What Customer Service Associates Won't Tell You | Teen Ink

What Customer Service Associates Won't Tell You

September 10, 2014
Jennarator GOLD,
12 articles 0 photos 7 comments

Favorite Quote:
"Always remain positive, if it doesn't make you feel better, it will annoy enough people to be worth the effort"

We have all been there, dragging our feet at 9:30 at night to get some absolutely crucial supplies, including but not limited to feminine products, poster boards, advil etc. Bustling through the store pushing your cart and your purse swinging wildly at your side you scan the aisle signs quickly with your eyes, trying to find the aisle that has battery-operated candles. Seeing a store associate, you yell “Hey, I need some help!”. They rush over and smile asking “What can I do for you?”, and they wait as you explain your absolutely dire situation. When  you get done, they give you a blank stare “Uh...well I’m new so let me radio someone”. Angrily you roll your eyes and say “I don’t have time for this!” and storm off. This happens one more time, as you circle the store like a hungry scavenger. Finally, you have your product in your sights, you move quickly and efficiently, bumping a few carts as you go, locked in on the target. As you swoop the prize off the organized shelf, dozens of other merchandise scatter onto the ground with a loud “CLANG”. You quickly bustle off so as not to be guilted into picking it up. You’re racing to the front of the store now, looking desperately for a register light. Perfect, lucky number 7 is open! As you swing the cart into home plate, the cashier looks up and gives you a smile. However, you are far too pre-occupied going through your list of doo-dads to so much as acknowledge her. Throwing your items onto the belt, the cashier asks if you would like to sign up for their credit card. “No ma’am , I just want to buy these damn items please”. Mom would be so proud, you think to yourself, you remembered to say please and everything. She wishes you luck with a smile and giggle and you return a small smile and say “will do!” and race out to your car. When you back out of your parking spot, you notice an employee with 5-6 carts close to your trunk. Enraged, you roll down the window and scream “Hey, Im driving here!” and peel out of the parking lot at top speed to further give that associate notice that you are, indeed, pissed off. The whole way home, the only thing you can think of is how incompetent every associate in that store was. When you arrive at your destination, you notice the bottom of the receipt  has a phone number directly to the manager’s office and you make a note to yourself to call and relay your feelings. After you’re righteous rant is over, you feel much better and continue to put into use the emergency items that were so important in the first place.


Customer service was not my first career choice, and I don’t know anyone who would say that it is. For me, being a cashier is a side job, I make $9.50 an hour. I also work at the returns desk, and occasionally prepare the cash and check deposits for the bank. That is a lot of work, for not a lot of pay. On top of this, I deal with hundreds of customers a day, many of whom act like the person described in the previous scenario. Each day is an 8 hour shift, some of which start at 7am and some of which last into the wee hours of the morning. Every single minute of those 8 hours is spent smiling, chatting, and pretending to be overall enjoyable. Some days are easier than others, I suffered from depression and anxiety attacks my entire freshman year of college, which made it almost impossible to smile through customer’s problems. Out of necessity, I did it. I have a friend (also a cashier) who had an uncle and her dad pass away in the same week, and she never missed a single shift, except for one, which was the day of their funeral. My other cashier friend was engaged, until she found out that he had been cheating on her for three months. She also struggled through each shift, never missing a beat. We always try and put ourselves into the customer’ s shoes, thinking “Well maybe shes having a bad day, maybe he just broke up with his girlfriend” etc. The customer is always right, we live by that, we swear by that. The LEAST customers could do is return the favor. There is nothing so important that you have to degrade your fellow human beings. You can be upset with us, but don’t swear at us. You can be impatient, but don’t take it out on us. You can be rich, but don’t expect special treatment. If you want good customer service, be a good customer. Be thankful, be gracious. With what some of us are getting paid, it’s a miracle we don’t just leave you to fend for yourself. We are humans too, we have problems, we have needs, we get tired, we make mistakes! Next time you are making an emergency trip, or a big expensive trip, or a little outing trip, smile at the cashier/associate who greets you, ask how their day is going, strike up a conversation, give us something to really smile about! Fill out that survey at the bottom of your receipt, mention your cashier’s name and the fellow who helped you find the toilet paper. It will make us feel better, it will get you great service, and we can all go home feeling like we did something worth feeling good about.


Similar Articles


This article has 0 comments.