There are millions of job options. Millions of things you can do, some involving a lot of customer service and others completely isolated, or at least relatively so. So, this makes me wonder... why do some people subject themselves to jobs when they are not very friendly people?
Recently, I have been through two incidents in which I was treated poorly by workers in fields that you would expect them to treat you with kindness... or at least, respect. I am not going to call out particular organizations because it is not the fault of the organizations themselves, but rather a couple of the people in them.
A couple months ago, I had my senior cap and gown portraits taken by a company that mostly takes pictures of students. While a lot of photographers out there may prefer to stay to themselves, and I would expect this of those who are freelance, you would expect someone in a very people-oriented portrait company to be somewhat respectful to the clients who could quite possibly be paying for their photographs. My photographer, however, was not. At my high school, we had about three gowns to share for everyone's pictures. I, unfortunately being the first picture of that day, picked a gown with a very visible white stain on it, right where you could see it. I realized this after I had taken the picture. So, I politely went up to my photographer and asked her if she could please check to see if my hair was covering the stain or if I would have to ask for a retake later when she was not busy. My photographer rudely refused, said it'd be fine, and continued on with her day. I tried again later to no avail. I was beginning to get very upset because I had already paid the money for these portraits, and my photographer was unhelpful, rude, and would not let me view my purchase. But I let it go. I am not very confrontational, and I decided to hope for the best. A couple weeks later, I received the pictures... and there was the stain. I had to call the company to get new ones sent to me, and the lady on the phone was much more pleasant.
More recently, there was a blood drive at my school. Donating blood to save lives... the workers of this organization are doing something wonderful, making a difference in the world, and I, along with many other volunteers that day, wanted to help. You would think that these workers, whose mission is to save the lives of others, would be more gracious. While I had a very nice guy speak to me before my blood was taken, the actual lady who took my blood was quite the opposite. This lady looked at my survey, to which I knew I had perfect answers, and after looking at my face asked, "You sure you don't take acne medicine on this list?"
Taken aback for a moment, I managed to say, "I do use topical acne medicine, but it is none of those on the list. I looked at it."
I kid you not, she gave me the dirtiest look and proceeded to pull the list down to show it to me again. "Be sure," she said. "These in the blood can cause birth defects." I told her again that I have been taking none of those acne medicines. She sloppily threw the diagram back on the table and took me over to get my blood taken. From there, whenever I asked a question about the process (this was my first time ever) she answered me as though I was stupid. Everyone else who had this lady that day agreed that she was rude as well. I honestly felt uncomfortable with her taking my blood.
So my question is... why become a photographer who specifically works for people? Why become someone who is helping volunteers, when your people skills are clearly out of whack?
I currently am a worker at Chick-Fil-A. I know all about having bad days and having to force a smile at work. But that's what you have to do—force the smile. Make a customer's day. Put your feelings aside for the customer and the company's sake. So if these ladies were having a bad day, I feel for them, but there are better ways to go about how they treat people, especially those benefiting their organizations. I could also understand why they would act the way they did if I had been a rude customer. But I wasn't. And even if I was, apart of working is being able to handle all kinds of customers.
So to all of you out there who hate your job to the point where you can't even treat your customers, donors, etc. right, it may be time to reconsider your career. There's too much unhappiness in the world to spread it to those just trying to help.