I hate to write this letter, but today was such an experience at LEGO that I felt that I needed to let it out. Especially given that I work more this week than any other, so far. I hate to rant, but I must; however, at the same time, I must honor those whose shoes I have been in.
Dear Customer (especially that one lady from today),
My name is Ruben Medina, and I must let you know how I feel about interacting with you, so far. There are those of you, very few, whom I’ve been so lucky to run into at the store because you fill my heart and mind with joy and laughter. There are those of you who don’t mind a casual conversation with employee’s (even if it has nothing to do with the nature of the business). But, there are also those of you who hate this altogether. This letter is for you.
I am terribly sorry that you are inconvenienced by a welcoming “Hello”, followed by a smile. I guess nowadays it is just annoying to try to have positive and friendly people welcoming you to somewhere you might or might not want to be. Countless times I try to stay cheerful and smile as large as I can, but you either ignore me, wave your hand in my face to shut up or glare at me as you walk in. People, you’re walking into a TOY STORE, show some joy. Geeze.. I mean, you CAN shop online.
Now the greets are not as large as a problem as trying to see if the customer is doing well. A simple “How are you today?” or “Are you finding everything okay?” is responded by “Yes, yes.” with some sort of indignation, or “Just leave me alone”. People, I just want you to know that it is in my JOB REQUIREMENTS to talk to you, its not necessarily a choice. I had a lady once yell at me to “leave her alone” because too many people had greeted her before I did. I should’ve known that because I’m somehow psychic.
I understand, as a customer myself, that sometimes I just want to be left alone but there is no reason to ignore someone who is standing right next to you, talking, or brush someone off like they are dirt. I hope you know that just because someone is working retail, fast food, or any other job, doesn’t mean that they are worthless or uneducated. Some of us have teaching credentials in history, degrees in biology, accounting, and PHYSICS. Yes, I have my degree in physics and I am an aspiring dancer. So guess what.. I’m not as bad as you think. Actually, if you get to know me, you might like me or my co-workers. We’re all pretty interesting people with very diverse backgrounds. But that is the bottom line: we’re all people.
And to the special lady from today: I’m sorry. I mean that from the bottom of my heart. I am sorry that you were annoyed and frustrated by me, and your situation. I’m sorry that you signed up for a membership, which YOU didn’t fully complete, that didn’t allow you to use your discount. I’m sorry that you felt as though you were somehow let down, even though your parents paid for you children’s toys ($600). I’m sorry that you yelled at me, which initially led me to remove myself from our conversation and left me a little cold. I’m sorry that I didn’t want to talk to you afterwards, and that I didn’t show my face around you. I was trying to let my eyes air out a bit and face to turn to its normal color, since I was so frustrated by the way you treated me that I was near a bursting mode. I’m not as wealthy as you are, and I might never be. I don’t have rich parents that pay for my, or my children’s, toys. I’m sure you were having a bad day, but so was I. You probably don’t have to work retail and deal with various customers that think less of you. You also probably don’t have a job where being told that you’re doing something wrong comes more frequently and natural than breathing.
I can assure you though that you did me a favor, lady and all other customers. You give me a reason to fight to get better. You light up that inner torch within me, the flame, that burns so brightly and furiously to achieve what I want. I will be a dancer, thanks to you all. And maybe one day, lady, you will be sitting out in the audience as I dance my heart out and you will think, “WOW, what an incredible dancer! I wonder who he is? I bet he’s a great guy!” and you will come backstage and thank me for a wonderful performance. Lady, this will be the day that I shake your hand and thank you for the compliment. Peace.
This letter is to all the customers out there, never forget that every person out there is a person. Treat them with kindness, respect and don’t be angry if they strike up conversation or if they cannot change company rules to tailor to your wishes (they have no power over it). This letter is for and from all the employees that work in fast food, theater, retail, and so on; don’t give up the good fight. I feel you. I walk in your shoes. I know how tough it is, and for that I am sorry. I just hope you know that one person believes in all of you. We will overcome. And when I get on that stage, representing a dance company that I can be proud to be a part of, I hope you know that I will be dancing it for all of you.
I wont give up.
P.S. Here is a note for someone that I found in the “Fellowship of the Rings” which I bought today after getting out of work and found quite inspirational:
Wishing you adventures filled with friends, challenges, and great accomplishments. The road is long, but worthwhile as the Hobbit found on hand so will you.
Once again, I’m sorry for the rant. I just needed to get it all out. In no way did I intend to insult anyone, and if I had done so, I am terribly sorry.
Here is my inspiration once again (I posted it before, but I think we all need a bit of fuel):