Since returning home from university for my winter break, I've started working at the service desk at Macy's in my hometown's mall. I think I do well in customer service jobs, and I enjoy helping people through holiday shopping. However, there are a few things that customers do that make our job a lot easier and help you have a better experience.
1. Keep your mask on.
This is my big one for the year. Yes, it goes over your nose and mouth! No, it's not OK to pull it down to talk! I promise, most people can hear you speak perfectly fine with a mask on. It's not that hard to breathe through one, but if you do have issues, please consider stepping outside or even staying home. I want to keep my coworkers and everyone else in the store safe, so please try to wear your mask properly.
2. Bring what you need for returns.
Being at the service desk, I do a lot of returns, and normally they're pretty easy! I completely understand needing to bring something back, and they usually don't take more than a minute or two to complete. However, most stores do require having a receipt or the card you paid with ready. I would recommend checking the return policy before you leave just so you have what you need. Also, make sure it's not outside the return period!
3. Be mindful about curbside pickup.
This year, many stores are providing curbside pickup, which is good for lots of reasons — it saves time, you can pick out exactly what you want, and you'll have minimal contact with others. However, make sure you read the instructions on how to get your order. You made need to park in a specific spot, have a form of identification with you, or call or text a certain number.
Being sure to follow all instructions makes it a lot easier for the workers, and you'll get your order quicker. Additionally, if it's snowing or raining heavily, consider doing curbside another day if it isn't for something essential like groceries. We don't want to walk through a blizzard either!
4. Put things back where you find them.
When I would shop, I always thought this was the polite thing to do, but a lot of others don't! Even if you don't remember exactly where you picked something up from, try to at least find the section it came from. It doesn't need to be folded perfectly either. Something as small as picking up a sweater you knocked off a hanger is a really nice gesture. Additionally, don't leave your trash from the food court laying around — that's just gross.
5. Be kind to others.
Above all, I think this is the most important thing. The shoppers and workers around you may be stressed, anxious, or just having a rough day. My favorite part of my job is laughing and chatting with customers, and helping them get gifts for their loved ones. A gesture as small as smiling at someone or saying "thank you" can make someone's day better. We've all had a hard year, and the holiday season should be something that brings us together.