Three years ago, I started my first job in the service industry. I thought to myself, "How hard could it be?"
Well, that question was the BIGGEST understatement in the world.
I went into the job not knowing how different the world can be once you cross over to the other side and you're no longer a customer. Things change when you put on a uniform, name tag or apron. You see a different side of people.
I was shocked to see how people talked to me and my coworkers when they were upset. It could be something as simple as not knowing where the restroom was located, and the customer would have a fit. Some customers simply did not like being told that they had to wait for a table, wait for food or wait for anything at all.
I quickly realized that people did not have patience. I don't think patience was even in some people's vocabularies.
They wanted things right then and there.
Patience is a two-way street when your job requires you to work with the public. I believe that if you show you care, the customer will change his or her approach with you. That theory isn't always true. There are just some people who have this mentality that employees are beneath them and that customers aren't required to treat employees with respect.
When someone wears an apron, showing respect is optional.
After seeing and encountering what felt like hundreds of unpleasant customers, I learned how important it was to thank the customers who were kind. The number of times random people apologized to me for the behavior of someone they didn't even know amazed me. It takes a lot of heart and compassion to recognize someone being ugly toward another person.
The customers who asked me how my day was going or complimented me meant the world. It showed me that they recognized me as someone who was just doing her job. And for that, I must say thank you to every understanding customer.
Thank you to every kind customer I have encountered because you make doing my job worth it. You make it easier.
Thank you for asking me about my day and giving compliments. Thank you for acknowledging the fact that employees often don't go home until late at night and may not even get to eat dinner until midnight. Thank you for treating us like the humans we are.
There are good-hearted people in this world, and encountering those people is a rare opportunity. When I meet people who stand out from the rest, it reminds why I chose a degree that would require me to work with people and interact with them daily.
If you are someone who works with the public and can relate in the smallest way, thank your customers who treat you well. The amount of good people in this world seems to be dwindling, and it is important to let them know that you appreciate their kindness.