Trying to understand human behavior

I’ll admit readily to a lot of things that surpass my understanding.

A tale I heard today just might take the cake.

I purchased this fancy new cell phone a few weeks ago. It’s been giving me fits. The battery wouldn’t hold a charge; I took it in twice. The second time I visited the AT&T store up the street from my home, the young man replaced it with a new device, identical to the one I had.

Then the second phone began locking up on me. I would run a function on the phone and the touch screen would become non-responsive. I took the phone in twice more to seek some advice and counsel. I got it and went about my business.

Today it did it again. This time, though, I couldn’t get it unstuck.

I went back to the AT&T store. I was a bit steamed, but not overly so. The young man greeted me at the door with “Hi there, how are you doing?” “Not very well,” I snapped. I then explained to him what was happening with my phone and he directed me to a colleague who he described as “expert on Windows phones.”

“Oh, you mean, Kevin?” I said. I became acquainted with the expert during a previous visit.

But as I told the young man who greeted me about my troubles, I apologized for being so snarky and rude.

His response? “Oh, don’t worry about it. You’re just fine.”

Here is where I got a lesson in human behavior that totally baffles me.

“I’ve been slapped, kicked, called every dirty name there is, even been spit on — at least five times” by angry customers, the young man said.

“Spit on? You mean in the face?” I asked, incredulously. “Yep, right in the face,” he said.

He then told me about an individual who shoved him into a wall because he couldn’t acquire a certain device he was seeking. “Was this at Christmas time?” I asked, only half-joking. “Yes it was,” he said.

Well, Kevin came over eventually, talked me through my problem and then helped me phone the manufacturer’s warranty office. I got a live person after just two electronic prompts. I told the young lady of my problem — and they’re shipping me a new phone, which I’ll get in a day or two.

And to think I thought I was being rude. I’m not sure I even know the meaning of the word after what I heard this afternoon.

Bless all those retail sales staffers who endure that kind of abuse.

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