In response to today’s Daily Prompt – Lists I offer up the following.

1.- Treat shop staff the way you would like to be treated. With regards to this twice in the last couple of weeks I’ve been kept past closing time at work by customers. I work alone in a small independent shop in a college and we close at 2pm. I am not a strict adherer to that closing time but I do have children that need collecting from school an hour later so try to close as near to it as possible.
Last week I had the misfortune of a rude, patronising customer. Not only did he not listen to the fact I was closed (door is usually locked but I had just served another late customer!) but it felt as if he went out of his way to be as rude as possible. Even going as far as to ask if I thought I could cope with his custom! I so desperately wanted to say no but I want to keep my job so gritted my teeth instead. He then proceeded to look slowly around the shop before making a purchase and asking for some detailed information about a product which I politely gave him.

Contrast that to yesterday, again someone called in at closing time, apologised profusely, had a very quick look around and went on his way. I was happy to help him because of his approach to me. I don’t mind going out of my way if it seems it’s appreciated.

Fortunately I don’t work in a food environment so can’t add anything to a customer’s food as I’ve heard done. Although I am surrounded by paper that could give you a nasty nick and sharp craft knives! Not that I hasten to add I would ever go there.

2- It should be obvious but it’s clearly not, treat your staff well. A good happy worker will put in more than their time and effort and be happy to do so. In a previous job I worked for a large supermarket. I worked as a cashier and if we needed help from the managers for anything we were meant to put a red light on to summon them. These particular managers who were glad to no longer be till monkeys as one of them once told me, seemed to just stand around chatting to each other and ignoring the fact we needed help. You can imagine what it was like at Christmas time with a crowded store and lots of queries. Chaos. Now to clarify I’m not saying they didn’t have hard jobs and never helped but the attitude they did it with was lacking. It always used to amuse me because without shop floor staff and cashiers there would be no business!

3- lastly and most importantly, shop work is not the lowest of the low and staff should not be treated as such. Customer service is actually a difficult industry to work in and not suited to all. With an emphasis on the customer always being right not everyone is able to be diplomatic and courteous and wear a smile. My husband is always telling me he couldn’t do it! Customer service is an integral part of business and an advertisement of the business involved. It doesn’t indicate a lack of intelligence on the worker’s behalf or a lack of ambition. For many it is a stop gap, for others it is a vocation and for others a step on the path to advancement. You may be a manager and have studied a degree to be so. This does not make you worth more than your shop staff who may not have had the chances or opportunities you have had. I love my job now but I’ve also cleaned toilets and cleaned a huge shopping centre. I’m not proud and I have children to feed.

Customer Service rant over….


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