhaps it is due to the fact that I have very little exposure to the real world, but yesterday I was absolutely appalled at the poor service given to me in various places. Granted, I have never worked a day in my life (I usually volunteer or intern somewhere) but when I do so, I give my absolute best. As a staple rule, I always treat people with politeness and take the time to listen to them whenever I am on duty, whether they are young or old. (This is especially important when I intern at my local hospital!) Thus, I was rather shocked at the poor way I was treated three times different times in the same day.
As I was about to head back to campus in Dallas, I went to the Houston Greyhound bus station since I had no one to drive me. Now let me tell you, the station itself was not located in the best of places– It was located in downtown Houston, meaning that street bums would bother you whenever you set foot outside. It was not the most pleasant experience walking into the station, but it could not be helped… Downtown areas are usually like this. As I went to the ticket counter, the attendant lazily tagged my baggage and sent me on my way. Upon realizing that she forgot to give me my gate number, I politely wait in line a second time (since I had arrived quite early) and asked her for the gate number (without making her seem at fault). She responded by saying “Gate seven?” As if it was the most obvious thing in the world and rushed me out so that she could receive the next person in line.
Surely this action annoyed me, but I forgave her since it was 5 AM after all and perhaps she was not a morning person. The thing that really annoyed me though was when I attempted to ask a Greyhound staff member a question. See, I wanted to know what time the bus started boarding so that I could see my guardians off at the appropriate time. After I had clearly obtained his attention, as I was asking him the question, he began to walk away. Not wanting to be turned away in such a rude manner, I pursued him until he finally responded something vague like “check the ticket?” The ticket says the departure time, thank you very much. I’m pretty sure the bus does not start boarding at the departure time. Even if the guy didn’t know the answer, he could not take 3 seconds to stop and tell me to ask someone else.
After sorting that out, I sort of pondered whether I would have been treated more respectfully if I was older. I look quite young and not very much like an adult– this thought annoyed me. Oh well, I guess it happens.
After sleeping multiple times on the 4 hour bus ride, I finally reached the downtown Dallas Greyhound station. This was my first time I was taking a transferring bus in order to reach my destination. Of course, I did not know what the process was so I asked the kind driver who told me that I had to report to whatever gate my destination was, since people were transferring to different places. As I waded through the crowd of people with my dreadfully heavy bags, I asked a somewhat elderly attendant which gate I was supposed to proceed to. She systematically responded “Head to line 6″ while walking through the crowd, barely looking at me.
Not thinking much of it, I went to gate six and casually asked the person in front of me if they were headed to the same destination that I was. Confused, she showed me that her ticket indicated that the bus was going to Nebraska (oh the irony). Not wanting to be separated from my destination by two states, I went back to the same woman who exasperatedly told me “look, line six will take you where you want to go” without so much as an explanation why everyone else’s tickets said Nebraska. Frustrated, (since she again barely acknowledged my existence and walked away while speaking) I went back to gate six, hoping that I was going to the right bus. When the bus driver checked my ticket before I boarded, he told me that it was indeed the correct bus and that the bus stops at a couple different destinations before ultimately going to Nebraska. I was relieved and glad to have such a nice driver who actually took a moment to talk to me, despite the fact that he too was in a hurry and already running 30 minutes behind. So far, my experience with Greyhound drivers has been nothing but positive– It looks like they hire people who actually have people skills for that position.
Upon reaching campus, I of course was overcome with tiredness from travelling and decided to take a nap on my soft bed. I woke up later so that I could get dinner before the campus’ cafe would close at 6 PM. Since I don’t usually even eat dinner that early, I arrived to the cafe at 5:45 PM intending to get a subway sandwich and leave. As I approached the counter, one of the workers had the gall to tell me they were closed. After a day full of bad people-service and traveling, this was really unacceptable and I refused to take no for an answer. To make matters worse, the cafe is ran by foreign graduate students whom I could understand enough to know that in short, they were too lazy to work anymore and wanted to just tell me they were closed.
Now, my father has always told me that whenever I do anything, I should always do it with confidence. Walk with confidence, work with confidence, even lie with confidence (if you have to lie at all). As I said, I was not about to take no for an answer so instead of listening to him, I walked right up to the counter and confronted him. I steadied my voice just enough so that it was forceful, but still not rude/disruptive. Looking him straight in the eyes, I responded, “What? 15 Minutes early?” They guy was taken off guard a little, since most students would just listen to him and be done with it. At this point, my brain also went into combat mode, formulating various comebacks for whatever excuses he would provide. He then attempted to tell me that it was 6 PM already. Wearing a watch and knowing that this was a blatant lie, I told him to show me a clock that read close to 6 PM. The exchange lasted a little while longer until he finally agreed to make my bloody Subway sandwich. As he was putting my requested ingredients on it, I smirked with satisfaction as he sighed exasperatedly as yet another student walked in and the resulting pleas with the worker by the entrance to close the gate.
When I finally got my sandwich, I gave a sort of stern look around the room and thought to myself that I won’t let them forget their laziness. As I walked out victorious at 5:55 PM, I took a bite out of my fresh sandwich. A very satisfying sandwich indeed.