A Different Take on Customer Service
As for my staff, I'll hire people who don't know arithmetic, so that if a question ever arises about a customer's being charged the wrong price, the clerks will say, "I don't know arithmetic. It's store policy." I will make sure that most of my clerks have never operated a cash register before, so my store will have long lines of irritated customers watching my clerks stare blankly at the cash register as if they had never been told to understand why they were hired.
If that doesn't sufficiently interfere with progress, I'll insist that my clerks talk on the phone with their boyfriends or girlfriends and regard customers as intruders. Instead of hiring good-natured, conscientious people who know you have to work for a living, I'll carefully screen the applicants in search of people who will behave as if they think their job is demeaning and not worth taking seriously and who will let you know it.
- John Welter, "My Store of Grievances" [The Atlantic, August 1987]