What it is Really Like Working in Customer Service

I have just finished working for my summer job. In the beginning of May, I was hired by the local movie theater. I realized after about a month and a half that it just wasn't for me. I wasn't working enough hours and was not enjoying it in the least. In the middle of June, I began to work at Tropical Smoothie. What a crazy experience I had working for these two places.

Please let me enlighten you on the realities of working with the public.

1. Customers ask you constantly why something is so expensive. My verbal response is typically something like, "I'm sorry." In my head, I am thinking to myself, "I don't make the rules or prices."

2. If something goes wrong with an order or situation, customers always feel as though they automatically deserve something for free such as free popcorn or a free smoothie. In some situations this can be done, but if you just yell at me because your smoothie wasn't made fast enough, then probably not.

3. I have learned to always treat every customer with kindness and patience because of who knows, they may have just received terrible news or are just having a bad day.

4. When the internet is down in the building, which is the essential part of the cash registers and everything else, or if the cash register computer screen freezes, I can't do anything about it. I can unplug it and plug it back in many times, and sometimes it just decides to quit. I'm sorry, but I can't call the internet gods and ask them to turn it back on just so you can use your coupons on your phone.

5. No, I can not take your $50 or $100 bills as payment. This is the policy at almost everywhere. You can call the cops or throw a fit, but it doesn't change the fact that it is just not allowed.

6. I am human. I am not perfect. I have feelings. When customers treat me like garbage, I am not going to be in the best mood I can be. I won't treat you with disrespect, so please do the same for me!

7. It is so easy to make mistakes. I made them at least twice every day. I would accidentally charge a customer for only one food item when they wanted two. I would accidentally put the wrong type of sugar in the blender and have to start from scratch. I do apologize for my mistakes, but I am not a robot. I mess up.

8. I understand if a customer is in a hurry, but I can't really speed up the process of making a smoothie or putting butter on popcorn. I work as fast as I possibly can.

9. I have learned to turn off my criticism of others especially when they want to order two soft pretzels, two large drinks, two large popcorns with three layers of butter, and three bags of candy for only two people. "Enjoy!" is all I can say.

10. Something that happens every day is when you are about to go on a break or leave for the day, and a whole rush of people come in and line up to order. In those moments, your heart crumbles and you have to stay for another ten or fifteen minutes.

11. The customer is not always right. They are many times, but when you try to tell me how to do my job and stand there and reprimand me for what I've done wrong when I know exactly what I'm doing, I am not too happy.

12. Your hours get cut almost every day. If you're scheduled to work from 12:00 to 8:00, you might only work until 2:00. Sometimes it makes your day, and sometimes it ruins your paycheck completely.

13. You can spend ten minutes straightening up the food displays, sweeping the floors, washing the dishes, etc. and within five minutes it will all be messed up again!

I have enjoyed working in the two jobs I was given over this summer, but a lot of me is very happy to be done. I am excited to be the customer and not the employee. Thank you to my managers who have given me these jobs this summer, and I appreciate all of the opportunities I was given.

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