Maybe you get bad customer service because you’re a bad customer

I could have taken a picture of you and posted it here to publicly shame you, but I didn’t. That’s because I am not trying to be vindictive, ma’am. I’d merely like to answer that question you posed. This can be what the politicians call a “teachable moment” for you and everyone like you.

See, I was in line at that particular fast food establishment yesterday. You probably didn’t notice me; I assume you didn’t notice any of us from the way you blatantly barged to the front. I was about to tap you on the shoulder and politely explain how lines are supposed to work in a civilized society, but I could tell you were in the throes of an ungodly rage. I figured this must be an emergency. My God, you were practically foaming at the mouth. I thought maybe someone at the counter had killed your dog, or framed you for a murder you didn’t commit, or urinated in your oatmeal this morning. Obviously something serious was going on.

Then you suddenly screamed, “NO ketchup! I said NO ketchup!”

Ok, so maybe this wasn’t a dire situation. It was a condiment situation. Not exactly life or death, but close enough, I guess. The girl at the cash register looked confused. I don’t blame her; some irate middle aged woman just barreled in the door yelling about ketchup. She asked you for some clarification, which was reasonable, but apparently you didn’t think so.

“What’s wrong with you people?! I just sat in the drive thru for ten minutes and now I have to come in here because you guys can’t understand f*cking English! I ordered this burger with NO ketchup but of course I get it with gobs of ketchup. Unbelievable. This happens every f*cking time!”

Wait, it’s unbelievable yet it happens every time? Hmmm. And your ketchup specifications are this important to you, yet you continually come to the one place in town that apparently has a ketchup obsession? There are literally 6 other fast food joints within a 2 mile radius, but here you are at the one place that screws up your order “every f*cking time.” Interesting. Logical thinking isn’t exactly your forte, is it?

The poor girl at the counter — who likely had no hand in this ketchup fiasco — offered to give you a new burger, plain and dry, just as you prefer. But that wasn’t good enough, was it? Their failure to obey your demands must be punished.

“No, I don’t want a new burger. Give me your name and the number to corporate. I’m sick of this sh*t. Give me my money back and the number to your corporate office! Why can’t I ever f*cking get good customer service?!”

And the exchange went on from there. You of course handled yourself like a woman of culture and dignity, while the fast food employee and her manager tried everything to find a remedy for the Tragic Ketchup Calamity. It ended with you promising to get them all fired as you stormed out. Then I finally had my turn at the counter. I ordered a burger. With extra ketchup.

Now, I replay this back to you because I realize you probably scream profanities at minimum wage customer service representatives every time you run an errand or grab a bite to eat, so you might not recall the specifics of this one incident. And that brings us to the possible answer to that query you posed in the midst of your ketchup rant. You asked: “Why can’t I ever f*cking get good customer service?” Well, ma’am, that might have something to do with you being a vulgar, miserable, malicious person. Maybe you get bad customer service because you’re a bad customer. Did you ever consider that possibility?

I get it. “You’re the customer so you’re always right.” They work here so they have to bend over backwards for you “because that’s their job.” Well, you’re partially correct about that. Yes, you are a customer, and, yes, they do work here. But it’s actually not their job to deal with psychopaths. They aren’t hostage negotiators — they’re fast food workers. The powers that be at these corporate chains push this “customer is always right” crap because they’ve decided it’s good business to placate horrible jerks. But, in the real world, outside the land of plastic chairs and soda fountains, adults who throw temper tantrums in public are never right about anything.

I’m sure some people might take your side. They might come to your defense by telling their own horror stories about all the times when customer service has failed to live up to their standards. Those folks are under the same delusion as you. They think their hallowed “customer” status somehow gives them the right to treat everyone with a uniform and a name tag like garbage. They think their past encounters with subpar service make it acceptable for them to fly off the handle about ketchup every once in a while. They think the rules of basic decency and respect come second when they are The Customer. And they’re wrong.

Do you ever wonder why we have so many atrocious politicians in Washington? Well, you shouldn’t wonder. Just look in the mirror. Bad politicians are generally bad because they can’t handle power. It goes right to their head. They become narcissistic, petty, controlling sociopaths. But at least it’s a lot of power, so the temptation to be corrupted by it is almost understandable. You, on the other hand, become a maniacal tyrant when society hands you temporary and meaningless power over 17 year old fast food cashiers. I shudder to think what you’d do if you had an army at your disposal.

We all get a little unwanted ketchup every now and again, and we are all expected to handle it like mature and decent adults. Some of us manage to make it through our whole lives without ever feeling the need to berate restaurant or retail employees over some small and fixable mistake. Other folks, such as yourself, seem to get into a customer service Battle Royal every time they step outside their houses. Maybe it’s because the universe is against you guys. Or maybe — just maybe — it’s because you behave like selfish, obnoxious bullies.

Just something to think about.

Oh, and I’m betting you actually forgot to say “no ketchup” when you placed your original order. Wouldn’t that be a totally expected twist to this captivating saga?

***This is a re-post from August 18, 2013

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143 Responses to Maybe you get bad customer service because you’re a bad customer

  1. Elizabeth says:

    I love your unadulterated ability to convey what many of us are already thinking but most of the time don’t have the guts to say! Your blog has recently (because I just started reading it) brought some form of a smile to my face each time! Thanks for being who God created you to be!!

    P.S. Repost a blog everyday this week just to piss that Luscinia off!! Gosh, she got under a lot of skin!!

    • LEH says:

      I work as a computer technician and a customer service rep (two jobs, both in high tech). Your blog says so much of what I suspected and confirms my belief that these people are a lesson in how not to behave.

      I’ve noticed that ever since I started looking for just one good thing to say when I am the customer, I get great service where ever I go. In fact, I remember realizing that one very curt and seemingly rude server was, in fact, having a hugely bad shift due to a demanding table and short staffing due to illness. My partner and I invited her to sit for a minute, share our observations about the couple that was abusing her, that she did not deserve it and that we would be sure to mention it to her manager. It made a difference for all of us and turned into a perfect night.

  2. Cylar says:

    I am always kind to waitstaff, fast food workers, and customer service people in general – but ESPECIALLY so to anyone who handles my food. Even if I think I have a valid complaint, I’m as gentle, diplomatic, and polite about it as I can possibly be. More often than not, I simply overlook the slight and carry on with my day.

    Why? Two reasons:

    1) I used to work those kinds of jobs (fast food worker, pizza delivery, retail) and I remember what it was like to have that “the customer is always right” crap thrown at me. I remember what it was like to be verbally abused by members of the public who thought I was paid to bend the rules for them or accept rude behavior. I will NOT become part of the problem.

    2) Some food-handling workers are not above sabotaging your food if you piss them off. There’s no point in tempting them into vindictive behavior. You might consume the sabotaged food, get sick later, and never make the connection. All sorts of things could be introduced without your realizing it – spoiled ingredients, dirt, bodily fluids, or worse. Remember, unless you’re ordering at one of the chains who make you food right in front of you, your order is being prepared by people you can’t see. Abuse them or their colleagues, and you may pay the price.

  3. Ellen says:

    I am always kind and polite to all service workers. I have been there, and have been treated like pond scum and I swore I would never do that. And guess what – almost all the time, I get excellent service.

  4. Aaron Foster says:

    It sounds like the lady was overreacting vut that doesn’t negate the crux of her complaint- that fast food is actually ten minute food and the order is frequently wrong. Is the appropriate response really to shut up and just accept that your order is wrong 25% of the time or whatever? Are you not allowed to get mad?

    • Tina Cook says:

      Yes one is allowed to get mad, no one is not allowed to take it out on the employees and the other customers who had absolutely nothing to do with the mistake. Also one is to behave like a rational, reasonable adult not a petulant spoiled child.

      • Isaac says:

        Besides, fast food is the cheapest possible restaurant food. You don’t have to just shut up and accept bad service; you can go somewhere with slightly higher standards and slightly better paid workers.

  5. John says:

    Of ourse if you’d been a real gentlemen, with a sense of decency and more importantly a set of balls, you would have waded in yourself and put the stupid bint in her place wouldn’t you.

    But did you? No. You stood there like a fucking rabbit and then complained on the internet about it later. You didn’t even offer to be a witness to what happened to the staff who were offended – you know, give them some support for when Voldemort complains to head office on Monday.

    Oh well, maybe you’ll act differently next time.

  6. Breech says:

    Two issues going on here:

    1. The woman who was so egregiously offended in the TKC (Tragic Ketchup Calamity) probably has much larger issues than ketchup in her life, but that’s just a guess. We get it, your burger wasn’t fixed to your liking. It doesn’t change the commonly accepted rules of public civility. TKCs happen to everyone, at some point. There is a way to get mad without being an ass, there is a way to be this woman and there is a line that divides the two. It is entirely possible to get mad and complain without crossing that line, but unfortunately it involves both maturity and a sense of shame that many seem to lack.

    2. Why are so many atrocious politicians? Well, they aren’t atrocious, they are just doing something other than what you are expecting them to be doing. It is a breakdown in communication as to what their job description is.

    For the average person, you elect someone to represent you and your interests in a political body – be it local, state or national. The elected person has a different view. Foremost in their mind is job security, not representation. Whether that is accomplished through pork barrel politics, populism, gerrymandering or whatever scheme envisioned; it is almost always in conflict with good governance.

    If you want a better brand of politician, reduce term limits to 1. Remove the burden of re-election from their plate so they can focus on actually improving things.

  7. Wyowanderer says:

    I’m curious why we don’t shame people like this. I’ll admit that it’s easier for me-I’m 5″6″ and 285 pounds and not a lardass, so asking someone why they’re acting like this isn’t that scary for me.
    But seriously-why stand aside while people are being abused?
    In the past ten years I’ve asked a man if he acted that way with everyone (he left) and the last time I mocked the fit the customer was having (he left as well). Both times the employees were appreciative. I hated doing it, but it needed done, and I’ll do it again.
    Shame might go a long way towards keeping this sort of despicable behavior in check. The employees cannot shame folks like this, or they’ll be fired, and that’s what these folks count on.

    • wendywidget says:

      Right on! I’m giving you a virtual high-five.

      Few people are willing to do that these, days, though; unwilling to just say “Knock it off, you’re acting like a 2 year old” or something similar, because you never know if the enraged person is carrying a gun or a knife and is so out-of-their-mind enraged (or psychotic, or personality-disordered, or medicated, or high) that they will turn on you and harm you.

      Are you willing to risk your life over ketchup?

      But I sure as hell would whip out my iPHone and record the incident, so that the establishment would have some hard corroborating evidence and could sue the crap out of the crazy person later.

      It occurred to me that regarding the video of the crazy lady wanting Chicken McNuggets, the employees SHOULD have backed away and just let her climb into the window and not grabbed her or tried to hit her back. Then, she probably would have also been convicted of breaking and entering, assault, and battery instead of just “vandalism”, and she would have gotten a longer and much more serious sentence.

      Hindsight is great, huh.

      • Wyowanderer says:

        I might not intervene if I thought my life was in danger, but I won’t stand idly by while my neighbor is being mistreated. Besides, if I can’t stand up for the powerless, even for ketchup, what good am I doing for the world?
        I’ll bet I could conjure up a hundred reasons NOT to stand up to bullies, but I won’t do it.

        For years I wouldn’t stop for stranded motorists either, because they might have a gun/weapon/be crazy/hurt me. Now It’s exceedingly rare that I don’t stop, and during the time I’ve been doing it (dozens of times) I’ve only ever had people be nice, and thank me profusely. I’m thankful that I stopped mistrusting my fellow man to the degree I used to.

        Both actions have been worth it to me. Your mileage may vary, as they say.

    • alena1960 says:

      Joining Wendy in giving you a virtual high-five.

      And what a great idea – politely but firmly speak up. I bet if enough of us did this, the behavior would taper off and maybe even stop completely.

      Once again – high five and hats off to you for a great idea and a job well done. 🙂

  8. evieccurtis says:

    I agree completely with this post. I HAVE had horrible customer service. In fact, I think I live in the land of bad customer service in Hobbs, NM, BUT I have never lashed out at anyone. I may have been annoyed, but I have just accepted that people are human and have their own lives. Having said that, I do wonder what was behind this woman’s behavior. I suppose I am an optimist… maybe she has been dealt a very tough hand in life. That still does not excuse behavior like this, but I think we all need to remember to be compassionate to all people. Fun and well written post. 😉

    • Mary says:

      you probably never lashed out at a poor customer service, because you had an upbringing where you were taught patience and learned to realize that people have feelings. At times I am leaving frustrated, but I don’t freak out I simply return to the counter (even if I went through the drive thru) and say (this isn’t what I ordered), not in a rude or condescending voice, the ONLY time I get a bit peeved is if my order is wrong and no one apologizes…that pushes my buttons but not to the extent of swearing at anyone

    • Christina says:

      Maybe she has an allergy to ketchup which causes an intense emotional outburst?

  9. Jacqui Fields says:

    Oh my goodness, it is too coincidental that I read this today. A Facebook “friend” of mine went on a Facebook rant this morning about getting the wrong drink in the drive thru line. This is her rant …
    It takes a special kind of stupid to mess up an order of “a large coke.” Let’s recap the experience. I ordered “a large coke.” I got to the first window to pay and she asked “large coffee?” No, large coke. “Okay, I gotcha” and I paid. I get to the second window and Brilliance tries to hand me a kids’ milk. No, a large coke. “A large diet Coke?” NO, A LARGE COKE. So after standing there with a dumb look on her face for a while, moving around some drinks, refilling the drink cup holder… Brilliance made a new large drink. Which I foolishly assumed would be Coke. So I drove away while still opening my straw. Stuck the straw in… and it was Diet Coke. Gross. I’d rather die of dehydration. Not only is it gross, but I take extra care to avoid fake sugar when pregnant. So maybe I’m a little extra sensitive due to hormones. But seriously, how hard is it to fill a drink cup with the right drink?!

    So, I said … You know maybe she had a bad weekend. There have been many times that I have been so lost in my thoughts that I don’t even know how I got from Point A to Point B. You just never know what is going on with some people.

    To which she replied something like … If she can’t get the right drink when there are only 5 choices, she needs to take a day off.

    Then, her mother replied … I hope you went back to get the right drink! — you have to “out stubborn” them or the “stupids” will win and go on to mess up somebody else’s day!

    I deleted my comment. You know … I am going through an unwanted divorce because my husband of 21 years has been and continues to have an affair with a former good friend of mine. This Facebook friend is young and pregnant with her 3rd baby and no doubt has not really experienced any major life changing catastrophe. If she had, she would have drank her diet coke and prayed that everything is ok with the young woman working a minimum wage job that probably can’t afford to take a day off.

  10. glenn says:

    My favorite fast food story. I was eating lunch one afternoon at a local Carl’s Jr. In came Brad with his little boy. Little boy wanted and got his burger plain. But the manager made the terminal mistake of cutting it in half before he brought it to the table. Little boy had a fit. Dad had a bigger fit replete with four, seven, and thirteen (yes, that one) letter words. The manager quickly brought another burger, but I noticed that when they left they took the rejected burger and coke refills with them. That’s when I formed the theory that fast food temper tantrums are often a cover for getting something for nothing. Keep your eyes open and see what you think.

  11. soclairesays says:

    Mentioned your blog in my latest blog post! Keep up the great work!

  12. joe says:

    The other side of this story is that no matter which fast food store you go to, the employees have the lowest IQ possible and RARELY get the order right,. It gets old and I dont blame anyone for getting hysterical at the employees,

    • wendywidget says:

      Hello, Joe,

      You are illustrating the whole point of the original article!

      If this happens to you OFTEN, then the most likely explanation is that there is something off-kilter about the way you relay your order to the food service workers. Do you mumble or speak really rapidly? Do you have a thick accent? Do you forget to specify certain details? Are your specifications off-menu and highly complex? Do you have a surly, condescending tone when you place your order?

      I have been ordering take-out items by phone, or ordering fast food in person (at various establishments) several times a week for DECADES and its been just ages and ages since anyone got MY order wrong.

      So… must be you, Joe!

      • Traci says:

        Joe, that is such an ignorant statement. Most fast food cashiers are actually kids in high school or college trying to make extra money and learn responsibility. OR they are hard workers who, because of the economy, can’t get a job anywhere else and don’t want to sit on their ass all day. NEVER look down on someone for their job – whether it be a cashier or janitor – they are just trying to provide for their family. You must have really low self esteem to feel the need to speak about other this way. When you say nasty things about others, it’s just your own internal insecurities projected onto others. Shame on you and take a look in the mirror.

    • Jill J says:

      thank you for insulting every fast food worker there is…that must be a new record, have you joined MENSA yet???

    • lissie says:

      I worked fast food during the summers, even though employed full time as a middle school science teacher. It helped to make ends meet, but I found the level of disrespect that I received due to attitudes like this made the job unbearable. I had adults who trusted me with their children for 8 hours a day who would then treat me like an idiot simply because I was in a fast food uniform. Don’t make assumptions about the workers, or why errors occur with your order, until you’ve been on the other side of the counter.

    • Charles says:

      Joe

      Funny story, I study quantum theory for fun. I regularly practice equations not only to understand the answer…but the meaning of each part of the math and reality that exists behind it. And I don’t care if it sounds like bragging….my IQ is rated as higher than 90% of the population.

      I worked fast food after the economic downturn caused my employer to reduce their staff and the only jobs available were minimum wage. Had to work at Mcd’s for about a year. I made quite a few mistakes…why? Because the work was so mindless, thankless and brain numbing that I was not able to focus on it without my thoughts wandering. The pay was little more than a joke and the “higher ups” didn’t have the ability to see anything beyond a narrow view of mangled statistics and profit reports that barely reflects the reality of the service industry.

      So….next time you think that they get the order wrong because they have a low IQ…you might want to ask if maybe it’s because they are bored doing a job well below their skills in a market that is a employers market.

      Also…I would love someone like you to try and insult the intelligence of a person like myself in that situation. One must wonder…who has the lesser intellect? A person who messes up an order when they are unending and rushed? Or the person who repeatedly visits an establishment where this is the norm and is shocked when it keeps happening and expects anger will change reality?

  13. Mary says:

    I am always amazed that people have the audacity to act that way..it has nothing to do with it being a minimum wage job, it has to do with common decency…I am positive that the poor woman that took the brunt of that, did not make the order and nor did someone specifically with malcontent put ketchup on it. Seriously, did this woman screaming obscenities every think for a moment that her sister, daughter, aunt, niece could very well be the next victim somewhere at some fast food establishment. Same goes for the guy that shouts obscenities or gives me the finger when he’s driving, would you like my husband to do that to your wife/daughter. Where is common respect and decency…obviously not in the lives of people who act like the person you described. And YES..I have indeed stepped in on behalf of a fast food worker on more than one occasion…both when they are being reprimanded by their manager in front of customers and also by customers…we the DECENT people need to be more vocal.

    • alena1960 says:

      Re: have indeed stepped in on behalf of a fast food worker on more than one occasion…both when they are being reprimanded by their manager in front of customers and also by customers…we the DECENT people need to be more vocal.

      Yes!!!! We need to stand up for our fellow beings and just say no to abusive behavior – be it physical, emotional or verbal.

  14. kkollwitz says:

    Such people usually are unhappy and powerless about something else in their lives.

  15. That is awesome. Ive never worked customer service before but I’ve totally been there when this happened. The other customers should really step up at that point and put her in her place, the customer service is helpless.

  16. Kelsey G says:

    I love this so much! It is beyond true. I work at a year round ice cream store and usually we have pretty fantastic customers but there is always one or two that will complain to corporate. I think being on the serving side of the counter really makes a difference in customer service. If I have bad service or if i asked for no ketchup and got it, I would never think to complain to a corporate office because I know what it’s like being on the other side of that complain!

  17. kelly says:

    I have worked in customer service in a very ritzy Minneapolis suburb. I’ve put up with some of the worst customers imaginable, so I have expectations how I liked to be treated as a customer since I have been treated like dirt as a CS rep. I do expect everyone to do their job to the best of their abilities regardless of what they are being paid. If I see a satisfactory service worker being yelled at in public, usually I’ll say something to the customer because the CS rep cannot. Nothing worse than allowing this terrible behavior to go on while watching in silence. I have to admit there are times when I return a burger to the counter because of the mangled mess that has been thrown together and wrapped up. I’m never rude, however. I just tell them this doesn’t look at all like the picture and they make a better one. I know it’s “just” fast food, but really it is more than just a mangled burger and if you have very little money to eat out, then maybe this burger is a splurge. Obviously this woman isn’t smart enough to stop coming to this restaurant. Being kind and pleasant is so much more beneficial than being nasty.

    • alena1960 says:

      Re: Nothing worse than allowing this terrible behavior to go on while watching in silence.
      Yes, this is where we need to go. Watching in silence does nothing to alleviate the problem and it probably taken as consent by some.

  18. Thank you. I work retail, more specifically, customer service, at the cash lanes (it’s called frontline). After having customers screaming their heads off at me about anything and everything, I now understand why they call it frontline (I should be wearing a helmet and battle armor). Please don’t scream at me and belittle me because you’re upset over something that I had nothing to do with in the first place or because I have to call someone with more knowledge on the product you purchased. Treating me like I’m worth less than the crap you stepped in earlier today will not make me move faster or help find a solution. We have over 10,000 items in the building and my roll in the business is to take your money! I understand you had a bad day and whatever happened in the store was the last straw, but I’m a person too (and much to your disbelief, I have a college degree).

    • Mary says:

      here. here, I couldn’t agree with you more…I have a college degree work full-time in a very well paying job, but have held part-time jobs in addition to satisfy my need to believe it or not work with the public. I give high accolades to people who serve the public and although I agree that NOT everyone is suited to work directly with the public, those that can do so efficiently and calmly are doing a great job…people need to understand exactly what you have stated..

  19. Jeffersonian says:

    Old article. Many comments. this one probably won’t get read and I probably won’t check back to see if I got any replies.

    I have spent 25 years of my life working retail grocery. (OUt of 35 years in the workforce. I no longer work in the trade except part time) Butcher. Trained skill and trade. Quite good at it actually, But I really excel at customer service. It has been my experience that 9+ times out of ten the truly horrific, bitchy and abusive customers are the very ones who are trying to get something for nothing. Sometimes folk have a legitimate complaint. They come in and explain the problem and usually seem to be a bit embarrassed by having to bother you about it. Those people I like. And I go out of my way to apologize for the problem and work to correct it. Making them happy is gold. I work to correct a problem with all my customers, but the tyrants and the psychos and the entitlement thinking ones are easy to spot. And they never stop. You want to know why? Because it works. They throw their childish little tantrums and they get free shit. I hate them. They are a stain on humanity. After I identify a problem customer I kindly suggest to them that perhaps, since we can’t seem to deliver the product, service or the price they desire, that they shop somewhere else. I’ve been told by my bosses not to do that, but I do it because problem customers are a cancer that will destroy your business.

  20. Hannah says:

    I work at Starbucks, and I’ve had people cuss me out and throw money over whipped cream. I often wonder where our society is headed if people can become so vulgar over simple things like coffee. What would happen in a real life crisis.

    • wendywidget says:

      Hannah, I agree with you!! I think its shocking how narcissistically so many people are behaving these days. My heart goes out to those whose job is to deal with the public.

      My guess is that (1) these obnoxious individuals were coddled and indulged by their parents, (aka spoiled rotten) leading them to believe that they are ENTITLED to live in a world where everyone will bend backwards to please them (2) in real life, nothing is perfect and days are often full of unavoidable little irritants that should be borne with good grace, and (3) narcissistic, spoiled individuals are emotionally brittle and don’t deal with stress very well. When under stress, they pitch tantrums like a 3-year-old.

      So, parents: teach your children to be patient, to be kind, and to treat other people as they wish to be treated.

      Think about it: To all you bullies: Go ahead: pitch a fit and bully someone (who isn’t mandated by their position as a food service worker to be polite to you) in public, threaten physical aggression… and your target might just turn out to be an off-duty police officer. Or former military personnel, or someone who knows martial arts. Go ahead… should be fun to watch!

    • Kim says:

      I worked at a coffee shop located in a bookstore about 15 years ago. The customers were great. I almost never saw anyone get ugly. I wondered if it was due to the type of people that like books – they were relaxed and in a good mood. Easy-going if the order was messed up. It was almost ideal. On the other hand Ive also worked in fast-food and as a waitress at a sit-down restaurant. HORRIBLE customer experiences…

  21. sugarbush43 says:

    Unfortunately, there are people in my extended family who are a-holes with those in customer service, whether they know (or admit) it or not so I have to be the counter-ahole and make sure to tell the family member to take it down a notch and I’ll apologize to the person. I have worked in customer service in one form or another since I was 15, so for almost 18 years (my God I feel old now). Some customers are awesome! I’ve had people go way out of their way (in some cases, literally) to praise my customer service. I have helped put a small company on the industry’s map for our stellar customer service. Throughout my “career” I’ve received numerous emails, phone calls, letters to my boss, and in-person comments on how great I am. It’s wonderful to be recognized when you bust your butt to take care of your customers. But, despite being a person who takes great pride in what they do, no matter how menial the job, I have been treated like scum for absolutely no reason. I was called a “stupid little girl” when I worked as a carhop because one of the other (truly stupid) girls screwed up putting her order together. For what it’s worth, her teenage son was horrified at her behavior. I was 17 and feisty, so it was all I could do not to put my foot up her butt, so I demanded my boss handle it (knowing I wasn’t going to lose my job since I was the best employee they had). I’ve had a guy old enough to be my father tell me that I would never amount to anything in life because, working the graveyard shift at the grocery store without anyone else present but the stockers, I couldn’t give him an immediate refund on the gas he purchased when he didn’t get the discount to which he thought he was entitled. He couldn’t understand that having an off-balance cash drawer would not go over well when management did make it in the next day. At 19, I had learned to not go off, but I did tell him that I’d already amounted to more at 19 than he had his entire life, because I treat people with respect. I’ve had a person with bad credit call me a “white c*** b****” because I respectfully called her “ma’am”. And when I was working 3 jobs to make ends meet after my husband was laid off, I worked as a cocktail waitress (not a good idea for someone who doesn’t really drink much) and had so many checks bailed on that I actually owed the bar money most nights.

    People are turds. Wait, I take that back. There is a small population of turds out there. Some people have massive chips on their shoulders and take it out on those who are most vulnerable in their eyes – people who can’t defend themselves for fear of losing their job. It’s cowardly. There are those who will stand there and watch a person be a turd. And then there are people like me. I will stand up for the person getting reamed for no reason, because I know they can’t. I’m a rather small woman and not at all physically intimidating, but I’m quite fiery. I refuse to stand by and watch someone belittle a person for no reason. I have been an irate customer before, but never have I been so to someone who was innocent. I’ve only reacted badly when someone has blatantly been a jerk. Someone who really should have lost their job for having the audacity to speak to anyone, let alone a customer, in such a way. It’s rare, but I do lose it sometimes. I’m never proud of it, though. But, my guess, is these people are the crappy customers, themselves.

    I hold people to high standards when it comes to customer service since I have so much experience in it, but I don’t take it out on them. How would that solve anything? I just think to myself bad things about that person’s ability to do their job, but I don’t say anything. Why? Because maybe they’re having a terrible day. I’ve been there. I’ve had to go to work after losing my boyfriend of 4 years at a young age to a sudden accident. You never know what someone is going through that causes them to be unable to put a smile on their face, sound chipper, or remember to not put ketchup on your burger. In this woman’s situation, I would be pissed off, too. I’ve been there many times. However, the worst my attitude gets is I might make it apparent that I’m annoyed I have to come in to fix their mistake, but stuff happens. If I wanted something made perfectly, I’d either go somewhere a bit more fancy or I’d make it myself. She must be quite a fun person to be around and live with, I’ll bet.

  22. Pingback: [NSFW] Shitty customer? Maybe that’s why you get shitty service | Second Story Rave

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