The state of customer service is a reflection of the state of society. American society has seen a general decline in civility. In part this is due to natural selection. Aggressive, chest-thumping gorillas produce more offspring than the laid back, poetry-reading bonobos. The growth in the population of ill-mannered primates has far outpaced that of the well-mannered breed, and so the more apish of apes have come to dominate the gene pool.
People who work in stores tend to be rude, mainly because they tend to be people. People who shop in stores tend to be rude for the same reason.
Consider these stats:
46% of Americans say bad service drove them out of a store in the past year
77% say it's common for sales people to act like "the customer is not even there"
74% say they often see customers treating sales people rudely
81% think too many stores cut corners on hiring, forcing bad service upon them
62% say that witnessing rude and disrespectful behavior bothers them a lot
52% say the residue from such episodes lingers with them for some time afterward
41% confess to having acted rude or disrespectful themselves
79% say lack of respect and courtesy is a serious national problem
69% believe the problem is getting worse
48% say they "often" see people being kind and considerate
64% rate their neighbors as friendly and helpful