I’ve seen many a rant lately about the lack of customer service skills people are receiving from their local grocery stores and coffee shops. The bagger who puts the canned organic bean sprouts on top of the cage free eggs or the barista who spells your name wrong and then has the audacity to give you a full packet of Splenda instead of the 3/4 packet you requested. While I feel the despair of yee forlorn customers, I have news for you…customers aren’t as amazing as they use to be either. They are actually a bunch of entitled dicks who find joy in demeaning other humans beings. Shocked? Then you probably haven’t worked in customer service in the last decade.
While I enjoy portraying myself as a savage ass bitch online, I’m actually not able to be that person at work. 99.999% of my work day is spent fake smiling and saying things like
“No problem, let me fix that for you.”
“Steam it to 178.4 degrees? Of course.”
“Thank you for spelling your name for me, Sue.”
“Would you like me to bring that to your table?”
I know how to count change, how to spell, how to give customers the kind of attention they rightly deserve, however they now feel entitled to a level of service usually reserved for the fucking Queen of England. And they aren’t shy about letting you know that they respect a fresh dog turd more than they respect you.
Yesterday, I had a woman in the passenger seat of a vehicle demanding that I explain gluten to her. Because I was clearly hired by this company as a professional dietitian.
“Are those egg things gluten free? Because it says on your sign they are.”
“We offer a gluten-free sandwich, but I cannot guarantee the other item is gluten-free.”
“Well, how is it made?”
Let’s pause here for a moment, shall we. Do you go to the grocery store and ask the checker how the tomatoes you are buying are grown? No. That would be silly because she doesn’t grow the tomatoes, she rings you up for them and prays that you will leave without making a god damn fuss about them. I don’t make the food at my work. There is no hidden bakery in the back or a basement filled with chickens laying eggs for a sandwich. It comes in a box, we put it in a fridge, and then we warm it up in a shitty oven before handing it to you.
“The items we serve are pre-made, but it is a poached egg with peppers that is vacuum sealed and heated when ordered.”
HUGE SIGH FROM THE CAR.
“Fine, I’ll take that but with no cheese.”
Ever tried to take cheese out of a poached egg? No. That’s cause it’s not a thing.
“I’m sorry, but there is no way we can take anything out of that particular item.”
“Well, what is in the gluten-free sandwich?”
Keep in mind, this is all happening in a drive thru with cars piling up like god damn rush hour in LA.
“It has a gluten-free bun, egg, Canadian bacon, and cheese.”
Driver responds this time, laughing while she does. “Ummm, sweetheart, cheese isn’t gluten-free.”
You don’t get to call me sweetheart and laugh at me in the same breath. Before I can tell her that I wasn’t aware she was looking for a vegan sandwich, her passenger whispers. “You are thinking of dairy.”
Five minutes of my life wasted to have someone try to shame me about not knowing what is gluten and what isn’t. If i ever had enough time in my life to sit in a fucking drive thru and treat another human being like that, I hope someone would saran wrap me inside a cooler and leave me to die.
That’s not even the worst part of my day.
When I mention this small interaction to another customer, after he asks why I look so overwhelmed, he takes it upon himself to be a disgusting mouth breather.
“You should have told her that the only way that cheese had gluten in it was if the cow had a wheat filled dildo shoved somewhere.”
Customer service is bad? I have to smile and listen to this shit so I can take my kids to the doctor. Think about that for a minute. While you get butt hurt over not getting enough napkins, your server is being groped or yelled at or talked to in the most inappropriate ways. And we fake laugh, fake smile, and then cringe when we finally clock out.
The next time you feel put out by a barista, your checker looks like she’s going to cry, or your waiter forgets a lemon, remember that this is their lively hood. And just like you, they aren’t perfect. You don’t always hit your deadline or make the best presentation at work. You slack and hide in your cubicle watching YouTube videos or making an outhouse out of paper clips. We have off days, too. We also have to laugh at wheat dildo jokes, so be grateful the worst thing that happened to on your Thursday was getting too much foam on your latte.