Staff Ed: How not to be rude to customer service

Tales from the retail trenches: Don’t be like that one person.



Customer service employees are crucial to our society– I mean, who else would make your coffee or sell you clothes? However, it is not necessary to be a complete jerk to them because something goes wrong, they make a mistake, or your food takes longer than you wanted it to. As a ragtag group of 16 to 18 year olds, almost all of the Ledger staff have worked in one form of customer service or another. These are a collection of our experiences as well as advice on how to not be the worst customer ever.

“Don’t be a rude person, I mean if your parents taught you anything it should have been that you need to be a good person and treat people with respect!,” said Dallen Cameron, Sports Editor.

Audrey Helm, News Editor, said, “Please just be nice. I work at Chick-fil-A, we’ll agree to all of your unreasonable requests. We’re just a lot less likely to badmouth you after you leave if you smile and say please and thank you. Also, if you have children, don’t let them smear sauce all over the table or take food inside Playland. Speaking of Playland, take your children’s clothing with you! I don’t want to have to touch the socks and shoes you leave in there and are never going to reclaim. Also, why are you bringing small children to Chick-fil-A at nine at night? They should be in bed, not eating our chicken. This has been a PSA, thank you for listening. “

“I’ve worked in both food and retail and in that time, I’ve learned that my existence in those places does not give you the right to follow, touch or otherwise engage with me in an unprofessional manner; just as I have to be professional, you should treat us in a way in which we can act professionally towards you. I have had too many occasions where I have been followed around and out of the store and found on social media – I do not owe you anything because you have ‘graced’ me with your presence – it is my job to help you, that’s it,” said Alexa Blaise Chandler, Photo and Art Editor.

“I too have worked in both food and retail and man. man! I have wild stories from both. I met customers who have asked for cups of butter for their popcorn while working at a movie theatre and I have had customers return Gucci outfits that were upwards of $5,000 and not blink an eye. The one thing I will never be able to understand though is the level of privilege people seem to think they have when you happen to be working and they need a service completed ? Like how rude they are expecting perfection, forgetting that we too are workers and having to work a part time job is hard. Just treat people with kindness and respect, jeez louise it is not that hard.” said Payton Wright, Editor-in-Chief.

Pearl Ashton, Editor-in-Chief, said, “As a customer, put yourself in the workers’ position. They most likely don’t want to be there serving you. Their shifts are long. They have been on their feet constantly and want to go home. They are human beings too; treat them with as much respect you would show a CEO.”

“I think it’s important to remember the basics when you want to be a good customer. Say please and thank you, and treat the employees with respect. Also, try not to make a mess or have arguments with your significant other while standing in the checkout line. That just makes things awkward for everyone,” said Isabella Ashton, News Editor.

“I teach piano lessons out of my home, so I get to work with kids and their parents on a pretty intimate basis. I don’t have any horror stories (yet), but if you want to be a good client, I can tell you one thing: pull your own weight. There’s only so much I can do to get my lessons to stick, and it’s detrimental when I have to go over a song again because the kid didn’t practice for the third week in a row. So please remember that we’re only human. Work with us, respond to our messages, take care of your own responsibilities. We all want the best here, and it’ll go a lot smoother if you don’t treat us like your personal slave,” said Chloë Robinson.

Bryan Banuelos, Spanish Editor, said, “Retail has been an interesting experience for me. As a cashier, most of the time it’s on us to give a customer the very last impression of our store. But we also like to have a good experience when helping a customer. When approaching a register, here are a few tips you can follow to make your cashier’s life a little bit easier: One, if you are talking over the phone and it’s your turn for checkout, please just tell the person over the phone to wait, please hang up, or simply step out of the line until you are done. Cashiers are not self-checkouts that you can hand your stuff to while you talk over the phone. We are human, we exist. Two, f you ever have to do a return or an exchange, please be notified that most of the times they ask you for your ID. No, it’s not that we are trying to steal your information. No, it’s not that we really want your phone number. Yes, most of the times it’s store policy. Three, many people might not know this, so I’ll share a little secret. Just because you found an item in the clearance section that is not clearance does not mean that the actual price automatically overrides in our system! Four, no, I did not spend the all of the money on your card so please don’t get mad at me because your card got declined.”

“I have worked at a wedding reception place for three years, and although I love the cake, the guests are sometimes more than disagreeable. I have learned a lot working there, the most important is smiling through the urges to punch a customer in the face. I have worked with Bridezillas, monster-in-laws, and kids who think that they are entitled to take apart the waterfall one rock at a time. Just be respectful of the workers. Don’t yell at them over the rules. They don’t make them, they just have to enforce them,” said Callé Hansen, Arts and Entertainment Editor.

Just please be a decent human being to customer service employees. We are people too, and the world is not going to end because you couldn’t get the shirt you wanted or your bagel within two minutes. Just be nice.