You know that old saying, “The customer is always right?”. Yeah, well turns out it’s not only outdated, but there are a lot of times when it’s completely wrong. Don’t believe me? Work in any industry where you serve a customer directly for just one week, then you might have a serious change of heart.
Let’s put it this way, the customer isn’t always wrong, but they’re certainly not always RIGHT.
Want some examples? Thought you’d never ask.
The Food Industry
Yes there are various eating establishments out there but the one thing that they’re bound to do is try to make you happy as a customer. Their job and their livelihood is to insure that their customers are kept satisfied and wanting to come back for more. Granted, you’ll get people that just don’t care and act like jerks because they don’t really like their job, but apart from these caricatures of food workers many of those in this industry want to make money and they’ll go out of their way to make people happy.
Even if they’re having a horrible day most of them will do what they can to put a smile on their face and deal with the customer’s crap no matter what it is. Yet when a customer comes in with a bad attitude, treats the employees like garbage, demands everything and complains even when the employees are doing whatever they can to make them happy, that’s when a job in the food industry becomes a living hell. Day in, day out, people will have issues when it comes to their food. If you don’t want to be treated like a douche at a restaurant then you should remember the one cardinal rule:
Don’t f**k with people that handle your food.
The Hospitality Industry
Lodging is a privilege when you’re away from home to be quite honest, it’s not a right. No one is legally obligated to take you in. It doesn’t matter if it’s a cottage, a shack, or a five-star hotel, if it’s not yours then you treat it and the people that are serving you with respect. They want you there initially, they want the business because it puts money in their pockets and gives them a purpose. But the moment you start acting as though you own the place, the moment you start getting out of control, that’s when they reserve every right to ask you to leave. So you paid for the room already? Tough, there’s such a thing called a refund and the highway for you to get steppin’.
You’re not the king or queen of the castle when you’re away from home, you’re a guest, and as such you’re there to be waited on, but not tolerated if you step out of line. Sure it looks bad when a vacation spot has to kick a person out, but it looks worse for them if they show others that they allow the kind of ill behavior that some people have exhibited throughout the world.
The hotel is not your home, and it’s not your playground.
The Retail Industry
Do you get the idea that I’ve been there, done that with these various industries? Good, because quite honestly I spent nearly a third of my life between them and have seen some of the worst and some of the best come and go. Not everyone that walks into a hotel, eatery, or store is going to be a pain in the ass, that’s understood. People come to these places because they want to, they intend to have a decent time and be glad that the establishment’s there.
But then you get the bad ones that think that you’re there simply to serve their whims because THEY’RE the CUSTOMER. Yes, that’s understood, you take care of the customer when you’re an employee, but one thing that none of these businesses ever seem to cover is that an an employee and a human being you don’t have to stand around and take crap from the customer either. In many places you’re required by company design to find your manager and let them handle the situation. That’s fortunate for the customer since many of us have probably imagined what we’d like to do in the darkest corners of our minds and are more than willing to share.
In retail it’s important for an employee to be nice, courteous, and as helpful as possible. But unfortunately there are those malcontents that simply like to stir up trouble for no reason at all and will seek to get the employee in trouble or make them feel as though they’re unintelligent in one way or another. The trick there as I’ve learned is to let them keep talking, and eventually they’ll prove their own lack of intelligence.
Oh yes, I have learned some tricks in my day. The customer is an important part of business, but as to being right, just toss that old tidbit in the trash on your way out.