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Customer Service and Its Pandemic Plunge

Where have all the manners gone?

While many are staying home, others are going out in spurts whether it’s to dine at a restaurant or shop at your local grocery store. Small local businesses have dropped like flies but even the larger ones are cutting corners by cutting jobs.

With unemployment on the rise, good workers are hard to find and when stressed out employees clash with stressed out customers, a ticking time bomb is soon ignited. It has become the no-maskers versus the maskers, Republicans versus Democrats, and the conspiracy theories on a massive rise through the internet news flashes.

If there’s one thing that social media has shown us is 2020 is also the year of the public tantrum meltdown. The label of Karen emerged as women began demanding to see name badges, get your corporate office number and even speak directly to your manager.

No matter who you side with or what you believe, EVERYONE is stressed. Alcohol sales are on the rise as bars are being forced to close their doors and now the rent is due for most even though their jobs haven’t returned. Are we still shocked that the lady at your local cash register rolled her eyes at you or maybe let out one sigh too many as you complained about a mask policy that she absolutely has ZERO control over?

The movement of “all in it together” soon fled our social media feeds as we began to see nothing but fear, friends, and family passing away or getting very ill, and people selfishly hoarding toilet paper for whatever reason that most of us still can’t figure out. Fear invokes a different reaction from each of us. Some of us stay indoors and spray those that pass by with Lysol, while others get snappy in public and suddenly become enraged at the slightest little inconsistency. I personally saw that myself with someone mistreating a server over a paper napkin. *Facepalm*

My point is this. There is always a justified excuse we can find to be awful so instead of reacting to that customer or letting someone with a bad attitude get to you as they meltdown while wearing underwear on their head (yes I’ve seen it on social media in grocery stores), please just take a deep breath and imagine what they must be feeling to react that way. If they become belligerent, simply walk away. Today and in this time, it is not the place to have that battle. Imagine saying “I completely understand that you are upset. What would be a better way to deal with this so we can both have a better experience?” You’d be surprised that some people just want to be heard. Let’s work on our part to show kindness and compassion whenever and wherever we can. That’s the true meaning of all in it together.

Needless to say, if you can’t shower them with kindness and you can’t find a way to walk away, think before you act. Everyone is equipped with a personal recording device that holds each of us accountable. As much as I want to believe that everybody CAN be helped, many DON’T want to be helped. I just hope that today you read this and can spread a little bit of kindness in this world that we are ALL stressed out in and let’s bring customer service back and a whole lot of compassion for those working hard in the service industry!


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