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Old 03-04-2010, 04:32 PM
Location: MN
3,738 posts, read 5,065,422 times
Reputation: 1629


Originally Posted by Camden Northsider View Post
I recently had the rare misfortunate of having to spend time shopping at both southdale mall in edina and eden prairie center (long story...) this past weekend and some of my experiences had me thinking that maybe there was something to this view of MN unfriendliness in some locales of the metro.

Specifically, any time that i stopped to ask a sales associate for directions (which was several times), they seemed offended by my interruption which was really off-putting. Now, my wife says it was probably because on the weekends I dress like a homeless person (gross exaggeration), and a couple of times the person was busy doing something... but it was strange- in the city I think people are accustomed to being interrupted or asked questions by people quite frequently, which I have never viewed as an issue nor I have I ever noticed someone working in a service position to view as an issue either (quite the contrary, most remain quite friendly and take it in stride as part of their daily routine)- but at southdale and eden prairie center, I was made to think my behavior was quite rude or unbecoming, despite the fact that I was a customer....and, although it might have been in my head, it seemed like my customer service (or the person's attitude) improved whenever I had to pull out my blackberry during an interaction, like this was some sort of status symbol to be noted of a person that otherwise looked homeless....anyone else have similar experiences, or was it just me??
Any chance this particular employee was a teen or around that age?

What I have found is our younger workforce is becoming less and less apreciative of work. When I got my first job, it was something I was extremely proud of, even though i was a pee-on doing minimal tasks for minimum wage. Either way, I carried a sense of pride and responsibility. This generation's kids seem to not give a crap attitude towards working. They know that it's a job that they probably won't have in a years time. They probably get paid nothing, so what's it to them? The probably have the job more or less to learn to work, because mom and dad said get out and get you job, very few actually NEED the job for survival. This brings me to my situation:

I was at the Miller Hill Mall in Duluth when I approached the CUSTOMER SERVICE DESK. You know, the desk that is there to help CUSTOMERS. I walked up to a 20 yr old looking male and asked

"Do you know where I can find Borders Books?"

he replied after a sigh, and a look as if I just interruppted my dad from the Nightly News, he responded with "You can't find it, it's closed, there's Barnes and Noble"

Really kid? Really? A Barnes and Noble? You mean the giant big box I walked past to come here, when the website says there IS a borders books here? What a pr.i.ck.

I have started to find more and more of this type of behavior not just in the Twin Cities but all over MN. And its more common in the younger crowds than anywhere else.
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Old 03-04-2010, 07:00 PM
Location: Victory Neighborhood Minneapolis
1,777 posts, read 3,563,590 times
Reputation: 1116
Originally Posted by uptown_urbanist View Post
I'd guess that a large number of employees at Southdale, at least, don't come from Edina (my first job was at Southdale; I rode the 6 bus out there along with lots of other fellow mall employees), so I don't think you can make a generalization about that. I wonder how you would have been received at the Galleria? (which is far more posh than Southdale) I would guess that the truly high end stores, or stores that deal with a lot of wealthy customers, at least, would know better than to profile their customers. It's been a long time since I've worked in retail, but I know from various other jobs that sometimes it's the most powerful and/or wealthy people who least look the part. I'd tend to think it was just a fluke. Or perhaps you're comparing apples to oranges if you're thinking of smaller independent places in the city versus a mall store in the suburbs, since at the local place you're more likely to be dealing with the owner or someone who feels a stronger stake in the business, while at the mall store you're more likely to encounter underpaid employees who are working for the man and perhaps are less invested.
Agreed and understandable, and it probably was a fluke set of coincidences; but in comparison, all of the fast food places I frequent on the Northside (West Broadway, Lyndale Aves), B.C., and Robbinsdale have a zillion times better customer service skills and friendly employees than what I experienced at Southdale and Eden Prairie Center (I've actually noticed an upward trend in customer service since the economy tanked lately). I can understand working for the man and not being invested, but if that's the case, they need to find a different job and not act crappy to the persons that are helping to keep them employed during the interim.

Someone else asked if the people I was referring to were teenagers- quite the contrary, it was late 20s-40s people that were most in need of customer service training.
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Old 03-04-2010, 07:21 PM
10,141 posts, read 14,904,073 times
Reputation: 6125
Maybe the older people are angry and bitter about their jobs and feel that they've really taken a step down in the world. Not that that's any excuse, and I agree that they need to get their act together and at least pretend they care, but maybe the people you're encountering at the fast food places are more appreciative of the fact that they have jobs and are therefore more pleasant, while the other people at the mall stores (the ones you encountered, anyway) are, well, not. I rarely eat fast food, but did stop in at the McDonald's by Southtown earlier this week; the people there were also very friendly and professional.
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