One of my first jobs was as a hostess and waiter at a local restaurant. I waited on tables with people of all ages, shapes, sizes, and attitudes. I would try my darndest to turn those frowns upside down, but occasionally would encounter a curmudgeon that was so stubborn that their pessimism would prove to be a damper on my day.
Since then and since owning my own business (you would not believe the messages I have received from disgruntled people), I have learned a thing or two about customer service and thought I would share them with you (primarily because this is how I handle all #allthefeelings to prevent rage.)
1. For the Sake of Humanity
Did you know that the customer service and/or waiter and/or person you are dealing with is a human being? Living, breathing, flesh-covered human being that inherently deserves respect because of their existence. They are someone’s mother, daughter, brother, father, cousin, aunt, uncle, friend. When you treat them with such disdain, you have placed a value on their life as being generally worthless and such attitudes have no place in society. These people provide a service, but they are not dogs.
2. Job compensation does not determine the respect deserved.
A person’s worth is not intrinsically attached to their station in life. The respect a person deserves does not equate to their earned wage – no matter how big or how small. Whether they are flipping your hamburger, passing along your expensive cut of steak, and finding what you need at a retail store, he or she deserves the time it takes to say hello and flash a smile.
3. If you are with a customer service abuser, speak up!
If a friend you know and love takes it upon themselves to belittle someone else over the service (or lack thereof) that they are providing, do not be afraid to say something to your friend or family member and ask them to cool it. You never know when you might be disarming the grenade before it goes off and leaves people in the damage of its wake.
4. Your computer is not a weapon. Stop using it that way.
Making someone feel small via the interwebs makes you even smaller. It means you’ve taken the time to write out terrible words and stuck to them when you pressed send. Just because you hide behind a computer does not mean you deserve an answer in five minutes. It means that you have used a modern form of communication to contribute insight to a business, not so you could summarily take down all the people you encounter.
5. Consider the circumstances.
When you meet someone you’ve never met, you have one opportunity to make a first impression. Do you really want that to be translated into a permanent memory of how unkind you were to them? Think twice, speak once, but above all, choose kind. You never know what battle someone is facing and you have the opportunity to show mercy when things may not be going your way.
How have you shown kindness in the face of difficulty recently?