Customer service jobs are those that deal with, well, servicing a customer. Retail store employees, cashiers, servers, bartenders etc. If you deal with the general public and have to put up with attitudes while having a smile on your face, you’re in customer service. It’s a job only the strong-willed can thrive in and something no one wants to be doing. So why should everyone work a customer service job at least once? You’ll emerge a better person! Let us explain.
Look, I’m not saying that retail is the hardest industry to be in, but it is one of the most mentally taxing. There’s a lot that goes into working at a store that people tend to forget. As much as we like to think store employees are there only to help you, you’re wrong. Oftentimes, low-level employees have the heaviest workloads. If they work for a large chain like Wal-Mart, those workloads are often unbalanced. Things must be done at certain times, certain ways and there are no work-arounds. Oh, and overtime is prohibited. So when a customer wants to hold up an employee for their personal bidding, they’re increasing their stress and probably getting them into trouble.
Deeper Understanding of Policies
Speaking of the guidelines that must be followed, customers sometimes don’t understand policies. Something as small as giving a 10% discount can get an employee fired. If you’re arguing with a cashier about a sale that ended yesterday, it’s not in their power to give you what you want. What’s that? Call a manager instead? Well, escalating a situation may let you have your way, but the employee you went over will most likely be scolded for not preventing the situation. It’s a sad scenario but I’m willing to bet it happens more than you’d think.
Round Out Your Personality
Working in retail will put you face-to-face with every personality type imaginable. Unfortunately, most of these personalities aren’t friendly. If there’s one thing to gain from having to bite your tongue, it’s that you build a tolerance. We all go through a phase where everyone and everything annoys us. This too shall pass. Retail will help you grow immune to toxic attitudes and general rude types. It’ll always suck to deal with them at the moment, but you’ll leave the situation a better person. Eventually, when you deal with a difficult person outside of work, you’ll know how to respond with a level head. Fighting fire with fire is never a good look, and there’s no place to learn tolerance like at a retail job.
Empathy is something everyone should have built into their personalities at birth, but it’s not. That cashier you yelled at because they weren’t authorized to provide a discount? They’re working three jobs to help support their struggling family. The customer service employee you berated because you didn’t read the return policy? Her husband is sick and not getting better. Believe it or not, these are people too and given a choice, they wouldn’t be there. Go easy on them. You don’t know what they have to go home to.
You’ll Learn Basic Manners
This was my personal gripe when I worked in customer service. No one wants the sweaty money you just pulled out of your bra. Don’t hand a cashier the crumpled up bill in your pocket. Paying a huge bill with change? You know the cashier has to count that at the end of the night, right? Is the line taking too long for you? Thank the customer in front of you, not the cashier. You’d be surprised at how unaware most people are when their basic manners, or lack thereof, start showing. Oh, and please do not throw your money at the cashier. Hand it to them.
Corny Cashier Jokes
Lastly, and possibly most importantly, enough with the cashier jokes! Cashiers have heard them all and they’re never funny. Oh, you just printed that $20 bill today? Ha. This item is free because it won’t scan? Never heard that before! Just stop.