Friday, April 7, 2017

Customer Service Is a Pain, I Swear

To: All customer service personnel in America
From: A customer

Please don’t take this as a complaint. The last thing I want to do is sound like I’m complaining because, frankly, that is the subject of this letter: complaining.

Look, I understand. Over the years, I’ve worked in customer service positions. I know it’s very hard work. I know it’s tiring and frustrating.

That having been said, however, I would just like to point out that as a customer, I don’t particularly enjoy it when you complain about how much you hate your job — right in front of me.
The other morning on my way to work I stopped by a franchised retail establishment, which shall remain nameless, and ordered my usual medium black coffee and a glazed cruller. Before I could finish saying the word “cruller,” the person behind the counter taking my order turned away and yelled across the room to another employee, “Yeah, if he thinks I’m coming in at (swear word) 5 a.m. every day this week, he can shove it up his (slang word for a part of the human anatomy)!”

Then she turned back, looked at me as if I were a pile of dog (swear word), and snapped, “Whataya want?!”

I have to admit, the entire scene made me so uncomfortable, I couldn’t eat my glazed cruller. (No, I’m kidding. I just wanted to see if you were paying attention. Everyone knows that even if I were in a coma inside a full body cast, I could still wolf down a glazed cruller without any trouble.)

It’s a fact that retail establishments which are open from 5 a.m. until 11 p.m. seven days a week have a great deal of difficulty getting people to work all those odd hours. And it’s a fact that if an employee is a wimp and doesn’t speak up, he or she probably will get stuck with the really lousy shifts.

So, I understand that you don’t want to be dumped on by the boss. You should speak your mind, and maybe even use that same vivid locker room language while discussing it with your boss. But please, for heaven’s sake, do it in private! Don’t air your dirty laundry in front of the whole (swear word) store.

Now, please don’t take my advice just because I’m a customer. I’ve worked in many places with that annoying sign hanging on the wall: “The Rules of this Company: 1) The customer is always right. 2) If the customer is wrong, see rule number 1.”

We both know that’s a crock of (swear word). The customer is NOT always right. Customers can be demanding and rude. Customers can give you an ulcer and can, I know from painful experience, suddenly declare bankruptcy and walk away from the $50,000 they owe your firm. Oh yeah, the customer is definitely not always right.

Don’t listen to me because I’m a customer. Listen to me because it’s simply the right thing to do. If you take my advice and stop complaining in front of the customers, I promise three things will happen. First, you’ll feel better. Trust me, acting like a jerk in public doesn’t get it off your chest, it just gives you another thing to feel guilty about.

Second, you’ll have a much better chance of becoming the boss someday (and experience the joy of having employees swear at you!). 

Finally, if you stop complaining, one of these days I just may give you a tip. But don’t hold your (swear word) breath. After all, I’m a pain-in-the-(slang word for a part of the human anatomy)-customer.

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