An Open Letter To Rude Customers From The Service Workers You Treat Like Crap

Flickr / Lee Jordan
Flickr / Lee Jordan

Dear Customers,

My name is _______ (shit, I probably just blew your mind because now you realize that the plastic name tag pinned to my chest actually means something). I work at ______ (whatever business establishment you went to that has an employee maintaining customer interface) and I would like to let you know that I am a human being and, consequently, it’d be great if you treated me as such (if you already do, thanks).

I get it; sometimes you come to the place that I work at after you’ve had a really long day. I might just be the first person you can boss around, belittle, or release your pent up frustrations upon, but sometimes I’ve had a long day, too. Sometimes, I’m a full-time college student just trying to work through the bullshit until I, too, can have a real nine to five job. Other times, I’m a single mother who just wants to give my children opportunities that my nine to five just can’t fund. You taking out your anger on me makes my long, hard day even worse.

Also, I’m sorry that we stopped carrying the product, brewing the beverage or serving the meal that you “always came here for,” but please don’t yell at me. If I’m on the floor, speaking to you face to face, I didn’t make the decision that resulted in your unhappiness. Honestly, I don’t even know the person who made the final call that apparently ruined your life, but I am sincerely sorry. However, no matter how many times I let the manager know, it probably won’t change the situation at hand. Additionally, you yelling at me and informing us that you are never coming back to the business establishment (even though we both know you will) will not change the immediate outcome of this situation. In other words, you being a fucking asshole will not make what you want magically appear out of thin air.

Furthermore, I realize that your education and place in the hierarchy of society may be higher than my own. That doesn’t give you the right to remind me and constantly sit up on your high horse. I treat those who treat me with respect better than those who stare down their nose at me. You can make me into your human punching bag, but when I stop going out of my way to please you, don’t be surprised – it is personal, you are an ass and I don’t have to put on a fake smile or laugh at your lame jokes to receive a weekly paycheck.

On that note, just because I don’t smile all night long and make continuous conversation with you doesn’t mean I don’t appreciate you being there. It actually means that seven (or eight) hours of standing in front of people, smiling and treating them with the utmost respect, can be exhausting. Believe it or not, when you work until eleven at night, you get tired. If you want to see me smile, maybe you should come at an earlier hour, when normal people go shopping. That being said, no one in customer service appreciates the jerk that comes in five minutes before close. Sadly, in our world, our shift doesn’t end until you leave. That means that you shopping or eating until 10:59 (when the place closes at 11) is going to piss us off. We don’t want to stay at work late because you like to procrastinate or take advantage of the fact that we can’t leave until you are gone.

So, I guess what I’m saying is that you need to treat others like they are people. They have feelings and they will eventually get fed up with you bitching in their face, instead of treating them with even the tiniest amount of respect. Oh, in case you’re wondering, you being a dick isn’t only obvious to the person you’re yelling at. In fact, the adults and children standing nearby can hear everything you are saying and they are judging you because – in the real world – the position you maintain while you work at your day job is only important to the people within your company; no one else gives a shit.

Next time you go out into the world of customer service, think about what I’ve said. Keep in mind that we can spot shitty people a mile away, which means the way you carry yourself and treat others will impact your experience at any business establishment. People working in the service industry aren’t your slaves, so don’t think that treating them like the shit on the bottom of your shoe will ensure you have the best experience of your life. In fact, when you finally yell that you’re never coming back, you’ll create the smallest amount of hope in their mind that they will now have to deal with one less asshole on a regular basis. TC mark

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