6.15.2011

Never Let 'Em See Ya Bawl Like a Baby





I don't know if I've ever mentioned this here before, but years ago, I worked for our county's tag agency. More commonly known around the USA as the dreaded DMV.

Working there was very hard for me. I felt like I was always the bearer of bad news. Very few people go to the DMV in a happy mood. The lines make them even grouchier. Then, I get to tell them that they don't have all of their paperwork, or that their registration fees were much higher than they expected. For the most part people took it as well as could be expected, but others completely lost their everloving minds. I literally received death threats on more than one occasion working there. We were called every name in the book. A woman once told me I was taking food out of her child's mouth. I was very young when I worked there; I started there when I was 17 working after school, and left there when I was 22. It changed my personality, and showed me a side of humanity that I was not fond of.

But for the most part, I handled it all pretty well. I tried my best to be nice to people, even when they were at their worst.

And then....I got pregnant. And hormonal. And slightly evil. I developed a habit of snapping right back at the people who were cursing me out. I lost my patience for explaining things 800 times. It was harder to tolerate the constant ranting and raving.

One of the things that enraged people the most were the fees that the state of Florida charged to people who moved here from another state. All total, the fees to get your car registered here were just under $500. (The bulk of this has since been ruled unconstitutional and the state had to reimburse all of it.) So one day, as I was explaining to a customer how much he would have to pay to get his car registered, he began to curse at me and tell me how stupid I was. And to my horror, instead of letting it roll off my back, instead of making a smart remark....I began to cry. Openly. The girl who sat beside me heard what was going on and raced to my rescue. I had to go into the break room and compose myself.

I was mortified! I had never let any customer make me cry before, and it never happened again. I know it was pregnancy hormones, but I was so embarassed. You know how they say "Never let them see you sweat?" Well I never wanted them to see me CRY! Between that and a sudden bout of nausea causing me to puke in the trash can by my desk....there was never a dull moment!


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16 comments:

Erin said...

OMG That happened to me ONE time as well, I wasn't pregnant but I was 17 and working at Sizzler and some guy called me a name or something and I lost it, totally crying and my boss came out and chewed the guy a new one.

But where I work now....deal with what you are talking about EVERY DAY!!!

Lex the mom said...

You were a brave soul taking on that job at 17. A bit on the nutty side, but certainly brave.

Some people really are that bad - I don't blame you for breaking down even if you wouldn't have been pregnant. The human psyche can only take so much. The people at the DMV are a truly glum, bunch. I know, I've been one of them. ;) (I would never think of doing anything like this - ever! The employees are not responsible for what the state mandates.)

Amy said...

Pregnancy hormones. UGH! That's one part of pregnancy that I don't miss!

JimmyFJames said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
jimmyfjames said...

I COMPLETELY understand what you are talking about!!!

I used to work for a cable company here in NY that supplies about 75% of the homes here with TV, Internet and Internet phone service. The way people act here is unconscionable! Once, a guy lost his internet service and told me it was MORE important for him to have internet service than the Police or Hospitals!!

People are out of their minds and its hard to take it sometimes. Now I am not verbally abused much because here in NY, people are very tough on the phone but VERY cowardly when its in person.

Keep up the great writing! Visiting from MamaKats

Carrie said...

that is the beauty of working for a govt entity. I work for the licensing board for engineers in my province. Some of the applicants are NOT pleasant if they feel we are holding up their opportunity to work.

We've had to call the RCMP a few times to escort people out of the building. Fun times.

Visiting from Mama Kat's

Kat said...

But you know what? That may have been the best thing that man could have witnessed. I bet he went back home and was completely ashamed of the way he acted. Perhaps that helped change the whole way he treated people. Everything happens for a reason.

I cried at work one time and I was mortified too. I was so completely and utterly embarrassed. I never let that happen again. I am never shy to let my feelings show. I cry at the drop of a hat, and I'm fine with it. Except for at work. That feels so unprofessional to me. Ah well. I was young. ;)

taradon said...

With every pregnancy, I have had at least one occasion where I cried at work. And never unless I am pregnant. Always so embarrassing!

Honey Mommy said...

I hate it when people forget that employees of any establishment are people too! It's not like you were TRYING to be mean or make his life difficult!

I would sometimes lay down on the floor in my office and take a nap when I was pregnant. Good thing my office had a door!

LB said...

Girl, I'd have come over that counter and given him a little bit from my can of Whoop Ass!!! What a jerk! I hope he felt bad for making you cry.

Shell said...

Those pregnancy hormones can be crazy! But, really- working at the DMV would make me cry even if I wasn't pregnant!

Oooh- just saw your BBC Atlanta badge- I think I'm going, too! :)

Mrs4444 said...

This was really interesting. When I was about 20 and working at a hotel, a woman (who I later learned was off her bi-polar meds) came up to the front desk (I was a desk clerk at a hotel) and proceeded to chew me a new a$$, call me names (the C-word!), etc. I didn't know how to handle it and started bawling after I gave her the key to her room. SO stressful!! I'll never forget that story, either...

Kim @ Mamas Monologues said...

Working in the DMV alone would make me cry! I don't know how you did it!

abookformydaughter.com said...

You gave me a flashback to when I was twenty-two and working in a fairly high-end restaurant. Some friends of the owner came in late, and even though they were told they could only order off the app menu since the kitchen was closed, they cursed at me when I tried taking the order. When I walked over to the table near theirs to give them their check, one of the people reached out and asked me if I was okay. I burst out crying. I could barely make it away from the tables in once piece. Fortunately, the host didn't make me go back to the table, and I was able to finish out the evening without interacting with the evil customer.

I haven't thought about this night in many years—and I thank you that your piece of writing brought it all back to me. Good or bad, it's good to remember my our past, right?

abookformydaughter.com said...

You gave me a flashback to when I was twenty-two and working in a fairly high-end restaurant. Some friends of the owner came in late, and even though they were told they could only order off the app menu since the kitchen was closed, they cursed at me when I tried taking the order. When I walked over to the table near theirs to give them their check, one of the people reached out and asked me if I was okay. I burst out crying. I could barely make it away from the tables in once piece. Fortunately, the host didn't make me go back to the table, and I was able to finish out the evening without interacting with the evil customer.

I haven't thought about this night in many years—and I thank you that your piece of writing brought it all back to me. Good or bad, it's good to remember my our past, right?

Brandy@YDK said...

i can imagine that was an awful job. i would've cried all the time.