Unfortunately, many people are much more self-absorbed than self-aware. It can be difficult — perhaps nearly impossible — for some retail workers to see themselves the same way their customers do.
Consequently, some employees may say or do rude, indiscreet things. When called to task about their behavior, a worker may be stunned that someone noticed it — let alone was offended by it.
I found a conversation on Reddit, an online network of "communities" based on people's interests, that provided shockingly familiar examples of behavior that spurred instant, silent judgments.
For instance, one person said he judged people as being ignorant and arrogant when they failed to apologize for being late. This person found it to be particularly galling when some refused to acknowledge lateness or take responsibility for it.
Instead, they ramble on with excuses for their lateness.
Another post struck a nerve by describing the individual who does not let facts or knowledge get in their way. Although this person is wholly ignorant on a topic, he or she insists on arguing with someone who actually does know the subject inside and out.
I suspect that readers have seen a person genuinely strive to learn or do something — perhaps something challenging. But instead of acknowledging the effort, someone mocks them for failing.
A member emphasized that mocking someone prompted a negative judgment.
Someone else said they negatively judged a person who tries to stifle someone else from asking questions.
Trying to learn more by asking questions may seem trite and/or tiresome to the person who already knows the topic. But asking questions reflects someone's honest effort to learn something.
Somebody who tries to shut down a colleague's questions may be impatient, insecure and disrespectful.
Perhaps it is no surprise that another person commented that they judged anyone who speaks loudly on a cellphone in a public place.
Sadly, some people still do not recognize discussions on mobile phones as being inherently private — not public — matters.
What is more, it does not matter if the offender is an employee behind the service counter or a customer in the waiting area. Loud conversations are rude, intrusive and embarrassing.
Sometimes we are not as self-aware as we should be. The result is rudeness — inadvertent or not — instead of our best behavior.
At the very least, lead your staff by example: Practice the best behavior that spurs positive instead of negative judgments. Ultimately, I think you will retain more loyal customers rather than wonder why some never come back.