Here is my spiel after working in the customer service industry for 5 years. How corporate America allows this degradation of employees and how society sometimes gladly plays into that.
I just worked my last day at Chuck E. Cheese this week, my employer for the past 5 years & my first job. All my people skills, ability to work in a team, & patience came from that job.
I know people who haven’t ever worked at a retail/fast food/restaurant job view us differently. They might think us uneducated, lazy, or easily replaceable. They might judge us if we get something wrong (even though we are only human) or take their anger out on us for prices rising, a long line, or a coupon being expired.
The truth is, we are HARD WORKERS, usually people working these jobs have 2 other jobs plus school. We are hard workers having to put up with the craziest people, the most privileged acting people, and do it all with a smile and most of the time, through our own outside issues, responsibilities, and worries.
We are not uneducated. We are not lazy. It blows my mind that I've had people say “why do you even work there,” or degrade me when without US WORKERS, you wouldn’t get your big mac or pizza or $5 t-shirt.
I can’t help but be thankful for the last 5 years because I learned how horrible humankind can be, but also how freaking awesome people can be. I learned how horrible corporate America treats their employees in retail stores/fast food chains. I learned people skills that can only be learned hands-on through experiencing it and working in the public. This stuff can’t be taught in text books.
I met great people who make me STILL smile from the memories, managers that stuck their necks out for me, all you beautiful people you know who you are. I learned how to make delicious pizzas, how to deescalate bad situations, how to train people who have never had jobs, and honestly how to work with anyone, employees and customers.
I don’t know who needs to hear this but stop taking out your anger on prices or things being out of stock on an employee in a big store chain-- we can’t control any of that. I’ve spent hours cleaning up chicken bones, slices of pizza, and just disrespect from customers who treat the ground as a trash can. I’ve been gone off on so many times I lost count. I’ve been called names I didn’t deserve. And the thing is, American society and work culture has allowed and in fact encourage all of the above. We say “the customer is always right,” when in fact that is not always true. We allow customers to treat the employees however because they bought a $10 pizza, so they are entitled to treat others like servants.
I wish we could get that “customer is privileged” idea out of the work place. Don’t get me wrong, there is no reason for workers to be rude to customers and if someone is spending their well-earned money at your business, you better hope you are nice to them and make them feel like spending their money at YOUR business IS worth it-- but I cannot stand the idea of being beyond nice to customers who just cause issues and don't deserve employees going the extra mile with things.
But with all the bad, there are still some humans who never cease to amaze me with going out of their way to make others happy. I had the most horrible day, I mean rude customer after rude customer, everything going wrong, people calling off, and I got a phone call which I thought was going to be a prank call but made me cry happy tears. A little kid called me and asked "is this Chuck E. Cheese," I said yes and he said, "I just wanted to say I love Chuck E. Cheese and I appreciate you," and I swear this kid couldn't be older than 8. After that phone call, I got just a spark of energy to keep me going through that hard day, and those are the moments that make working in the customer service industry beautiful.
My mother has always taught me to be respectful to employees, whether they hold the title of a janitor or a CEO. I appreciate all forms of work, respect all forms of work, and I hope you do too. I hope that if you are reading this, you remember this when you eat at a restaurant or shop somewhere. Clean your table up, say thank you, be nice when ordering and interacting with employees. Be understanding if mistakes happen. If you are working right now in the customer service industry, I appreciate you and you are doing work that is NEEDED.
Thanks for reading everyone! I appreciate each and everyone of you for taking the time out of your busy lives to read what I have to say. I pray my words can spark a thought, a lost hope, or a will to reach for the stars inside of you.
I'll link my book insta page which has short reviews, cute quotes, and giveaways.
This photo is not my photo, found on pixabay. It's cute isn't it? Society all wearing masks...