It works on both sides.  That is, I expect good customer service in any establishment where I am letting go of my hard-earned dollars.  Don’t ignore me, try to find answers to my questions, don’t make me wait too long, etc.

But customers should also try to be a little nicer.  Why is it that when a worker dons a hat or apron for their job that people immediately treat them like second-class citizens?  Daughter Alison has worked retail for more than 10 years and has many stories of the rudeness of customers.  People come in with obviously used merchandise and try to get full refunds or new products in exchange, shoplift in shocking quantities and paw through merchandise that was carefully folded, etc.

Now that I’m working part-time at a coffee shop that specializes in custom drinks, it is amazing how people take that as an opportunity to be overly demanding. Again, the fact that I wear a hat and apron seems to bring me down a few levels beneath them in their eyes; maybe they’d be surprised to know of my “other” jobs as magazine publisher/writer/photographer, travel director and on-air talent and my college cum laude degree, etc.? A woman demanded a new drink today because the bubbles in her foam were too big….the next person made the drink the same way, but showed her as they spooned it into the cup so she felt it was better. *aargh. Another ordered 20 pumps of chocolate and 20 spoonfuls of chips in his drink and the way the system works, he wasn’t even charged extra…wow, working the system!

But don’t get me wrong! I enjoy people…talking to people, serving people, trying to bring that “rainbow to someone’s day”….but I often wish people were more aware of how they are affecting people around them. Is it harder to be nice?

Think about it next time you’re in a retail or food establishment, okay? And check this out…