After working in retail for almost a year now, I’ve become drawn to those websites that are about bitter, awful customer experiences. I read Not Always Right and Clients from Hell daily. Each story I read confirms my belief that at least 60% of all customers are completely and utterly unaware that retail employees are human. They forget common courtesies like “please” and “thank you”. They lose their temper and insult the staff, while we have to bite our tongues and offer our apologies about the situation. They want everything their way and heaven help you if you’re standing in the way.
All I’m doing is feeding the bitterness about how my co-workers and I have been treated. It’s an unhealthy attitude to have, but a hard one to break since it’s reinforced every day.
I recently added Waiter Rant to my list of websites I read to build up my rage. But there’s a difference between his blog and the other rant sites. While Not Always Right and Clients from Hell focus exclusively on negative experiences, Waiter talks about every experience that happens to interest him. He talks about the conversations between himself and his co-workers. He talks about the positive interactions with customers. He talks about the negative interactions that ended well, simply because he kept his cool and the customer realized they were in the wrong.
And I’ve found myself, more and more, looking forward to the entries that talk about when things go right. Instead of reading his blog expecting to fuel my self-righteous rage about how the entire service industry is treated, I’m reading it for those little moments where all is right in the world. I’m reading it to verify that, really, most people aren’t monstrous assholes hell-bent on ruining someone’s day. Most people are decent or, at the worst, having their own version of my bad day.
So, thank you Waiter Rant, for giving me perspective on my own (sometimes) awful job.