Monday, December 6, 2010

Retrain the Mexican National shoppers says A.B. : OK, where's Pavlov?

Laredo Morning Times Business Journal columnist AB Barrera touched upon the attitudes of both the local retail employees and the Mexican customers. He mentioned that he has received numerous e-mails from locals who have complained to him that many Mexican shoppers are rude and should be more polite. To this he says  "I totally disagree". Ok, so he's disagreeing that they should be more polite? I think what he meant was that the focus should remain on doing the best job you can as a retail employee despite some rude customers. In defense of their rudeness, he goes on to try to justify why some Mexican customers are so rude: they have to do this and that and get their taxes back. This might explain why they are probably in a hurry and less than gracious, but it doesn't make it right. Just think of the shambles our local customer service would be in  if local retail employees started to do the same- namely, make excuses for behaving rudely.
Eventually, Barrera does get around to  addressing the rudeness of some of these shoppers and says that they need to be 'retrained". Now that's better- now he's being inconsiderate of both sides. When you say that someone has to be retrained, you evoke connotations of Pavlov and his operant conditioning techniques with dogs. I think that when we talk about people, we need to use a word other than "train". For example, it would more appropriate to at least say that you "have to condition" customers (yes,another Pavlovian concept). For some reason, to me at least, conditioning sounds a  little bit less offensive than training. Roll over Rover.


  1. "Retrain" means just that, to retrain! Why don't you just become a columnist, especially since you know what others mean to say. I have an inconsiderate idea of both sides. Why don't you call Barrera and see if you can do something constructive with your criticism. Along with it being a financial transaction, shopping or purchasing is a sensory driven action, and it means people do respond to conditioning or training in the process.

  2. Calling Barrera is a good idea and there is such a thing as constructive criticsm, both words of which you used-so thanks for the input.