The customer is ALWAYS right?

Jack Cahill '17

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Before I got a job, I was oblivious to the true hardships of working. Building a schedule around working is tough, and the hours can get long. I used to be just another blind customer. Working as a cashier, however, I question the true problem.

Society is conditioned to believe the old saying, “The customer’s always right.” But seeing the true nature of the customer has been eye-opening. Of course, not all customers are mean and there are a handful of diamonds in the rough, but in general, the customers are oblivious and care about nothing but themselves and their shopping cart.

Customers shop like they’ve never been to a store before. They are unaware of basic store policies, such as giving me their store discount card, or properly paying with a credit card. Customers give me coupons for items they didn’t even buy, or yell at me when a coupon doesn’t work, when all they had to do is read the parameters of the coupon, which, of course, they didn’t bother to do. The issues even spread into the parking lot, where customers will leave carts in parking spots because they are too lazy to put them back, or blindly walk in the path of cars.

Customers only care about one thing: their shopping. Customers routinely get into fights over buying items or yell at each other about taking up space in the isles. Customers will yell at each other in the checkout line for taking too long or roll their eyes at me, and I’ll hear their complaints later. This is most evident when the store is busy. On Christmas Eve, the store was filled with last minute shoppers buying whatever they needed for their big dinner that night. I had a customer who had a problem with a cake she bought from the bakery. I called over a manager, and she went back to the bakery to sort the issue out. We only have one manager in charge of all 14 registers at a time. The backlash I got because the manager took a bit of time helping other people instead of the people in my line was astonishing. I could literally do nothing, yet I still got blamed. The attitude of the average customer is not good, and there are no signs that it is changing for the better

Most customers don’t understand that workers are humans too, and not just robots programmed to serve them. A smile, genuine compliment, or just general respect can go a long way and mean a lot to workers.


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The customer is ALWAYS right?