My other hat…

One of the things I love about working in customer service is the fact that you never know what mood you will be in by the time your shift ends. There is always that one customer who believes that your presence as a public servant means that you must also be his personal servant. I’m referring to that customer who comes to you and asks for help, but then expects you to do all of the legwork once you have given them the complete instructions on how to do it for themselves.

For example, we have a regular customer who brings a list of items that he wants in and asks if we have them. Once I have given him the information on where the items are located, he then says to me, “Can you get them for me?” He’s not disabled, he’s not blind, hell, I don’t even think he’s got any real reason not to look for the items himself other than he simply believes that it is my job to bring him exactly what he wants and that no matter what, I should be happy to do so. Ordinarily, I’d say that’s fine. I do work in a field where customer service is very important and it really doesn’t hurt me to get up and go retrieve items for this person, other than making me really angry that he’s mentally snapping his fingers at me to “go fetch.” This type of interaction with a customer usually brings out the angry feminist in me. The one that refuses to bring a cup of coffee to her boss because, by God, he’s got legs and I don’t want any damned coffee. It’s an inner conflict which I cannot easily resolve.

For the most part, most people are nice and they simply want help figuring out our very complicated system so that they can do it for themselves. Occasionally, though, much to my chagrin, we have someone who believes that they are extremely important and can’t be bothered with walking to a shelf and pulling a book for themselves. It’s just one of those stupid things. Until I make the big time, I will have to endure these challenges and hope that I don’t forget one day that I really do enjoy helping people find what they want and bust into a serious Tourette’s-inspired monologue about why they should do it themselves.

I’d love to hear your customer service horror stories if you have time to share them here. They always make me feel better about my own plight. If you have a good one, send it to me here.

Until next time…

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