Friday, August 13, 2010

You right there?

I worked in hospitality for about 10 years.  While I never really chose it as a career path, I was also never using it to finance my other burgeoning career as an up-and-coming whatever.  Maybe because I wasn't just biding my time, I took being hospitable seriously.  And I enjoyed it.  I never considered it degrading or beneath me.  There were moments where I felt uncomfortable in front of an old acquaintance/adversary but I reminded myself that if I wanted their job, I would have it.  There were moments where I was more Miss Spoken than Little Miss Sunshine but I always regretted it and, more often than not, had made amends by the time the customer had left.  I enjoyed serving people, making them laugh, making them feel valued.  I enjoyed winning them over and sometimes I just loved not letting an obnoxious customer get to me.

So where's the love?  Why am I shat on by hospo, shop assistants, bus drivers, flight attendants, medical professionals, WCC staff, you name it?  I was good (often great) at customer service and as a consequence I am a good customer.  I am polite, friendly, appreciative, understanding and accommodating.  I am as clear as possible in my communications.  I always try to organise my fellow diners quickly so the waiter can take their order.  I often let my fellow customers be dealt with first.  And I am forever finding myself wanting to just stop and say, "I'm sorry.  Have I done something to offend you?"

If you don't enjoy customer service then don't fucking serve customers.  I know how tiring and frustrating it can be but don't take it out on me.  And if you are taking money from me, you are not too cool to serve me. Everyone has their off days but when your job sucks, you have three options - suck it up, quit or try to improve the situation.  And the rule with off days in customer service is 'fake it till you make it'.  It doesn't usually take long.  But unless you really are a nasty piece of work, being snotty to customers is unlikely to improve your mood.  Being nice to other people makes you feel good and makes them feel good and might make them nice to others.  Isn't the world a miserable enough place as it is without you deliberately bumming people out (and paying customers at that)?!

I did my time, man.  I enjoyed it.  And now I'd like just a little respect in return.

1 comment:

  1. In case it isn't clear, the title of this post is a question guaranteed to irritate me & a poor substitution for other more suitable and professional phrases, such as "Can I help you?" or "What can I get you?".