by Trent Rosser
I have said it before and I will say it again, I want to make this column fun and give out a few smiles and laughs. Sometimes though, just sometimes, I need to pull out the ole soap box and go off on a rant. So, without further ado, let me step upon this rusty old box and talk about customer service.
Now we all have had that one “bad” experience with a salesman, clerk or cashier. Lately I am seeing a growing pattern of rudeness and careless behavior. I work on the other side of town with a lot of the truck stops. I decided to go to lunch the other day and grab a bite at one of the truck stops. I just needed to get a little cash from the ATM. That was not going to happen. They wanted $4.00 just to pull out a little cash. I will just use my debit card and pay for it at the cashier. I grabbed a candy bar and 2 bottle drinks from the cooler and made my way up to the deli. One worker was leaned against the case talking to the cashier behind the counter while she was ringing up another customer. They were talking about the joys of being single. When the worker finally moved so I could see what food they had to offer, I was elated to see that there was good food in there. Not just old greasy fried food, but good food, like green beans, and meat loaf. Now there is something about a good meatloaf that I love. Pressed meat with bits of peppers covered in ketchup. Yep, it gets my mouth watering every time. And to top it off, it was the lunch special! 2 big ole slices of meat loaf that was about 3 inches tall packed with all the goodies. They were 4 inches in square and at 2 for $5.99 I knew I was getting a deal.
So I stand in line and wait. All the while my mouth is watering, I am listening to them talk about their past boyfriends and why they are so glad to be single. Finally It was my turn and I step up to the counter and put down my 2 bottle cokes, candy bar and I ask for the meatloaf special. The clerk looked at me with disgust, sighed and walked to the deli. I pulled out my wallet to pay and she sat the meatloaf on the counter…..in a small soup cup. That’s right. She stuffed 2 pieces of the meatloaf in a 6 ounce soup cup. The lid would not even fit. I did not say anything about it and went ahead and paid for everything. After she gave me a receipt, she looked at the next person in line and tried to help them. So I start stuffing my coat pockets with the bottle soda and try to get everything and walk out the door. It didn’t work. One soda hit the floor and bounced. As I tried to catch the bottle before it hit the floor, the meatloaf fell and splattered all over the floor. I looked up at the cashier and she sneeringly said, “Did you want a sack?” “No, Princess, I’m good, but I wouldn’t eat the meatloaf if I were you” and I walked out the door. Clean up on aisle 1.
There is a subway at another truck stop down the street, so I went there. No line, very helpful, but not listening. I ordered a sandwich and she asked what I wanted on it. “Just tomatoes and black olives, please” She smiled at me and started to load it up. Lettuce, onions peppers. I did stop her before she put anything else on it. She apologized and picked up both ends of the sandwich and started to shake it off like she was beating an old rug!! I was tired and paid for the sandwich and left. I did eat the sandwich and it was good.
Even at fast food restaurants, the cashiers are coming at the customer with an attitude. We were at one last month when the cashier was complaining that she has worked two hours already without a break. I’m sorry…. is that my fault? Should I tell everyone in the place that they have to stop eating, go outside and wait until your break is over with? Why take it out on me? I have heard a lot of people saying that they should get $15.00 hr. working fast food. Look here Mr. Mc Whopper, you want that much, then earn that much. Show a little respect to your customers! Here is an idea, McNugget, be courteous. If a customer asks a question, answer it in a polite manner. , If you do not know the answer to a question, let them know you do not know, but will try to find out as soon as you can. There is no need to roll your eyes and treat us like a burden. We are paying our money for your food and or services. If you had no customers, you wouldn’t have a job!
Let’s not forget the everyday convenience store. A while back I almost had the police called on me due to the fact that the cashier had never seen a coin that I gave her to pay for my soda. She first told me that she couldn’t take it because it looked like it came from another country. After I informed her that it was John F. Kennedy on the head of the coin, she flatly told me “I don’t know who that is?” I finally explained who Kennedy was and that this is an American coin. “It is a 50 cent piece.” Her reply was priceless and scary for our future, “A 50 cent piece, how much is it worth?” “It’s worth three dollars, Einstein. Keep the change!”
Not all customer service personnel are like this. There are a few, a small few, who do deserve the $15 hour wage. There are those that still care about the customer and work hard to please the customer. Ones that strive to make it a good day at the workplace. Ones that do the simple things like smile and be courteous to the customers and the other employees. To those of you, I tip my hat. For you are the ones that keep the company operating and keep a repeat customer.
So next time you are having a bad experience with someone in customer service, don’t get upset. Instead let’s do something different. Let’s turn the tables on them and ask them what we can do as a customer to help them make their day better. Next time, I myself, will jump behind the counter and ask the person that was waiting behind me, “Would you like fries with that?”
Hope everyone has a good week!!