Lately, it feels like I've been plagued with the worst customer service (EVER!!) lately. And believe me, I'm not on a high horse here. Waiting tables, bartending, and pushing designer jeans--I once did it all as a starving student so I've had my share of nightmare customers. You know...the ones who seem to thrive on making your life a living hell during that brief time you spend together:
Scenario #1: Hell's Kitchen
MEANIE: It isn't like it's rocket science! I asked for a blue rare steak--
ME: Uh...sir, that is a blue rare steak...
MEANIE: It's COLD and OVER-COOKED!
ME: Well, the steak was just briefly seared on both sides so the the centre is supposed to be cool...
MEANIE: I want a new steak NOW!!!
ME: Sure, no problem. I'll have a new striploin for you in a few minutes.
MEANIE: MAKE SURE THEY DON'T SCREW-UP THIS TIME!
Scenario #2: Rodeo "Dive"
TEEN MEANIE: Hi, I wanna like..return this bikini.
ME: OK, was it defective?
TEEN MEANIE: Um...no...I just changed my mind.
ME: I'm really sorry but swim suits are a final sale unless the garment is defective. We even stamped your receipt when you bought it.
TEEN MEANIE: Why?
ME: Um...bikinis are like undergarments so our policy is because of sanitary reasons.
TEEN MEANIE: But I didn't even...like...wear it! I just wanna get my money back!
ME: Well, your receipt says that you bought the bikini over 3 months ago...and honestly...it looks like you did wear it. I'm sorry but it is still a final sale.
TEEN MEANIE: I wanna talk to your manager!
ME: I am the manager my dear...
I'm sure you get the idea, right?
What I did learn from working in both the retail and restaurant industries is that it's one big play and you're the star of the show. You swallow your pride because a) you're getting paid to do it and b) good tips are usually a huge incentive. Difficult customers may require you to use every ounce of willpower in your body to suck-it-up but most of the time, customers are usually pretty easy going so a good sense of humour and kindness go a long way. They are paying for the experience after all...
And now that I am on the other side of the equation, it feels like I've just been getting shafted. Rude and incompetent seem to be the first words that come to mind when describing my most recent customer service experiences. Seriously, I'm a damn good tipper and really laid-back so what gives?! If I'm dropping $100 for a nice dinner or for a pair of jeans I demand good service dammit! So instead of actually confronting these servers and retail workers who clearly detest their jobs, I've decided to exorcise my angst with the following list:
10 Fool-Proof Ways to Piss-off Your Customers
1. Don't smile and make sure to speak to your customers in a really RUDE tone.
2. Act like your customers just asked you to cut-off one of your limbs when all they really wanted was another Coke.
3. Make sure to trash-talk your "bitchiest" customers out loud in a fitting room filled with other customers.
4. When your customers have waited over half-an-hour for their food, make sure to completely abandon their table and don't refill any of their drinks.
5. Don't apologize when the food finally arrives cold and a customer is missing his meal because you forgot to punch in his order.
6. Rudely stare your customers down when they walk into your clothing store.
7. When a customer calmly confronts you about over-charging her $10 for a pair of jeans, make sure to a) rudely argue about it and, b) not to apologize when a calculator proves you wrong.8. Make your customers wait at their table for nearly 15 minutes before you greet them or take their drink order.
9. Absolutely chat about your sex life with another employee within earshot of a customer.
10. Make sure your customers know how much you hate your job. This may entail: rolling your eyes when asked a question, telling them that you're sooo hungover when they ask how you are doing, and looking like you would rather be cleaning subway toilets than serving their table right now...