be my guest

caricature man     I suppose that it doesn’t , in the overall scheme of things , make much difference , but there’s something that bothers me when I go into shops these days . I’m not a great lover of shopping so I avoid the problem most of the time ;   don’t do daily shopping or anything like that . And grocery stores , where I can be found more often  , don’t yet do it .

” Next guest ! “carosel figure

We ordinary  store customers , as it happens , have been switched at some point from run-of-the-mill ,   customers to ” guests ” .  It used to be : The Customer is Always Right . But , I have to assume , that ain’t the case no more . There are no more customers who might be right . We are now “guests” who , for some unknown reason , have been invited into the shop .  I never remember getting the invitation. Was it in writing ?  A memo should have come out , I think , announcing the change , but  I didn’t get the memo .

Sorry , Proprietor , but I don’t want to be a guest in your shop . A guest is obligated to be a little bit on special behavior . Should I have brought flowers ? Would it be proper etiquette to send a thank you letter later ? Is there a manual with rules of conduct ? If there is , I’d like to see it . Just for curiosity .

What I hate , also , are the clerks who shout at me when I enter a store . Sometimes I can even decipher the words : ” WELCOME TO…………. ! ”  It’s a greeting . It sounds like a Banzai charge battle yell ; but , it’s a greeting . The clerk , who is inevitably dealing with another customer  guest at that moment in time , is not , as I at first thought , having a sudden violent stoke , calling out for help , and ready to expire .   It simply sounds like that . That’s all .  Or something .Airport too many bags

Where do these businesses pick up this brilliant stuff !  Somebody at some business conference somewhere , perhaps in Maui , perhaps after a few too many Mai Tais , suggested that store clerks screech a greeting at unsuspecting people as they enter the stores , and that these poor suckers should be called guests . That should make them feel right at home —— well , at someone else’s home . Except that it could be like that dinner party you really don’t want to go to ; when you won’t know anyone there anyway ; when  you realize your mistake excruciatingly  as soon as you get there  but by now it’s too late .

Oh , perhaps I exaggerate . Ever-body else seems to accept it all in stride . Ain’t no big deal .

I bought a Saturn once a long time ago . A friend of mine recommended the Saturn , so the second year they were building them I bought one . Glad I did , overall . It was a good car . No haggling with salespeople when I made the deal . No : ” I’ll have to check with the sales manager . Be right back , ”   routine  from a  lame-brained sales person . When I was ready to drive off in my new car , happy as a clam , the sales staff surrounded my wife and I and shouted :  ” Banzai !  Banzai ! “Br. Lib leap frogs

Well , maybe it wasn’t Banzai . Seems to me it was something else Japanese ; but I can only now logically assume that it was actually in good ol’ lingo Americano . What it was exactly I don’t now remember . Japanese businesses at the time used that sort of motivator . Japan’s economy was great then and American businesses seemed to think that they could imitate the Japanese and do just as well . Yeah , even to the extent of yelling at the  customer   guest  in some misplacement of Japanese shouting custom . Aren’t we all happy and motivated now ! Banzai !

Once upon a time some Japanese restaurants were the only places I might have been exposed to this sudden shout upon entering . No more .

American businesses have been   “rolling out” this strange stuff for years , under our unsuspecting noses . The school district picked some of it up , too . My school was ‘rolling out’ programs but nothing ever seemed to happen , except more meetings . I once asked the guy in charge of the meeting what ” roll-out” meant . Does it mean   “institute” or “initiate” , and if it does , could we use that word instead ?   He said , no , roll-out doesn’t mean initiate . Then it got good . He referred the question to the Assistant Principal and the two of them tried to roll out an adequate reply over the next ten minutes or so . They couldn’t come up with anything precise or concise or even anything sensible . ” We have to go on with the meeting , ” the annoyed AP eventually declared . And , they did . They’re probably over there  still rolling out desperately vital programs , albeit ethereal and incarnate imitations of business models in the sky ,  though they be .weird man

So , getting back to my story , if you’re my guest , I might likely give you stuff . Want a beer ?  Tea ?  Most of these  ” Will the next guest …” places don’t seem to be handing out little goodies to anyone . Hows about a beer as I look over the loot on your shelves ?  Trader Joe  offers free coffee and a taste of something or other — whatever they are promoting that day . World Market has coffee . It’s a little hard to find ; but , it’s there . The Toyota place also has coffee ; hot chocolate , too . But , most shops just yell at you .

Let’s do this :

Guests will shout back a scripted response when shouted at by greeting clerks . Clerks will then shout a scripted question : What would you like ?  eg. A beer or glass of wine ? eg #2.   A sandwich ? Bon bon ?  Clerks are to be referred to as  ” hosts” .  Guests should alternately be hosts on following occasions . Everything should be put into writing : invitations , etiquette rules , thank yous . When  a guest buys some item , the hosts  should all assemble around and shout something  . Doesn’t matter what ; but it should be sharp and loud . A couple of times a year , at least , business owners and the boards-of-directors should be surrounded by both guests and hosts , a huge hoard of hosts and guests  , to be shouted at .  I may get a committee together to plan the roll-out of this brilliant idea . First , though , we should have some meetings . We could shout everything so people feel at ease and right at home . Or not .cropped-deco-bar.jpg


Filed under humor

13 responses to “be my guest

  1. I’m with you 100% on this one. If I’m a guest in you place, I don’t expect to be spending money. Even worse, I’m told because I don’t go, are banks. Many of them, in an attempt to improve the “in branch” experience have hired people to chat you up as you wait in line. “What are your plans for the weekend?” kind of stuff. Great post!

  2. Reblogged this on No Facilities and commented:
    I love this guy’s blog and his post today is a perfect example of why.

  3. Enjoyed this post. You nailed so much truth to the wall…throughout your piece. I found you through, Dan. Glad I did. Have a great night.

  4. That’s hilarious and soooo true. The yelling thing makes absolutely no sense to me whatsoever! One day I’m gonna get up the nerve and yell back. Thanks for sharing your humor!

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