The customer service industry is a demanding work environment with a lot of stress involved. It’s not easy helping to take care of countless people all day or night, whether you’re preparing and serving food, working in retail, or acting as the receptionist at a help desk. But the job isn’t made any easier when customers are difficult or unreasonable.
It may seem like the obvious thing to do, but many people do not seem to realize that they should treat the people who serve them with respect, not like they are beneath them. Contrary to popular belief, customer service employees are not paid to make the customer happy or take care of their every need, nor do they do or say things to spite a customer or make their life more difficult. For example, a cashier or waiter/waitress that says a customer can’t add something to their order or make a substitution is not trying to make the customer upset or ruin their meal; often times it is just the store’s policy. Not to mention that a customer should probably come into the place of service with a little foreknowledge and/or common sense.
The issue is not when a customer genuinely does not know what a specific product is (regardless of what it may be) and asks a simple question like “how does this taste?” or “where is this located?” The problem is when a customer does something like complain (or harass or yell) to an employee when they don’t get what they want after they asked for/ purchased something else. An example of this is when someone at a grocery store wants a discount on an item because it is similar to an item on sale and they harass the cashier because they can’t give them what they want ( they do not have the authority to do so; they couldn’t if they wanted to). Another example is when a customer is at a Starbucks and asks for something off the “secret menu” and then gets upset at the baristas because they say they do not know what the customer is talking about. This is because the “secret menu” does not exist. The menu usually just consists of drinks made up on the internet that you can technically get at a Starbucks, but one would have to tell the baristas how to make it and hope they are willing to work with you. The baristas are not obligated to do whatever you want or automatically know what you are talking about if you ask for something off the secret menu.
The simple fact of the matter is that people need to make more of an effort to treat people who work in customer service like human beings. These are actual people who deserve as much respect as anyone else and they are not there to take the abuse of others, nor are they obligated to meet the every whim of whoever walks in. They are hired to take food orders, help a customer purchase their items, prepare their food, or provide basic assistance like information (admittedly, they must do this politely and respectfully but a customer should treat them with the same courtesy), and nothing else. Customer service employees work hard to make our lives easier and it is time we returned the favor.