Tuesday, March 06, 2007
As a young male, it really bothers me when I walk into a store and am ignored by the employees who have obviously sized me up and deemed that I won't be a "big spender" and am therefore unworthy of courtesy. The worst examples of this are probably music stores. Where the dudes working treat you like an idiot and try to sell you some Fender Squire if they even talk to you at all. Arg!
Other exhibits include the odd glances and glassy stares of the cologne-perfume-behind-the-counter-ladies at Famous Barr/Macy's/Dillards/etc. As an "unkept" looking indvidual I often get passed over, or perhaps they're just intimidated by my man-size beard. I recall being at one of these stores as a child with my Father, trying to purchase some perfume for my Mom for her birthday or something. After no sales associates were of assistance my Dad literally got out his gold card, waved it above his head, and loudly proclaimed "I'VE GOT MONEY!!!"
Classic Brent Mustoe. I love it. Clearly a disdain for poor business practice is in my genes.
So, there's some background. Today I get on the phone with a guy from "Mac Headquarters" to ask them about whats wrong with my powerbook. After answering my query about how late they were open (which I asked in a very friendly tone by the way) I said: "So I have a couple more questions for you, can I just tell you whats going on with my Apple?" or something like that. He responds with some non-intelligable noise and then retorts in a demeaning tone "Uh....I guess". So I say: "I'm sorry, am I bothering you? I just want to buy some memory". Sensing my agitation, he makes up for it with: "Ya, I said I guess." Whatever.
The point is I hate when I.T. or computer dudes get all high and mighty as if you're an idiot. As a customer, I don't think I should get the impression that i'm inconviencing this guy when all i'm trying to do is drive half an hour to his store and buy a really expensive piece of plastic and copper. I can't stand indignant techies who are so mortified by the pleabians who can't do anything computer related for themselves.
The point? We can't do this as the church. "We" can't be like snobby Apple guy and get all high and mighty using our big fancy words and then scoffing when those who are new to the fold (or have made up the fold for quite some time for that matter) don't possess the same knowledge and passion for "our" terminology, history, and particular, granular theology. This certainly needs to be tempored with education, discipleship, and a call to conviction as sinners but let's not pretend that we're above that mentally or practically.
People in the church aren't customers and we shouldn't discriminate like the people at retail stores according to socioeconomic status...or even worse judging people's hearts and sinfull tendancies by outward things.
I hope my church models the value of every individual simply because they're created in God's image, not because we want another tither in our midst or a number to my attendance chart at youth group. Nothing repels a person more than being treated like they don't matter or maybe worse like they only matter because of their possible benfits.
Thats how people get treated in the economic realm, not the ecclesial one. (killer last line huh!?!?!?!)