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Enforced cheerfulness $FAIL

I was in Walgreen's just now, and the cashier was wearing a button front and center on her uniform that said "Is my smile a 9?"

I assume that she had to wear it. I was tempted to ask, but I didn't want to waste her time because there was a long line. It made me furious on her behalf. If your policy is that employees should act friendly, I suppose there's nothing I can do about that, but I really don't like requiring employees to wear buttons that invite the customer to police their behavior (behavior that has nothing to do with whether they're doing the work of cashiering correctly).

This entry was originally posted at http://firecat.dreamwidth.org/753586.html, where there are comment count unavailable comments.

Comments

( 7 comments — Leave a comment )
graymalkin13
Dec. 27th, 2011 11:14 pm (UTC)
I'm sure they made her wear it. That kind of thing makes me angry too. Working for a store like that sucks in so many ways.

When I was in college, I spent a summer working a cash register at K-Mart. We didn't have to wear demeaning buttons (because they hadn't thought of it yet), but among other things, we had to stand up straight at all times -- we weren't allowed to lean against the partition while we waited for a customer to show up -- and there was a supervisor pacing up and down the row of cashiers, making sure we were all being proper automatons at all times. I can't remember if there were specific instructions to be "friendly" -- since it was the 70s, they probably hadn't thought of that yet either.
firecat
Dec. 28th, 2011 01:11 am (UTC)
there was a supervisor pacing up and down the row of cashiers, making sure we were all being proper automatons at all times

Sheesh.
pyrzqxgl
Dec. 28th, 2011 12:00 am (UTC)
Yuck. In addition to the general phenomenon of strangers commanding random women on the street to smile, this makes me picture rating people's dental work, which I imagine you would not get a whole lot of on Walgreen's-cashier wages (not that I know what kind of dental plan they do or don't have and how many employees are eligible).
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firecat
Dec. 28th, 2011 08:16 pm (UTC)
I agree with you and I do the same myself. But choosing to do it for yourself and and being required by your company to wear a sign are at different ends of a spectrum of personal agency.

In the middle of the spectrum are various other ways a company might require an employee to behave.

I think being required to wear a sign is wrong. Or to put it in a more relativistic fashion, it seriously turns me off and makes me want to avoid doing business with the company.
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( 7 comments — Leave a comment )

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