We offer faxing services at our store. It's a self-serve machine labeled with instructions in big black letters right in front of it. It's quite simple - Place your pages in the tray face down, dial the number, press start, wait for confirmation page to print. Not rocket surgery.
Of course, most people immediately shout out, "Can someone help me out with this?" when directed to the machine.
And instead of saying, "You're an idiot," we have to smile and be polite and help out. Of course.
Anyway, I had a woman come in who needed to send a fax. I happened to be working on something near the machine at that time, so I directed her to it and turned to go back to my work.
This conversation ensued.
Customer: "I don't know how to do this. I've never done it before."
Me: "Oh, it's quite simple." I point at the instructions in front. "The instructions are right here. You just place your papers face down in the tray, then dial-"
Customer: "I just don't understand this! You're going to have to do it for me!"
No attempt. No effort. Not a care in the world. She was another customer from the, "I'm a customer so you should wash my feet for me," crowd. I didn't say another word, I just put her fax through the machine and went back to my work.
Shopping tip of the day for 9/09/09: When you're in a store, you're not shipwrecked on a barren planet. Standing in the middle of an aisle and just screaming, "Hello? Is there anyone who works in this store?" will not only increase your wait time, but also ensure that the service you get is terrible. If you want employees to treat you with respect, you're going to have to muster up the will to do the same for them.