My dearest Cobbers, if any of you know me, and know how I act, you may say it is probably in pure spite of the attitude I have had since I was 16 and worked in a Subway. Most of us have had some sort of part-time job in our lives, and I have worked everywhere. Well, almost everywhere; I have worked at a Subway, Herberger’s, a group home, a bridal store, as a nanny, and currently on campus and at a hotel. At the core of it, I am a customer service wizard. I genuinely love helping and meeting people, and I do it well, without swearing or wildly offending someone, which may shock a majority of you.
Aside from having a part-time job at some point, almost every single human on this planet has been inside of a store, and let me tell you, it is an interesting experience when you just want to buy rice at 7 in the evening and some other person is causing this massive hold-up in the line to dispute some stupid trivial thing.
There are so many people you meet in customer service it is ridiculous. In fact, just this weekend I met what I like to call a “Mansplainer,” someone who feels so confident in his skills regardless of what he does that he can do your job for you. I can’t tell you how misguided this is. So, what I would like to share with you, as someone who has waited tables, worked in retail, and calmed down moms on the phone, the few actions that make me confused as to why you tried to ask for help in the first place.
First, the mom who thinks I am her babysitter. While I do love children, I would love to point out that your bundles of joy are enjoying tearing down my display. Please make them stop. I understand children are often quite difficult to take places. Trust me, I understand, but the fine line between being difficult and full blown demon-child is fine and has been crossed. Especially when a child stares into my eyes and tells me he wishes I could be his mommy because then he could live in the store with me. All of these things are concerning make me realize how little I want to be a mom right now.
Next, the guy who told me that he’s giving me “something to do” by leaving a giant trail of crap in places it doesn’t belong throughout the store. First of all, where do you work, because I am going to find you and do the same thing to you. Whether it be making small errors in large accounting reports, or cutting the steering lines on your cars, I will make you have to do something that is annoying, tedious, and not your fault. When comments like this are made, not only does it make you seem like a complete asshole, but it also makes me feel like what I do already is not enough and belittles me as a worker. Trust me, a seven-hour shift in any customer service job has enough things for me to do that I shouldn’t have to follow you around like your mother making sure my sections doesn’t get me in trouble. I am not making nearly enough to get yelled at by a manager for that tie to be in my women’s separates section.
The last, and probably simplest thing, is to stop pretending like we don’t exist. I get paid to help you, and various other responsibilities, but at the core of it, I am in CUSTOMER service. So please for the love of god, stop acting like you don’t see me. Get off the phone to place your order at Subway, stop grabbing shirts immediately after I folded them for no apparent reason other than to unfold them. Being a complete jerk to someone who is essentially paid to be nice to you doesn’t make you look good, it makes you look like you don’t deserve company.
Katelyn Henagin graduated from Pierz-Healy High School in 2010, and grew up in both Pierz and Worthington, Minnesota. She is graduating in 2014 with a Philosophy Major and a minor in Psychology. If you feel like talking to Katelyn, striking up a conversation about Harry Potter is always a good choice.