Working in the customer service industry sucks, it sucks even more when you are a sleep deprived new mom. I try to come in to work happy and not let the fact that I haven’t had a full nights rest in over ten weeks get to me. And I totally know that there are plenty of others that are going through the same thing, maybe even have it worse. But who in their right mind yells at someone for being “rude” when actually they were being genuinely nice. So here is a letter to the mom who yelled at me last night:
I do not know your name or story, I can only assume you had a very bad day and you were probably hungry. You came in to my place of work at the same time that three other parties (that had between 6-10 people in each party) came in without any reservations and I was trying to figure out where I could seat them. I did not intend to make you wait, I can assure you, you were only waiting for a minute or two. I know you had planned on sitting in the community seating to get happy hour but there was a man holding a table for his friends. Unfortunately there is no rule against someone doing that, and I can not kick him out for waiting for his friends. You said that you asked him if you could sit there and he said no. But for some reason you wanted me to take charge and make him let you sit there. If you had asked nicely I might have tried to ask the gentleman to allow you and your family to sit there for a bit to enjoy happy hour, but you were incredibly rude to me. I met your rudeness with a smile and asked if I could get you a table instead. You snarkily replied “I guess so since we can’t sit at the picnic benches.” So I replied “ok! Great, how many in your party?” Each second our interaction was prolonged I could see you getting angrier and angrier.
I showed you to your table where you angrily asked me my name and I replied with a smile and told you my name. Hoping maybe you were just wondering but instead you replied with, “Well Jacquie! You were incredibly rude!” I stood there with my mouth open for three full seconds in complete shock. Then I closed my mouth apologized profusely for coming off rude because I had absolutely no intention and then walked away when all I got was a cold hard stare from you. I got something else though, a sympathetic look from your husband apologizing for your rude behavior. I can only hope he had the guts to tell you how wrong you were for snapping at me.
I walked to the back of the restaurant and spoke with my manager to explain the situation where I nearly broke down in tears. I normally have pretty thick skin, but since pregnancy and having my nugget my hormones are off the charts and I react to things differently. I didn’t let your behavior ruin my night, I sucked it up and looked forward to you and your family leaving so I could cheerfully tell you “thank you so much and to have a great night!” I wanted to rub it into your face that you couldn’t ruin my night. But instead you snuck out the emergency exit.
So I just want to let you know, if you are reading this, or if anyone else who has never worked in customer service is reading this and you have done something like this: it really hurts, it hurts and ruins our nights. And the worst part is that we are stuck working for the next 7 hours having to plaster on a smile for others and pretend everything is ok. That all the verbal abuse we get from you, the servers, the bartenders and the managers is totally ok and doesn’t affect us. Hosts get the most crap in the restaurant business. We are the first people customers see, and if we are rude in the slightest or misquote on time for the wait we are yelled at. All night long we get to hear people bitching and complaining. So please, remember that you as a customer, even though you deserve to be treated well and are treated well, that DOES NOT mean you get to demean others. You are not better than us, and you do not deserve to treat us like dirt or think we are below you because we work in this industry. You don’t know my life, you may think I am just a young kid who parties and has the time of her life. But in reality I am raising my son, working two jobs and trying to figure out my life.
So next time, readers, you are feeling upset and you take it out on a customer service employee (anywhere for that matter, not just restaurants) please take a deep breath and if you can muster up the courage, apologize. Because that apology will go a long way and help you and the employee have a better day.
Everyone has bad days. Just remember that. Please. And rude lady that came into my work, if you come back, I probably won’t remember what you look like, but I hope that I can provide great service for you.