The Perils of Customer Service

wendys chicekn nuggetrs

I worked directly in the front lines of Customer Service for 3 months. Since then I’ve been doing various communications and photographic work and haven’t had to endure too many of the negative encounters with unhappy customers. During my 3-month employment at a deli, I only really had one upset customer. She had told  me she didn’t want the perogies anymore because they didn’t have bacon around them and were not complete perogies therefore she would not pay for them. I politely apologized and took back her perogies (which I’ve never seen served with bacon at this deli) and got her something else. She was on her phone the entire time and not only held up my line of rather polite and kind customers, even regulars, but also dismissed me as I was meant to serve her.

I see this attitude way too often. Let’s take two weeks ago for example. Part of my family and extended family are from Trinidad so these encounters hit close to home; I was waiting by the front cash for my signature 1.89$ chicken nuggets at Wendy’s when it happened. A well-off women of Caucasian descent went to order her meal. She requested some sort of ranch dipping sauce (keep in mind here that I couldn’t even quite catch what type of ranch she wanted, and there are several types). The woman behind the counter (of Indian descent) puts the dressing on the tray. This next part rattled my bones to the core; the customer picks up the dipping sauce, and shakes her head saying “No, no” and slowly enunciates this next part “I – said – (type of ranch)” and shakes her head, rolls her eyes and sighs. I understand frustration I do, but you are being served quickly by someone who has people talking in her headset and has to deal with people like you all day with their sense of entitlement. It’s things like this that boil my blood. Respect is missing in this situation and it took all I had not to lose it. Respect and courtesy are two simple things. If it is wrong, politely say it’s wrong.

You know it; when the customer turned to look at me I gave her the best stank eye I could muster. She could tell I wasn’t impressed and when her and her group sat down near my in that Wendy’s every time she looked over at me, you bet your ass I was fuming.

The same thing happened earlier this week at a Tim Hortons. The poor fella was in training and it was a busy Sunday morning. The woman at the cash was clearly getting impatient. In between loud chews of her gum, she, like the previous woman in my other story said, “No, No you’re not getting it right”. She began tapping her acrylic nails on the screen and said “I want to see the order on the screen”. The young man explained that he wasn’t sure why it wasn’t showing up and apologized but this woman was not letting it go. When the young boy looked up I gave him a smile and again held myself back from making a scene.

Rude customers are one of the many things you have to endure in the customer service industry. And I can tell you right now, the customer is not always right. On a positive note though, the woman at Wendy’s got my order right and the other older woman who took my order at Timmies gave me an extra donut when they ran out of hashbrowns! A little smile goes along way and you never know the day someone has gone though so have a bit of patience, don’t let your frustration get the best of you and do not forget to SMILE J


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