Despite the glory of the holiday season, this time of year tends to stress people out more than others.Therein lies the question: What kind of gift can you give to the most stressed out individuals you know to help them out?
I recently went to TJ Maxx with a friend with the sole purpose of not buying anything. We literally looked at everything, though, and later, I walked out with half a dozen items I was not planning on buying. I'm just glad it was only six from the number of things I saw and liked.
Here were my thoughts as I wandered around TJ Maxx for an hour.
1. "A Michael Kors purse? I wonder how cheap it is..."
2. "Of course I have to check out the clearance section... except that's basically the entire store."
3. "I'm not sure what I would write in a notebook, but these are hella cute."
4. "This may look horrible on me but I'm going to try it on anyway."
5. "Maybe I should just look at some nice clothes for work. You can never have too many business casual clothes..."
6. "These Adidas shoes are so cheap yet still expensive."
7. "$5 makeup... How bad could it be?"
8. "American Eagle shorts for only $15?!"
9. "I can't carry all this stuff."
10. "Do I have a giftcard?"
11. "I want to decorate my house with everything in here."
12. "Oh, look, something I didn't need but buying anyway."
13. "Could I pull this off? It's cheap and looks good on the mannequin..."
14. "Yeah, I could use another phone case."
15. "Yes, I found what I wanted. No, I did not need any of this."
By the time that you got your first job, whether it be part-time or full-time, fast food or retail, and especially in customer service, you have 100% heard this phrase uttered many a time: "The customer is always right." That saying always put me off a tad. How could a customer always be right when I, the employee, most likely had more knowledge about my job, the facility, its policies, etc. than the customer?
There were frequent meetings at my place of work where my general manager would preach this over and over again. An abundance of customers would get angry with me while I was explaining prices, policies, or even just polite manners. Most of the time, the general manager would just let it slide and the customer would get a freebie (if reasonable and the customer was not flat out rude) to encourage them to come back again. However, I was never disciplined for doing my job correctly and I hope that I never am.
I have heard many stories about those who work in the restaurant industry where the dreaded phrase is taken a little too seriously in some cases. There have been waiters and waitresses that have gotten written up for things such as not giving strangers their employee discounts, not making the whole meal free, or even following restaurant policies that upset the customer. A manager (sometimes the owner) would come over, apologize profusely, and give the customer what they wanted.
The customer wasn't right, they just felt entitled.
Numerous lines of work deal with unjust "the customer is always right" psychology, not just the restaurant industry. Personally, I do not believe that is fair at all for someone to get in trouble for doing the right thing when it comes to their job. What is the point of doing the right thing only to get disciplined in the end? Are employees and managers letting their workers believe that if they do their job incorrectly, they will be praised? What would've happened if a waiter had given a refund or a small discount without consulting the manager? What would have happened then?
Unfortunately, I have both dealt with and heard of customers paying for services and later complaining to get all or a sum of their money back and unfortunately, they succeed in doing so. Tales of people putting bugs into their food dishes after a waiter has placed it on their table, get a full refund, and then ask for a to-go box have circulated. Purchasers return an item to a store that they did not buy said item from. Employers and managers are only teaching their customers that they can get away with treating their employees like garbage, swindle the company, and leave a bad taste in other potential client's mouths without consequence all while employees are performing their job correctly.
On the other hand, I do understand that there are faulty employees out there who refuse service or tell customers completely different policies out of sheer laziness, then the customer would be right. A waiter or waitress can provide terrible service and be absolutely miserable. The customer can be right, both the customer and the employee can be right, and the employee can be right.
Never should there be a time where the customer is ALWAYS right.