Anyone who has worked in retail or customer service has surely heard the old chestnut that “the customer is always right” – meaning that the seller or service provider would be prudent to accommodate and indulge the whims of the customer, in order to ensure the customer’s patronage.
But is this stance correct? Customers often make illogical, impractical, or even downright dangerous requests (as a former gardener, the best example I can recall is the time when a colleague and I were asked by the client to install a fence on a slope; but this portion of the fence had to be straight, and of the same height as the rest of the fence…). While institutions and their staff should always try and be accommodating and go the extra mile for their customers where feasible, there clearly exist times when customers have to be informed that what they’re asking for is not appropriate. As someone who has worked in retail, I can testify that this often happens.
However, one type of service-providing institution that is completely enslaved to the demands of its customers are universities (at least those in the UK). Recently, I enrolled on a Philosophy course at a well-known, highly regarded English university, which I will not name for several reasons; and it’s not important, because this is a nationwide issue, not specific to one university. I knew full well that universities in Britain are virtually lawless pits of decadence, but given certain peculiarities of this particular institution, I expected to find a cultural climate and student population that was sufficiently different from the norm for a traditionalist, conservative person such as myself to find a niche and progress through this phase in my life.
Hahaha. Well, I was disabused of this foolishly naive notion within mere hours of my arrival. After thirty minutes, I was offered a bottle of beer by my next-door neighbour; an ostensibly friendly gesture, but this was barely midday, and gave me my first firsthand glimpse of the unfettered drinking culture that pervades British universities. On my first night, when I was settling down to get some rest after a long day of travelling, I heard a knock on my door; my neighbour asked if I would like to go for ‘pre-drinks’ (drinking before you start drinking, apparently – surely an oxymoron?) before heading down to the on-campus bar for a night of drinking.
Needless to say, I refused this offer. A few pints of quality, southwestern cider, in a sensible, responsible context is my limit, when it comes to alcohol. I just cannot for the life of me see the appeal in going out and getting blind drunk at any point, but particularly not in the company of people one has only just met! Not only is there something particularly soulless and vapid about it, but it’s dangerous: you could be assaulted and / or stolen from, amongst other things (particularly if you are a female).
Not content with restricting their noise to the nightclub, my neighbours returned in the early hours of the morning, making noise at a level I have scarcely heard before, showing no consideration for nearby students and staff who were trying to quietly rest in their new homes. Not only that, but it was a stiflingly hot night, and so I left my windows open; only to have to shut them in order to block out the pungent, piercing, nauseous odour of cannabis, which was perforating through the window. Aside from the immorality of screaming and shouting in what are residential areas at night, cannabis consumption in the UK is actually illegal – and where were the staff? Nowhere to be seen.
After eventually drifting off to sleep, I – rather optimistically – hoped the next day that the rowdiness of the previous night was a one-off; that the novelty would wear off, and people would behave in a more civilised manner, and that I’d settle in and feel comfortable.
Oh, how wrong I was.
The next day, I decided to browse through the leaflets that were handed to me on enrollment. To my horror, what I encountered could easily have come straight out of Huxley’s Brave New World. The first thing that jumped out at me in the Students’ Union handbook was a “sexual health campaign”, advertising free condoms for students, and – I kid you not – providing explicit instructions on how to obtain a (free, of course – everything in a leftist utopia must be free!) “shag pack” – ! I immediately informed a conservative friend of mine, and she was equally shocked and appalled. How could anyone not be? Theoretically, universities are where impressionable young adults are sent to be refined into productive members of society; to be confronted with licentious, sexually explicit material within minutes of arrival is, simply, beyond the Pale.
There is a lot of talk about the supposedly misandrist nature of the British – and indeed Western – education system, but in my opinion, it is misogynist (and I am no feminist, or even female). As the above paragraph demonstrates, within moments of arrival, young men are encouraged to objectify young women, to see in them nothing but their sexual attractiveness. This ingrained, menacing misogyny was confirmed for me later on that day, when a group of about 3-4 young men walked past my window, shouting “X loves cock” – vulgar, sexually explicit, harassive language that has no place at all in civilised society. It is not just “banter” (a truly vile term), it is crass objectification and degradation of an individual’s dignity; and it pervades universities up and down this island.
Universities in the UK purport to be serious institutions, designed to prepare young adults for the world of work; in reality, what they are is glorified holiday camps, where anarchy reigns supreme. For my part, the writing was on the wall within 24 hours, and I have since dropped out. Universities in this country are not welcoming or accommodating for conservatives, or even anyone who doesn’t derive any satisfaction from the promiscuous, alcohol-centred hedonism that dominates what passes for culture in 21st century Britain. I strongly urge any conservative-minded parents reading this to reconsider sending their children to university, particularly if they are female. Universities may once have been more wholesome environments, but our culture is disintegrating rapidly, and universities are simply getting worse with every passing year.
To answer the question posed in the title, when the typical customer is a spoilt brat who asks for the freedom to behave in a decadent, destructive, lawless manner, then no: the customer is not right.
P.S. If you enjoyed reading this, please follow the work of my friend, dreamingconspires (link:https://proconspiracy.wordpress.com/author/dreamingconspires/) – she’s a truly excellent conservative writer. 🙂