Writing Prompts: Sass and Sarcasm

Working in retail sales, you will inevitably face people who feel the need to be passive-aggressive and awkward. These traits are not likely to yield any favours, yet there are still people who think that being rude and difficult will grant them preferential treatment. Here’s a newsflash to those people: it won’t. My approach to any queries from rude people is to stick them to the bottom of the pile.

Case in point, a guy called up the showroom about bath panel. For those who don’t know, a bath panel is an acrylic, MDF or wooden plank that fits to the side of a bath. They come in a variety of designs and colours, and they can therefore add a bit of pleasant decoration to the bathtub itself. Some panels are designed to be cut down on site by the fitter (we sell baths in a range of sizes, and it’s not practical to stock specific sizes of each colour and pattern), and some panels are designed to fit the contours of shaped baths, such as the P-shape bath. P-shape baths have to have specific panels, because no two P-shape baths from different companies are alike. If you buy the bath from Company A, you have to use their panel to guarantee it will fit. Anything else is unlikely to fit correctly.

The guy had been talking to one of my colleagues, and wanted to order a panel for his existing P-shape. I began to explain to him that in regards to the end panel he wanted, the reason it was bigger is because it’s a universal panel that has to be cut down. I didn’t get as far as explaining that special order products can’t be returned, under any circumstances, before he got shirty about having to cut the panel, and hung up.

Seriously dude?

I have no idea why people choose to be so needlessly passive-aggressive. Perhaps it works for them, on occasion, but it will not, and never will, wash with me. I am not impressed with such behaviour. As I said, it will ensure your query winds up treated as a low priority.

Unfortunately we live in a society that does seem to reward abrasive behaviour. People might talk of it as though they are ‘being upfront’ or ‘being direct’, but that’s merely an excuse to be rude. Quite why we tolerate rudeness and aggressive posturing as much as we do, I have no idea. There seems to be a trend in society to accept this, and we shouldn’t.

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