Posts Tagged With: server

You Want WHAT?

One of my hobbies is people watching.  I like to observe this creature called “human” going about their daily routines and in the habitats where they feel more at ease.  My efforts have revealed some interesting observations regarding the behaviors of these beasts.

Realy

The first behavior I observed is one-upmanship whereby when a group of these humans gather in a setting, they begin comparing positions with the following inquiry: “What do you do for a living?” Upon receiving the answer, a perceived hierarchy begins to develop.  For example, a business executive will assert his superiority over the administrative assistant or salesperson.  The successful professional will be judged to be superior to the young professional just starting their career.  Social gatherings don’t seem to function until this pecking order has been established.  I question the validity of this need and wonder why a person’s profession is more important than the person.

Another behavior I observed is the customer service ‘I want to punch you in the throat’ look. I find this in restaurants, stores, DMV, and any other place where a worker is required to deal with the public.  I, also, deal with the public and sometimes feel this way. Why do customers, of any kind, somehow believe that they are the center of the universe and are not expected to be courteous, polite, or even nice?

I will limit my examples to two:

  1. A person comes into a restaurant, is seated, is given a menu and a rundown of the specials. Server goes to take care of another table. Instead of deciding what to order, the customer begins a conversation, phone call, check emails, updates Facebook, anything except pick up the menu and make a decision. Upon the return of the Server, the customer says, “I just can’t decide, what’s good?” The Server would be VERY unprofessional should they ‘recommend’ something that appeals to THEIR taste, because it might not be something that appeals to YOUR taste. And if their suggestion is not something you like, your experience will be noted by you as “bad” and you will tell others how “awful that restaurant is” even going so far as to blast the place (and server) in the VERY public forum of Facebook. I’ve seen it too many times for this not to be true.
  2. If you have had a bad day, this in NO WAY is a license for you to vent your anger, frustration, irritation, or just plain obnoxious arrogance on anyone else.  Especially the one providing you with goods and/or services. For example, if you go to a pub to drown your rough day and call for the “BAR WENCH” you can pretty much be guaranteed some sort of revenge will be wrought. Perhaps your beverage will be brought in a dirty glass, or saliva has been added, or a dead roach was drowned in your beverage and removed before you got served.  Rule of thumb: Do NOT irritate those who provide you with immediate goods and/or services.  If you have had a bad day, take a walk or go to the gym or go play in traffic.

The barbershop where I get what’s left of my hair trimmed (“cut” would be far too drastic), the barber knows I am introverted. As a result, she keeps the conversation to three questions or less.  Why? Partly because she knows I dislike chatty people who talk just to fill the silence. But, more importantly, because she has taken the time to observe and remember.  I am a regular. I like to have the same barber. As a result, my gratuity reflects the extra effort she put in to help establish this relationship.

Gratuity, in and of itself, is a tangible way of expressing GRATITUDE for a job well done. Now I do take offense with establishments that put a “tip jar” right next to the cash register, as if a gratuity is an expectation given PRIOR to the service being provided.  A coffee shop I visited recently had such a setup. When I paid for my coffee, I was given my change in singles (as a hint to tip for a job not yet done). I stepped away from the counter to await the delivery of my coffee, and when it was given to me, I provided the tip directly to the person performing the service. Not out of requirement, but because the service was quick and courteous.

There is no reason to be obnoxious, arrogant, or ignorant. THINK! Reverse the roles for a moment, how would YOU wish to be treated?

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Categories: Fortress of Solitude, Hmmmmm........, Koffee Klatch, Perspectives, Wanderer's Wonderings, Wandering Mind | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 3 Comments

Thank You And Come Again! (A Slight Rant)

Please don’t get me wrong, I’m all in favor of expecting excellent customer service.  And having been on both sides of the situation, I would like to offer some insight.

Ever wonder why the people who demand that the customer receive the best possible customer service are the people who do not have to deal directly with the customers?  Ever wonder why these same people, when a customer is insistent that they cannot be satisfied with a mere “clerk” smiles smugly when the manager reprimands said “clerk” for doing their job?  I have. 

Ever call a customer service line and are greeted with someone who sounds like they are reading an “I’m sorry I am such a loser” script? They almost sound as if they have “Plastic Person Disorder.”

Plastic Personality

My question is, why would anyone WANT to go into the customer service area in the first place.  Dealing with irritable and demanding people takes far more patience than I could ever hope to have unless I was heavily sedated.

Why do we, as customers, seem to think when we enter an establishment or do business with a company that they are to lean over, pucker up, and start kissing our sacred hindquarters?  I realize not everyone is this way, but I speak from the experience of this happening more times than not when I was working on the customer service side of the transaction. Management seems to expect this from those who deal with the clientele:

anything for the customer

I was invited to lunch with a colleague a while back, who wished to discuss the possibility of my helping with a symposium he was putting together.  We were greeted by a very friendly young man who took the time to not only politely introduce himself but had glasses of water in hand when he approached us.  My colleague, who I thought of as a nice person, and to some degree still think that, was in a tense and unusually obnoxious mood.  He told our server to mind his own business, bring us menus, and leave us alone to talk.  Our server apologized, obviously flustered, and withdrew to attend to my colleague’s demands.  Our meal was ordered, and we discussed the proposal, each time our server came close enough to be within earshot, however, my colleague took the opportunity to loudly criticize him, the meal, the cleanliness of the flatware, etc.  Not only was I stunned by this behavior, but I was appalled.  When the check came, my colleague grabbed it, scrutinized it carefully, and left this pleasant young man a single dollar tip.  As we were leaving, he asked to speak to the manager and began to berate our server to his manager right in front of him.  It was at this point that I had had my fill.  I took my colleague by the elbow and told him to shut up.  I told him that I was embarrassed because of his behavior AND embarrassed that such a polite server in a difficult job was expected to not only tolerate such asses, but expected to grovel and apologize for crimes he had not committed.  I then informed him that because of such asinine behavior, I would be unable to take part in his symposium.  It was at this point that the realization punched in between the eyes: 

Nice Person

Permit me to make one thing perfectly clear: IF You Want Good Customer Service, BE A GOOD CUSTOMER!  Now, I use Instagram. It’s an interesting program. One of the reasons I use it is to begin to openly applaud good customer service.  When I interact with a business, I am going post the name of the company, the name of the person I dealt with, and publicly commend them for doing “their job.”  How about you? Do you applaud good experiences, or merely accept that the person is “doing what they’re paid to do”? Put yourself in their shoes and treat them as you would want to be treated by them.

 

Categories: Hmmmmm........, Koffee Klatch, Perspectives, Wanderer's Wonderings, Wandering Mind | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 9 Comments

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