Through the two-way mirror above my desk, I watched the woman approaching the counter and indulged in an eye roll. I've seen her before. I'll probably see her again.
I tried to project professionalism and efficiency (instead of frustration and impatience) while she fumbled with the zipper on her fugly bag, and opened her laptop.
"My email comes in," she explained with an awkward laugh, "and it goes to my Inbox. Why does it keep doing that?"
"It's an In. Box. That's what it's for." Stop. Try to understand. "Where did you want it to go?"
"Heh, heh." She shifted from one foot to the other. Her computer finished booting, she opened her mail. "My friend sent me some messages, and I didn't get them. She said to call, but I decided to come in..."
The missing mail was in her spam folder. I spent 10-15 minutes showing her how to check the messages and move them - to her inbox, of all places. She thanked me, put her laptop back in that horrible bag and she left.
She didn't even ask if I wanted any money.
I want to fix this, but I'm not sure how. I mean, sure, it's only a few minutes of my time, but this is my workplace. I'm not here to do free tutoring, and I'm really starting to resent these people who just assume of course you can just go ask Cindy, she's really nice. How now, to tell someone that I want to be paid for my time and expertise?
And it's my fault, because I didn't used to mind. I thought of it as an investment - I put in my time and effort with this customer, and when they need to buy something, they will come back.
Ha ha, suckah. No, they don't. They buy a freaking Dell, and then they STILL come asking me questions.
Assertive is hard for me, and asking for money is awkward, but I'm going to fix this.