Dear Customer, You are Not Always Right!

Some thoughts about working in retail…

Very early on in my career working in customer service, I was taught that the customer is always right! It took me a few years to realize just how far from the truth that was.
Let’s recap 10+ years of working in retail and customer service, devoting almost every day to pleasing other people.

I’ve had some pretty awesome people come my way. Customers with loving words, tears of joy in their eyes, flowers, chocolate, and even homemade apple cake.
I’ve also met a lot of smiles and compliments. I’ve even turned quite a lot of frowns upside down over the years. Sometimes it takes just a little, sometimes a whole lot.

Not to sound too cocky, but I’m good at my job. I know that. I’m not perfect, and I do make mistakes, as the human I am. But I do know that I do my best to try to give excellent customer service each and every day.

But there’s one type of customer that has me wanting to stop working with customer service altogether.

It’s YOU!
YOU who’s never worked directly with people or with customer service, so you have no idea what it feels like to interact with people as your job, so you walk all over us and expect us to meet your every need.

YOU who looks down on me because I don’t have a job that requires a degree (although I might very well have one for all you know) as if all my years in the business, all my training, all the hours, and all the hard work isn’t worth a damn thing.

YOU who think it’s okay to talk to me as if you own me. As if we have to do whatever you demand, no matter what your rights or the rules are.

YOU who think you can come in two seconds before closing time and demand that we stay over to help you, because your time is valuable, and ours apparently is not.

YOU who think it is okay to yell and be rude just because you are a customer.

YOU who keep saying things like “it’s just a retail job”, “she’s just a saleswoman” or ask us “so, when are you going to get a real job?”

YOU don’t have the right to undermine the talent of people who do the jobs that make your everyday life easier. The people that help you out are not yours to trample on like a dirty rug. So many of us do our job with pride, just as much as a lawyer or an accountant does theirs. And most importantly, we are no less human than the people with higher ducation, or the ones with millions in the bank.

We’re all humans who are living our lives, and we all deserve to be treated with respect.

So, to anyone out there who in any way recognized themselves as the YOU that I just described, please try to do better. Please try to not be the obnoxious person who makes talented workers want to quit their jobs.
And above all, just please, think before you speak. Try to picture how you would feel if someone said the words you are about to say.

There, I’ve vented my frustration and anger, instead of taking it out on someone who wouldn’t have deserved it.

Now, what can I do for you today?