I’m not one for confrontation. I don’t usually send back food, I always nod and say ‘great’ when someone asks how dinner was, and I’d like to think that I’m overly generous with the ‘please’ and ‘thank-you’s. While this has sometime caused me to get results that are sorta-but-not-really what I wanted in life, it has for the large part resulted in my sucrose-laden respect for people being thrown right back at me with lots of ‘you’re welcome’s and ‘absolutely!’s. It’s gotten me free upgrades on coffee, “employee” discounts, and desserts that someone mysteriously forgot to ring up. Even better, it’s hopefully let the person interacting with me know that I really appreciate the great service and that I know they’re doing the best they can.
This attitude has made me a shoe-in for customer service jobs. Or, perhaps this attitude was created out of having a few customer service jobs. I’ve bagged fish at PetSmart, worked at my college’s front desk, and now am going on two years at an Athens, Georgia hotel’s check-in counter. I deal with a lot of people on a daily basis and while most are ho-hum, it’s not uncommon to come across some people like me, with obvious customer service experience, who are so pleasant and happy it’s actually something to marvel at. How’s there day going ? Super fabulous! Would they like an extra key? Why that would be just extraordinary! Their room won’t be ready for another hour? Not a problem, we’ll just enjoy the glorious day in Athens and grab some ice cream!
If you are one of these people, be assured that we talk about you after you leave. We say how fantastic you are and how we think you’re just great. We talk about how if you need more towels, then oh-ma-gawd, we are -so- getting you more towels. We will wave at your every time you come in the door and will call cabs for you if you need us to. No string will go un-pulled for you.
This has a flip side. Recently, a customer came to front desk furious about several things. Some were slightly understandable, others were ridiculous. The main ire came from the towing noticed placed on his car after he stole another patron’s assigned space (it was closer to the door). He should be able to park wherever he wanted, he said. Don’t we know who he is? Screaming (and I do mean screaming), he waved around the towing notice in our faces, saying he didn’t appreciate our ‘love note’. He told us that he hated this place, and in summary, we all sucked. We let him scream himself tired, as there is nothing else you can do, until he marched away, carrying with him the proclamations of awfulness. This man is officially banned from staying here again.
So, readers, think back. Do you call your favorite restaurant often for reservations but always find it is booked solid? Do you ask to set up appointments with your doctor but every day on their schedule is just too full to squeeze you in? Do you never get a chance to take your car into that one place super close to your house because they just can’t find a good time for you to come in? Does your babysitter always have other plans?
Well, I will let you know what these people are too nice to tell you: You’re a jerk.