As anyone in the customer industry knows, it takes a special type of person to work in customer service. If you aren’t one of those special type of people your job will turn you into one. You have to evolve to stay sane at your job, otherwise you will suffer a stroke from your insanely high blood pressure.
I’ve only worked as a waitress, but I’m sure that these could be applied elsewhere.
Defeating Social Anxiety
I did not want to ever work in a restaurant. I wanted an office job where I could sit on my ass and not have to deal with dozens of people every day. But life doesn’t always go the way you want it to, and when I saw a sign for waitresses I decided to apply.
I was immediately thrust into my personal hell, dealing with people. I had always pretty much hated everyone and wanted to stay away from them if I could. Sometimes, I would literally get sick to my stomach having to talk to new people.
Now, I had a job where my very life depended on me getting along with people, and I found I was pretty good at it. I realized having a fake façade helps dealing with social anxiety. Waitressing taught me to step away from myself.
This one sounds bad, but it’s true. Waitressing forced me to read people and be able to manipulate the situation to my favor. If I didn’t do this I couldn’t pay rent.
I learned more about psychology working in customer service than I ever did in college.
Before I ever started serving I did not have any patience. I couldn’t even wait for my pizza to be delivered (especially if I was on my period).
But one day I had an epitome. I had been waitressing for a few months and had finally gotten the hang of it and was comfortable doing my job. Not the point. The point was I found myself staring out the window, daydreaming, while one of my customers took five minutes to choose between fries and mashed potatoes. I wasn’t worried, I wasn’t impatient. I was practically meditating while on the job.
One day, I was serving one of my regular customers. They were a couple that we had nicknamed the Grumpy Cunts. Nothing was ever up to their standards and they almost never tipped. Regardless, they were seated in my section and I was forced to take the orders of the Grumpy Cunts.
Immediately, the wife yelled that I had taken too long (twenty seconds) and wanted three different drinks for herself and then proceeded to order breakfast, which went something like this:
“I want eggs and heavy bacon, eggs fried over easy and the bacon rare”
I put the ridiculous order in and the cook gave me a weird look, but made the food.
Fast forward, and the food came out. The bacon was crispy. I offered to get her more since I saw her getting pissed, but she turned me down and started SCREAMING, saying I was rude and that I obviously hadn’t listened to her order. I was stupid, she never wanted me to serve again, she was going to talk to my manager (who didn’t care).
I did not react. I didn’t care that her bacon was crispy. I had done my job to the best of my abilities and was pleasant the whole time. If she needed to yell she obviously had more problems with herself than me. This type of thinking has helped me out tremendously in all areas of life.