These are a few things that I have noticed lately.
1) You are really grouchy. I know that this is a recession and things are tough out there. Believe me, I freaking know. However, when I go out to a restaurant, or a store, or call customer service regarding some issue I maintain an upbeat demeanor because being mean to service people isn't going to make things better for you. In the long OR short term. It won't help the recession get better either.
2) You use your children as an excuse. "I have three kids with me, I can't wait more than five minutes for anything." Um. Look. I may not have any kids, but I've helped raise a fair few of them AND some of my coworkers have children. They seem to have attention spans lasting more than three minutes. It's weird how all of these other children I have seen and met in my life can somehow manage to occupy themselves for longer than five minutes but your children are SO SPECIAL that they must have constant stimulation or will turn into little Hulks and tear the world apart. I'm thinking that's not the case. Perhaps it ties into #1 and you just don't want to take the responsibility of being in a grouchy mood, so instead you say, "I have children. I can't do X, Y or Z."
3) Again, money is tight for everyone, including businesses. That's why we put out a coupon. To help save you a few dollars and to bring you into our store. Stop trying to combine things together and then argue with me when I tell you that you can't. Trust me, we covered our bases with the "can't be combined with any other discount, special or coupon" line. IT'S EVERYWHERE. And if the price is different in the phone book menu, keep in mind that it says at the bottom of the page, "Prices subject to change". Again, we covered them.
On our side of things, if we are mean to you it could be for a number of reasons:
1) The person who just left the store a few minutes ago or just called us was a complete jerk and we haven't had a second to compose ourselves and resume being friendly. We are human, too. It does take us a minute to get back to, "Thank you for calling, how can I help you?" with a smile status. Some of us are quicker than others, but I've found my ability to bounce back has been waning over the recent months.
2) We are having a super shitty day. Everything that can go wrong can and we can't muster the acting abilities necessary. Those are the days when we have to tell our bosses that we can't be on the front lines today, instead, we need to be in the back of the house where we won't be ruining customer service for everyone else.
3) You are a true ass and have started with an attitude the minute you walked in the door. You made the most innocent question into a huge confrontation. You were looking for a fight and unfortunately for us, you managed to pick the one person who was looking for one also. Unless you guys beat the crap out of each other, then it's a win-win for all of us. :)
I just felt that I needed to get this out there. It has certainly brightened my outlook for the evening. Because I know this, you can pull the "I'm NEVER coming back here again!" thing and I just need to tell myself, "That's fine. I appreciate your feelings, but if you are going to treat us like this, then we don't need you to come back again. Take your disdain for the people who handle your service to another company until you can't find any place that can live up to whatever standards you have set in your head."