Recently I’ve had some really unpleasant customer service experiences. Unfortunately, I actually experience an unnervingly high amount of poor customer service, but one incident particular stands out to me.
The week had been stressful and I realized I desperately needed some coffee. In my tired, worn out state I hobbled across the street from work to grab a cup of warm coffee. I opened the door to the shop and a wave of that warm, soothing coffee smell enveloped me. I immediately started feeling better.
I went to the counter to place my order. While I was waiting for my coffee, a friend came in to grab a pastry. She was having a similar week to mine but I would argue much worse.
Not only was she dealing with an unreasonable amount of work stress, but also with some very intense and painful family health problems. I went to talk to her while she waited in line and when it was her turn at the register the barista snarled, “What is that?” and pointed at the pastry my friend had picked out.
My friend replied ,“Oh it’s a donut.” and the barista very rudely replied, “Well I figured as much! What kind of donut?”
The question itself was reasonable but the way it was asked was not only rude but condescending and completely uncalled for. The woman, being unkind to my friend, made her feel like she had done something wrong when she hadn’t at all! Had the barista simply been polite to her, my friend’s day would have been much better, simply because a kind person sold her a donut, with a smile.
Like I said, unfortunately, this was only one of numerous similar incidents I have experienced recently. Though they seem small, they linger in my mind. They emphasize to me the importance of being kind to one another, especially when that is part of our job description.
The fact of the matter is, we all go through hard times. We all have bad days, bad weeks, bad years, or sometimes we are in awful moods for no reason at all! We are human and these things are inevitable. That does not mean it is OK to be hurtful or rude to others.
Everyone is fighting their own battle. Perhaps the grumpy barista had been having a terrible day. There could have been something horribly wrong in her life. I don’t know. What I knew for a fact was that even though there was something horribly wrong in my dear friend’s life that day, she was doing her best to be kind to those around her, including the barista.
Points to my friend.
The lesson here is that you never know someone else’s struggle. Even if you think you do, you probably don’t fully understand.
Please do your best to empathize and spread a little love. Try your hardest to be kind and respectful of others. Get off your phone and make eye contact. Be respectful to the people who wait on you. Be respectful to the people you serve.They may be having just as hard a day as you are.
Compassion is a key emotion that will make our world a better place. I challenge you to exercise compassion every day, and to encourage others to as well.
What’s your best tip or idea about being compassionate? I’d love to hear it.