Before Your First Full-Time Job, Everyone Should Work In Customer Service

Even before they go to college, many people experience what it's like to have a part-time job. Some of our first experiences making money are working putting clothes back on a shelf or trying to fit various foods in a bag, making it through the week until payday hits and the whole process starts over. When you get back home, there are always stories to tell. Some are about the nice customers who joke with you or ask about your day. But the hardest ones to tell, let alone experience first-hand, are the angry customers.

Anyone who's ever worked in customer service has had a story about an irritated shopper. Usually, it's someone having a bad day already, and then something doesn't work out. It could be an old coupon or a deal that didn't come up, but all the sudden what starts as a small issue becomes something much bigger. All the sudden, there are raised voices, accusations, and even threats.

On the customer's end, everything ends up working out. If they create enough of a problem, many managers will give customers the savings they were hoping for. Worst comes to worst, the customer doesn't get the deal, but can leave the store and (hopefully) improve their mood. The same doesn't go for the employee. Employees have to try to work with a customer who is angry and de-escalate them.

They walk a fine line between an aggressive customer and a frustrated boss. While trying to appease the customer, you have to follow the rules. Some customers will get even madder, claiming you don't know how to do your job or scaring you by saying they will find your manager and try to get you fired. Best case scenario is when your manager comes out and takes care of the customer for you. But even then, negativity continues. You can't leave until the end of your shift. You feel incompetent and upset, and unrightfully so, but the only thing you can do is continue working.

Not all customers are like this. And yes, sometimes coupons and discounts don't work when they should, and when that happens you should speak up. But it's never a solution to yell at the employees working there. If everyone went through the experience of working a job in customer service and went through these dilemmas on the other end, everyone would treat employees with more kindness. Most importantly, remember to treat everyone with respect, whether you're a customer or employee.

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