Dear fellow guests, shoppers, travelers, and customers in general,
I hope you don't mind me mentioning this to you. I mean, you don't even know me, but I couldn't help but overhear your conversation, and I just felt compelled to speak up. You see, your flight was delayed, but it wasn't that poor man's fault working the check-in counter at the gate. He had nothing to do with the flight being delayed. It's not like he went out and unscrewed some nuts and bolts or removed the airplane's left wing as a joke. So why are you yelling at him? He doesn't deserve to have you all up in his grill over something that is completely beyond his control.
Or how about you, degenerate gambler who brought his paycheck to the casino? Did the cashier who just broke your last $50 FORCE you to spend it all in that slot machine? Why do you feel the need to give her a mean and nasty attitude? Why did you spend all your money? Just because YOU had a bad day, that doesn't mean you have to make everyone around you just as miserable.
I was at the social security office the other day, applying for a replacement card for my oldest. And as they called each person in the queue up to be waited on, I continued to hear complaint after complaint. "Why didn't anyone tell us this??" "We didn't know we had to fill out THAT paperwork." And no amount of sweetness or kindness from the customer service rep would appease these unhappy folks. So I made a point, when it was our turn, to try to be as nice and genuinely kind as I possibly could. I figured, I wasn't going in to solve a problem, I just needed a new card. And the woman who waited on us probably needed a smiling face to deal with, for a change. I also made it a point to explain this to my 17 year old so that she, too, can see that it's always better to try to make someone's day better instead of worse. Why add to their stress?
People working in the customer service industry don't deserve to be treated like doormats. They're doing a job. Sometimes it's a thankless job, sometimes they have to deal with real assbags. And they usually have to smile and take all the crap that's being dished out to them. After all, 'the customer's always right.' Well I call bullshit. Let me fill you in on a little secret. When your grandmother said "You catch more flies with honey than with vinegar," she wasn't talking out the ass of her granny panties. She was telling the truth.
I worked in the customer service industry for many, many years in the casino biz. I worked around people who were at all-time highs, winning jackpots, and all-time lows, losing everything. I paid out winning Keno tickets to people who had to scrape together pennies to afford the $2 cost, and I watched millionaires lose thousands of dollars in slot machines, sometimes hundreds of thousands. It sometimes broke my heart to watch people, who I knew could not afford to be at the casino, continue to spend dollar after dollar, chasing a jackpot that would never come. And some of those people were absolutely beautiful on the inside AND on the outside. Always with a smile, win or lose. And I cringed as I watched people who could afford to light their cigars with $100 bills show nothing but disrespect to cocktail waitresses or dealers. Why?? Why can't people be nicer to folks who are just doing a job?
My point is this: The people who are waiting on you are NOT getting paid extra to take shit from you. A simple smile and a kind word go SO much farther than a bad attitude and a scowl. Are there customer service reps out there that aren't very nice? Sure there are, and they usually don't hold those jobs for very long. But for the ones who DO try to make your experience as quick and painless as possible, take a moment to smile. Take a second to say "thank you, I really appreciate that." You'd be absolutely amazed at how good not only you'll make that person feel, but yourself as well. You'll come away feeling a little better, and that's never a bad thing.
This post originally appeared at Snarkfest.