“Hi, can I get a medium chocolate milkshake?” the middle aged man asked.
“No sorry, we actually don’t sell milkshakes at this restaurant,” I kindly replied.
He paused and stared at me, “All right. Well you’re useless to me then,” and walked away.
Sadly, I find it hard to think of a shift I’ve worked where every customer I served had genuine manners and courtesy. I understand everyone has their bad days, but I don’t see that as an excuse to disrespect someone who is at your service.
I’ve had countless customers yell at me about our prices, or tell me I’m doing my job wrong, when I have no control over our price range and I was trained to do my job a specific way.
My worst experience of this was with an elderly man who ordered a coffee and muffin special. It is mandatory for me to offer butter with every muffin I sell, so I asked if he would like some. He then replied with, “Did I ask for butter?”
I was immediately embarrassed and felt foolish for making sure I had this man’s order correct. A younger man beside him then asked how his day was going and he said he was enjoying his time making fun of me. I was astonished by how someone could feel good while making another feel so small and worthless.
Now imagine yourself a high school student stressing about homework, friends and family drama, graduation, your future, and still going into work, serving every customer with a smile just to be treated like this in return. I encourage you to think twice before mistreating another employee, when you don’t know what they may be going through already.
Grade 12 student, Chilliwack Secondary School.