Sunday, April 5, 2009

142 - Occupational cockiness

I've just finished watching the series finale of ER. It's sad, not because I'm an avid fan of the show, but because I have seen quite a lot of episodes in the past fifteen years, and it's sad that a show that's been airing for so long just ends. Watching all of the fourteenth and fifteenth seasons, I just feel the hard work that's gone into this certain highly entertaining and culturally influential phenomenon.

What I really find interesting about medical TV dramas like
ER, Grey's Anatomy and House is the way in which they depict doctors and surgeons. Sometimes, they're nice people, seemingly worthy of being physicians, but at other times, they're unsympathetic, melodramatic and downright cocky.

People who have been trained in the field they work in (especially those that have been educated for a long time like lawyers, doctors, engineers and airplane pilots) are always so arrogant. They think that just because they're the best at what they do, they can be rude and all high-and-mighty with everybody else. The doctor will shout at the cop, "With all due respect,
Officer, this man needs medical care, he's suffering from a xanthine oxidase deficiency!" Then the cop will respond with, "And without meaning any disrespect to you, Doc, he's under arrest and we have the right to arrest you, too, under the Californian Penal Code, Section 853.6!"

It's like the taxi driver in the morning that tells
me he knows which route has less traffic, when I've been going to the same school on a taxi everyday for the past three-and-a-half years. It's like the doctor, the plumber, the tour guide, the optician, the waiter, the cop, the teacher and the librarian who are just so damn impatient and inconsiderate. Aren't we paying these people's salaries with our taxes and our bills? Don't they teach them to be amiable in the services industry?

It's like the cashier girl at McDonald's who thinks I'm wasting
her precious time just because I wanted barbecue sauce instead of sweet and sour to go with my McNuggets. Like, girl, look at yourself. You work in McDonald's. Are you proud of that? Are you proud, of that? And besides, I told you I wanted barbecue sauce already, you just forgot. Stop thinking you're so good.

I'm sure my perspective will change when I grow up and get a job where I have to be of service to a customer or a client. But hey, I think I'll be able to accept that the customer is always right. Why are there so many people, especially in the services and catering industries, that lose their inner, human kindness, their fundamental manners, once they are at work?


SquirrelQueen said...

What I hate is going into a smaller store with two or three clerks who are standing around talking to each other. If you have a question or are ready to pay they get all bent out of shape because you interupted their gossip session.
Like you blog.

Michael said...

I absolutely hate that, too. I was at KFC the other day, and the cashier ladies were throwing napkins at each other. I didn't know what the Hell was going on...

Linda S. Socha said...

Unfortunately, I think our society in general is so speeded up and on some crazy busy path that less people are even aware of how they are acting because their eyes are on the run ahead...and not on the moment at hand. Just my opinion

Douglas said...

You pegged it, Michael. But you will also probably follow that same path or apparent arrogance from time to time. Unless you remember this particular blog post. Unless it stays burned in your mind. It isn't true that the customer is always right, by the way, it's that it is good business to make sure he feels that way in your presence.

Anonymous said...

We have this all-day-frowny woman in our school cafeteria for as long as I can remember. I don't know if she is too with the faculty, but she's really arrogant in serving even school visitors (not the VIP's included). And then she would also yell. But she's not even that old.

We're like, in our minds when we order there, "Shut the hell, it's a bother going to your stall. You're a terrible asset."

I had fun when one of my friends actually confronted her. It's not like this woman can show her bad girl attitude towards anyone.

Marcy said...

I served tables for about 6 years. You get a little jaded towards customers and sometimes you don't feel like putting on a happy face when your day is going badly...

Monaliza - Hypnotic Visualization said...

My Interior Designer was rather condescending. Insisting on Her tastes and ideas only whilst giving me a frowned quizzical look whenever I voiced out My wishes. It is, after all, My house which is being renovated. Yeah she thinks she knows better aesthetically. However, as the home owner and user of the house itself, I Myself would know better what would be practical and what won't.


Naomi said...

I know plenty of doctors and in my line of work, Stage Managers, set and lighting designers and sound engineers who aren't the best, and very aware of that.

I think this is the first post of yours I've not had some agreement with, I now feel a little less hateful :)

And @SQ - I work in a small sotre part time to pay the bills. In a shop you're on minimum wage, you'll likely hjave a rubbish manager, and in an eight hour shift, you won't get a break. So next time you leave something on the counter think of the staff who aren't there becuase they want to be but because they have to be.

Naomi said...

Good lord, it would help if I could spell though wouldn't it.