Friday, October 28, 2011

Dear Customer

The Shop Girl by James Tissot

Dear Customer,

     I would like you to know that I am a human being. Not a robot, not an angel, not a fixture on which you may scrape your boots. I'm aware of the nonverbal cues you are projecting. I detect tones, eye rolls, disgust, frustration, and a sense of superiority. I understand that you want what you want when you want it and that you are equally subject to having bad days, long days, and I-just-want-to-cry days. Please understand that for the most part, I really do have the utmost sympathy and when you mention that you've been up since four in the morning with a sick baby I do make it my mission to move things along more quickly. That said, there are a lot of other people at my place of work who all have to accomplish certain tasks before you receive the final product. And that takes time. There are also other customers that are waiting to be served. That takes time, too, and if they're in front of you I still have to wait on them first.

     In addition, please know that I am a person. I have a family and set of friends who love me. There are circles in which I have worth that is partially due to the gifts God has given me. I do not work behind this counter because I am too stupid or aim so low that I find myself here. I will not work in this place all my life, and I am not some sort of scum or idiot because I do right now. There's no shame in earning a living for oneself or saving until you can get to school. There's nothing to look down on in my youth. I don't pretend to know everything and am conscious of the fact that I make plenty of mistakes. If my mistakes affect your life, I truly am sorry. I sincerely do my best, but I too have my bad days, long days, and I-just-want-to-cry days.

     I am on the front lines representing my company to you and similarly in being your advocate to my superiors. Depending on the day and situation I may take heat from both sides. I am not the only one. Every sales clerk, service provider, rep, waitress, and telemarketer is in the same position. Absurd company policies annoy us just as much as you if not more so. Believe me.

     This message isn't for the purpose of procuring favors, thanks, or gratuity in any form. Just know that I have value, not because I think so or I demand you recognize it. I belong to God and this is where He has me in life at present. Therefore, I am content to serve.


A Front Counter Worker

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