Would you like respect with that?

When you need a day away from the sass that is working in retail

Graphic by: Sarah Massey | Production Assistant

I work in customer service.

It’s funny how once someone puts on a uniform and serves you a cheeseburger or bags your groceries that they are automatically below you in social standard.

It would be funny if it weren’t so not funny.

Society is screwed up this way.

We have people preaching about equality, but only when it suits them. We have people claiming to be good-hearted, but then snap when they have to use the chip on their debit card instead of just sliding it. God forbid we take up five extra seconds of your precious life to reduce fraud.

Just the other day, I was at work when a lady came in and was furious about how long the line was taking.

“I have to get to church,” she screamed.

It took everything not to laugh in her face at the irony.

It’s like people think that the more rude they are to the people behind the counter, the faster their service will be.


Despite what some believe, people are actually less likely to help you or care about your problems if you are constantly talking down to them.

Sometimes it’s subtle. Sometimes it’s not even talking.

It’s when I reach my hand out to take your money—and you’re texting on your cell phone—and throw the money on the counter.

It’s when there’s a massive line and you bring a bag of change, set it on the counter and expect me to count it. Then you get irritated when I’m double-checking my counting, even though you paid $5 in nickels and pennies.

It’s when you put your basket on the counter and expect me to unload your items as opposed to taking a second to help me like other customers have.

It’s subtle, unnoticeable—to you.

But it screams out to me and makes the long days just that much longer.

What ever happened to respect? Just because someone wears a nametag doesn’t mean that they are below you. It just means that they are working to make a decent life for themselves. It means they are human, just like you.

I’m aware that sometimes there are just rotten people who work in customer service, but before you dismiss them as complete jerks who deserve what’s coming to them, think about how long they’ve been working. Maybe they work 40 plus hours a week and have dealt with so many rude people that they have difficulty enjoying their job or recognizing the decent ones anymore.

Don’t be the reason someone comes home resenting another day in customer service. Chances are the uniform they have to wear makes them resent it enough already.