I have officially worked in the lovely world of customer service (within the retail portion) for one year now. I am still enjoying my job just as much as I did when I first started due to the comfortable work environment, the awesome managers and coworkers, and the friendly customers. The only complaint I really have about the job is the not-so-friendly customers that I encounter on a regular day on the job.
As a woman, I am more than used to the harassment I receive from men while just living my day-to-day life (unfortunately). Now I could go on a whole rant on how awful it is that people who identify as women are so desensitized to the inappropriate actions of others and why it should not be something we have to deal within the first place, but that is just not the world we live in and it should come across as common sense to realize that what I just described is a problem. Instead, I want to talk about what it's like to be a person who identifies as a woman in the world of customer service.
For example, I tend to receive sexist remarks from men about my appearance or my gender as a whole. A few have told me to smile and that I was "worth" more when I did so while others said something along the lines of women being selfish people who gladly take other people's money (which is literally my job as a cashier and what I'm collecting belongs to the company anyway?). I've even been hit on by men at least twice my age; declining their advances is an entirely different horror scenario on its own since I have no way of knowing if they will become aggressive or violent as a result.
My friend Emily Lackner suggested this article idea to me as she also works in retail and has experienced similar situations.
"Every time something happens, it kinda catches me off guard and I'm unsure how to feel. Should I laugh it off? Do I overthink it? Nothing's made me angry yet, but sometimes I wanna go cry in the office because it confuses me so much as to why they would think that's an OK way to act," Lackner described.
She went on to point out that some customers say these things without the intention of causing offense, but the inappropriate phrase originated from a different generation. However, that doesn't mean they receive a free pass to continue saying those type of things to someone who is just trying to make a living. Customer service employees deal with so much in their job; why not try to be a bit more respectful for them?