Trying to Put on my Happy Face

A co-worker of mine explained to me the best way to understand why people are rude to those in “customer service” type jobs. She said that most of the time, a person doesn’t mean to be rude, but that throughout their day a serious of events that were probably unpleasant occurred and we just happened to be the ones that they chose to lash out on.

My belief is that they just aren’t nice people to begin with.

I can understand what she means though. Sometimes I get in bad moods and take it out on others. But, I certainly never have acted the way some people act in public. Frankly, it’s just embarrassing.

There is a difference between being rude to someone because they deserve it (come on, you know the people) and being rude to someone because they are doing their job. I’m 19, do you really think I’m the one that created all the rules, regulations, policies, etc.? I really don’t care about any of them, but it’s my job to make sure you, as a customer, visitor, patron, follow them.

So, arguing or yelling or belittling that person is simply a waste of time.

I think what bothers me the most is the lack of patience and understanding people have. No one wants to take the time to understand why things are the way they are. Companies have policies for a reason.

There have been numerous accounts of me explaining to someone one of our policies, and I say they have the option of talking to my supervisors, but instead they choose to yell at me or say they don’t have the time for that. But they did have the time to yell at me and make me feel bad for something I can’t control…

Sometimes, this is how I feel at work.

Sometimes, this is how I feel at work.

I’m an extremely personable person, and I always try my best to make each person that comes in to my work (I’m trying to not really mention my job so people don’t think I’m bad-mouthing where I work–I love where I work!) but sometimes it gets hard when people make me feel so bad. Being the bearer of bad news is never a fun thing, and although I have worked at this place for three years, it’s not getting any easier.

I love almost everyone that comes into my work. As a result of my friendliness, I’ve even made friendships. But, I’ve also been called stupid, and gotten comments like, “How long have you even worked here” and “Is there someone better to talk to?” I’ve also gotten yelled at over the phone, and in person (always a fun time).

My one co-worker today had one “customer” yell at her, including the 13-14 year old daughter with her, about something that she had no control over. After they finished being extremely rude, they just walked out and said they were never coming back. My co-worker just went on with the rest of her day. She also had another woman roll her eyes and talk back, something I’m not sure I would have been able to tolerate, but there my co-worker was, acting like nothing even happened (wish I had her willpower).

I think you could say that it takes practice to handle customer service jobs. I think it also takes understanding that there are people out there that really don’t care about your feelings, and they will do anything to either prove they are better than you, or prove that they are right. It’s a hard thing to cope with if you are a person who only tries to be nice to others. I wish I could advise these people, if you feel like you are in a bad mood, please do not go out in public.

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11 comments

      1. Well kudos for not going insane. I’m hoping to stop in actually next week over spring week.

  1. Having spent 20 years in retail prior to my new careers I know what your talking about Mandi, and I agree, they should leave their attitudes at home, but a lot of people can’t. When their world sucks at a particular moment they just have to share the love… πŸ™‚ Don’t take it personally (I know easier said they done). I give a little trick bout dealing with them. Don’t get mad back, no matter how outrageous they become, remain pleasant but firm (do for them what you can but not what you can’t). The truly annoying people usually get frustrated and leave quicker if they think your not phased by their childish outbursts and unreasonable demands. Great Post!

    1. It is certainly hard, and I’m guessing it’s going to take me awhile until I can let their comments/mannerism roll over me. I just always take things personally, even outside of the workplace. But I will try that trick! Thanks for reading and commenting. And I agree, I have always loved Squidward and that picture said it all! πŸ™‚

  2. I can relate. When I was 18 I worked at a pediatric office. I remember when I “moved up” to receptionist. Of course my first phone call was a very belligerent father who ranted on and on and used profanity. Luckily one of the doctors was there and said “hang up, you don’t have to tolerate that.” I felt so vindicated. I thought that he would think the patient was more important, maybe, but not at that “cost”. And yes, I’ve been yelled at, berated, made to feel like it was all my fault. But it’s funny, when I would refer them to the doctors, who are making them so upset, they didn’t want any part. Just wanted to take it out on the receptionist who had nothing to do with how long the doctor saw your child,or didn’t prescribe medication you wanted and didn’t really need,or that the office visits are too expensive etc. Some times it got to me but mostly I just felt they are frazzled parents who needed to vent, fair or not, and let it roll off. Why should I let them upset me? After all, I am just doing my job.

  3. I’ve heard (jokingly) that the punishment for being rude to customer service employees is being forced to work a shift in their job, so they can experience what it is like to have strangers just go off on you for nothing at all. Patience is something that seems to be lacking in society these days, and it is really unfortunate for people in jobs like yours. Glad you have been able to stick around for this long, and hopefully you won’t leave the position too jaded towards society.

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