Customer service: the jobs we love to hate



Food server Estefany Villfan takes an order at the Blue Coyote Cafe

Britteny Urich, Opinion Editor

One of the first jobs a student has during college is usually some sort of customer service job. Some would consider that particular job a necessary evil that reminds a student why they are in school, because they don’t want to work that job the rest of their lives. Whether it’s working at a clothing store, serving tables or working in a coffee shop, these are the jobs that humble a person after working in that position
Working in customer service is not all bad, it does have its perks. There is always an opportunity to meet new people every day. It is also nice to build a rapport with repeat customers that in part keeps them coming back. Also, there are those customers who are grateful for the help they received. Knowing that your help made their experience is always fulfilling. Working front desk at a hotel, we get numerous guests who come to the hotel with the Make-A-Wish Foundation. Every chance I get to interact with these guests, I take it because these kids are special. They are truly happy to be here, and everything that they experience at the hotel brings a smile to their face.
Things don’t always go right when engaging with a customer. An order wasn’t the way the customer wanted, the store doesn’t carry the specific shirt they are looking for, or the view from the hotel room they wanted isn’t available. It is part of the job, and it is the employee’s duty to turn that situation around and satisfy the customer. In some rare instances there is always that needy customer, who no matter what is offered still isn’t happy. This is the part of the job that definitely teaches patience.
The phrase “the customer is always right” was coined by Harry Gordon Selfridge, who was a department store mogul. Respectfully, Selfridge couldn’t be more wrong in some cases. People have berated, put down and verbally abused employees all in the name of getting their way. 95 percent of the time they will probably get whatever it is they are wanting. The “costumer is always right” way of thinking has taught many customers that they can yell and name-call their way in to being right. It does not seem fair in regards to those costumers that are nice, and may not get the same treatment. It is not fair to the employee who none-the-less has to grin and bear it, take the abuse and give them what they want. It’s those kind of people that makes an employee want to lose faith in humanity.
For some that customer service job is just temporary, like many college students it is a means to an end until they get their degrees to go into the field they went to school for. For others, these jobs are their livelihoods and their career. Either way, that employee deserves respect. They are there to take care of the customer, so in the same regard the customer should take care of them.
Once someone has worked a customer service job, a lesson learned is how to treat others. If you treat people how you would like to be treated, chances are you will be treated well in return. Wherever you go, anyone you come in contact with that has a customer service related job you have a newfound respect for. Because I have been in that customer service position, I always take care to appreciate anyone I come in contact with that is servicing me. Whether it is the cashier at the grocery store, the receptionist at the doctor’s office, or the mailman. It is the experience from these jobs that stay with us for life and shape us into better individuals.