UNADULTERATED: Voice of a Person Behind the Counter


It has been a while since I last blogged, but not since I last written. I fear that my work has been slowly chewing the part of myself that I feel is most precious to me -- my soul, and the ability to organise my thoughts and place them into words. This is what makes me become slightly human(e) again.

In truth, who doesn't have a love-hate relationship with their job or career? I know I do.

I have talked about this so many times in passing to friends, family, colleagues... but it never ever gets old. Anyone who worked or works in any position that serves customers will have encountered these feelings, one way or another, once or one time too many, in their working life.

I have never understood why people feel the need to shout at a service crew person's mistake. Or the need to make "passing" but demeaning comments. Or to write in and ask a rhetoric question of whether the staff was having bad day, but obviously still wanting the management to take action.



I have never felt less like a human ever since I started working in service. I have never felt more two-faced. I have never felt more like a robot.

While not in particular reference to my own job, I have always been amused by other people who talks about being disrespected by service staff. I will never not be curious of how they treated the service staff when they talk about being disrespected. Respect goes both ways. This is common sense.

I have also been amazed by how people treat service staff as if they are "lesser" than the paying customers. Service staff does not mean we are servants. The time has come where the service staff probably may even have higher education than the customers. They chose the service industry for many reasons -- maybe they have a passion for it, maybe it's a family thing, maybe this is a stepping stone for them, maybe they just want to have a lesson in life. I will never not be amused by people who talk to service crews as though they are incapable of understanding the language.

Why is it so hard to treat the person behind the counter as a fellow human being? Do you shout at your colleague? No. (Maybe you do, that's another post for another day.) Do you shout at your friend? No. (If you do, bye bye friendship.) Do you shout at your family? No. (If you do, I'm sorry.) Do you shout at strangers? No. (If you do... well, please don't shout at me.)

I appreciate it so, so much when someone, anyone, breaks the standard lines of please's and thank-you's, and actually wishes me a good night or good day. It is so darn rare. In the past year, I probably only have less than 5 of such interactions. I feel that people forget that we have feelings. And no matter how much of a piece of shit we feel, we still wish for you to have a good day, to enjoy your meal, and thank you for coming.

Maybe I'm guilty of the same when I become the customer, but I'm consciously trying to change that.

Yes, I am a service staff. I ought to provide good service. But please don't forget, this is just a job. While it is the job I am holding, I am a human before I am a service staff. I am somebody's daughter, somebody's granddaughter, somebody's good friend, somebody's niece, somebody's sister... I am all of those, before I am a service staff. As are you. Don't treat me any less than you treat yourself.

(I feel like this is not the entirety of what I want to share, but that's all I have to get off my chest right now.)

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