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So I wrote a piece on Friday about things people in customer service do that customers can’t stand. Whoa, what a response that got! First things first, it was never my intention to try and make it look like all customer service workers are crappy, because they definitely aren’t. Like I mentioned in the introduction for that article, I’ve worked in positions such as these in my lifetime, more than once, some positions for years, so I was definitely not saying that. But I wanted to keep it real because I’ve noticed a steep decline in the way things are done in customer service. But hey, maybe that’s just New York. While there are some gems in customer service that deserve fat tips and recommendations to their managers, there are some that deserve a swift kick in the butt and an attitude adjustment.

But don’t get it twisted, just as there are bad sales associates, waiters and attendants, there are some equally terrible customers that walk into their establishments and warrant an attitude. Those who think a tantrum is needed when they can’t get what they want or get it quickly, who leave their tables looking like a bomb hit it, and talk crazy to people just trying to do their job because they’ve been in the mall waaaaay too long. Not only have workers encountered them, but so have other customers who’ve had to throw them a frown. Here’s a list of things that those looking to get served need to know before they march into a store, restaurant, gym, or whatever. If you do these things, know that you’ll need to do better–fast. Or you can just expect some spit in your food…kidding!

The Customer Goes Ghost…
Just like people who frequent restaurants and stores who need help can’t stand when their waiter or salesperson disappears, the same can be said for a sales associate or food worker who has a customer run out of line on them and hold everything up. At the last second, you, the customer, decide you want that sweater you were going back and forth about, or those plums on sale, and guess what, it’s all the way at the front of the store where you walk in. Or how about you have a gift card and want to spend every cent on it, so when you find out you still have money available, you get out of line to play crazy and “quickly” grab something small. And by quickly I mean more than five minutes wasted putting things out of place and not actually picking anything up. Look. There’s a method to the madness that is waiting in a line at an establishment. If you’re not ready to checkout then stay your behind OUT of the line until you have everything figured out and save the people standing behind you a roll of the eyes, and the cashier’s sanity.

Great, You’re STILL Not Ready to Order
I’ve done this, and I can totally see now how rude it is. When you come into a restaurant, most likely you’re coming with someone else in the hopes of chatting over a nice meal. That’s cool. But in the future, save long stories and drawn out conversations until AFTER you order. I’m sure there’s nothing worse than your waiter/waitress having to return to your table four or more times after they first popped up asking you what you would like to eat because you just HAD to tell your girlfriend immediately about your relationship troubles. You’re not their only table so try not to hold them up. Keep asking someone to give you a couple more minutes and hey, they might just ditch your table altogether. And could you blame them?

Summary? Order first. Gab later.

Treating Customer Service Workers Like Peasants
When I worked in retail, I had many an episode with customers who thought that because I sometimes couldn’t get them what they wanted, when they wanted, how they wanted it, I was some sort of idiot. An idiot who should do better since I made the choice to work in retail and would be working there for the rest of my life. PSYCH. To be real, many a person that throws on an apron, walks around with a pen and pad to take orders and throws a tag on their boob is NOT trying to spend the rest of their lives picking up after rude strangers. Many are trying to pay for school, look for full-time gigs in their area of study or are just getting what they can get in this craptastic economy. And even if they do make the choice to work in customer service and love it, that doesn’t make them any less of a person deserving of respect than you. Not cool. Just because you got to spend your Saturday “parlaying” and shopping doesn’t mean you get to talk down to people like you run things. Basically, treat other people how you would want to be treated, or sit the hell down somewhere.

Does My Tag Say Personal Shopper?
When you enjoy what you do in retail, even for a minute, helping people find what looks good on them and what is good for them is fun. Really. But there’s a difference between helping someone get a good start on their shopping, and becoming a personal shopper for them. I’ve watched grown women get their feelings hurt when you tell them you need to check on other customers, and seriously, that’s just not a good look. Know that you are never the ONLY person shopping in a store, and if you are then that establishment has bigger problems to worry about, so be patient and understanding. Ask for a name if you want to follow up with a busy sales associate, but don’t throw your bag at them and point them in different directions like they’re Sophia in The Color Purple.

The Customer Who Tears Stuff Up Because They Can
You know those kids in junior high school who mix ketchup with stuff like ice cream just because they don’t have anything better to do and they wonder what it would look like? Yeah, well, adults do that mess too. Some grown people walk into restaurants and make messes on tables because they’re bored. And some individuals dig through shopping racks, drop things on the floor “on accident” and don’t bother to pick them up. Not only do perfectly good clothes get dirty and wind up damaged because some people just don’t care, but establishments are looked at crazy because people who come to shop and eat think they’re dirty and unkempt, rather than blaming the 30-year-old man and his friends who decided to get destructive with their food and bounce, or the lady who let her child drool on a shirt that she unfolded and left on the ground. You wouldn’t want someone to run up in your home and tear it up, so why go somewhere else and think it’s alright?

She’s The Coupon Queen to Be…
Oh how we all love coupons don’t we? There’s nothing like getting to keep a chunk of money thanks to a coupon you were lucky enough to remember to clip out before coming out of the house. But for the love of all things good in the world, remember these two things: Have your coupon(s) ready before you get rung up, and spread your coupons out for multiple visits. Doing like five different transactions at once because you want to save money on every single thing you buy even though there is a one coupon per purchase rule is irksome as all get out. And yeah, no one minds letting you use a coupon, but don’t wait until your busy server comes back with your bill ready to be signed to make mention of it, or after the cashier has gone through all your items and pressed total. By the way, no one can look up a coupon for you that you left at the crib, so if you’re one of those people that constantly asks that question…there’s your answer.

Know When You’re Wrong and Let It Go…Quickly
So you picked up a product that you thought was on sale and you get to the register thinking it’ll be half off because of a sign you saw. But in actuality, that sign was for something on the opposite side of your chosen item, and when you get in line, you’ll get a surprise when the price shows up. When you make that embarrassing decision to ask the cashier or an associate to walk back with you to prove what you thought you saw on the sign, when it comes to light that you were incorrect, just let it go. Seriously. Barking about your new definition of “false advertising” won’t get you the item for any cheaper if the manager already said no, and telling the cashier you’ll never come back to the store, trust me, means nothing to them. Trying to get other people riled up because you’re irritated isn’t cool, so be the bigger person. You don’t have to apologize for your error by any means, just shrug it off and keep it moving.

Don’t Eat the Majority of Something And Try to Send it Back Boo
So the way this goes is, eat a few bits of what you’ve ordered, and if it doesn’t taste anything like what you were hoping for, nor can you adequately digest, send it back. Same with a drink. Don’t down half a pitcher of Sangria with your friends and THEN say it doesn’t taste right. That plate of spaghetti? At least leave some meatballs, girl. The moral of this story is, the more food left on your plate, the less likely you’ll get charged for that “nasty” meal. Cause if it’s bad enough to possibly send back, why are you still maxing it?

Don’t Be Picky When You Get Things for Free
I worked at Victoria Secrets and P!NK for about two years on and off as I finished up college, and this was my ultimate pet peeve. Anybody that shops there knows that they often send out coupons that offer you free things. Free sprays, lotions, panties. Panties just so happen to be the most popular giveaway since they’re a bit more useful and expensive. But people act like you’re asking them to pay for the crap the way they turn up their noses at the free products if they can’t get the particular color, scent, style or fabric they want. Complaining because your size isn’t available is one thing, but if you were just hoping for something with a bunch of bells and whistles and you’re disappointed because you’re going to have to settle for something a little bit more conservative but still FREE, then you just need to turn in that coupon and be on your merry way.

Any other things you’d like to add to the list?

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