Is The Customer Always Right?

Whoever Coined The Phrase 'The Customer Is Always Right' Was Actually The Devil

Did this person even work in retail?

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I've been working in retail for a little over two years now. When I started, I thought that all the horror stories about radical customers were just exaggerations. However, I quickly learned just how true it all is.

I will say this; most customers cause no trouble at all. They're the ones who restore my sanity. Those who do act out are driven by the age-old phrase, "the customer is always right." Um, no, they're not.

How can the customer always be right? Do they work at the store? Do they have the company's rules and regulations memorized? Do they know about each piece of merchandise that lines the shelves? No, they absolutely do not.

The problem with this seemingly harmless phrase is that it gives certain customers a reason to act out. Most of us treat those who work in the service industry as equals; normal people just trying their best, but the select few who use this little sentence as a gift from God to pitch a fit about "unfair" store policies causes an unbelievable amount of trouble. This phrase gives them the idea that they can do no wrong and that the store's employees must adhere to their every little command. Some even resort to haggling already determined prices by corporate, something us retail workers have no control over. This is a store, not a yard sale.

When certain customers feel as though they are not being listened to, they'll often pitch a fit and hold up an already lengthy line, demanding the attention of every manager present. Suddenly, these customers forget how adults actually act in our society and do everything they can to make sure their opinion is the one deemed correct in whatever situation they have found unfair. I mean, who does that? I didn't realize the rules of society are excused when an employee refuses to mark down the price of an item that doesn't need to be marked down.

I've had grown adults freak out at me over the goofiest things, like their gift card having less money on it than they thought or our store not accepting returns from a completely different one, yet nothing ever happens to them. The problem is sorted out, normally in their favor, and they come back the next week with another ridiculous demand. Where is the order in this? When are we going to stop treating these people like their horrible requests matter?

I'm fortunate enough to not have yet dealt with a violent customer, but I've heard many stories of unruly customers throwing heavy merchandise at employees, often breaking their noses. This is what our society has created; an environment where crazy people think it's okay to throw things at employees just trying to do their job. So, "the customer is always right" idea should be eliminated, because all it's doing is creating an army of angry, entitled people who are above the rules of retail stores.

Cover Image Credit:

https://www.pexels.com/photo/crown-group-modern-motion-374894/

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Doing Things On Your Own Should Be Celebrated, Not Pitied

Our time with ourselves should be just as treasured as our time with other people.

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Despite living in an incredibly individualistic society, it is rare to hear of occasions in which people go to restaurants, sight-see, or head out to a bar… alone.

Humans are naturally sociable creatures. We thrive in groups, and we often reach out to each other in the hopes of making long-lasting connections. This is great! People need people, and completely isolating yourself from everyone can have negative consequences on your mental health.

However, this also means that we tend to latch onto one another in social situations. I'm sure many people would be confused at the thought of going to a bar alone without the prospect of meeting up with friends—but why?

Why is it that people need to be seen in public with other people? Is it because socializing gives us a sense of purpose in being out at all? Is there something inherently shameful about being seen alone?

There certainly shouldn't be.

So much good can come out of spending time in your own company. As much as we love our friends and family, sometimes we need our alone time, and this doesn't always mean that we stay in and binge-watch a new Netflix series. (Although many times it does, and that's totally cool too.)

Sometimes needing our privacy means heading out to get a cup of coffee and sitting in a cafe for hours without waiting for anyone. Sometimes it means visiting that museum you've never been to and soaking up all the art at your own pace. Sometimes it means that you need a break to sit with your thoughts.

So why do we feel such immense pity whenever we see someone standing alone?

If we see someone at the movie theater with their bag of popcorn and no clear sign of expecting anyone, why do we assume that means the person is a loner?

Maybe that person just wanted to enjoy a film they've waited years for, and maybe they couldn't watch it to its fullest extent with their best friend asking questions about it all the time. Maybe they had a rough week and want to sit with their popcorn—no questions asked.

Regardless of the reason, we should not be pitying anyone who stands apart from the crowd in a public space. Rather, we should remember that our time with ourselves should be just as treasured as our time with other people.

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