Hello? Hello?! How are you doing today?
Today when I read the Detroit Free Press, I couldn’t believe what I saw. Inside was an opinion piece by Mitch Albom, where he criticized the service industry. I understand that not everyone in the field has a voice or platform to respond, but I do.
In the article, which can be read HERE, Albom bashes those working in service-based industries, complaining about how no one seems to pay attention or listen to what he has to say. Well, I hear you loud and clear.
What’s often lost in the shuffle, is the amount of people who pay no attention to us. Here we are doing our best to keep a smile on our face, being mostly underpaid and unappreciated workers to the public. We do our best, and seldom does anyone ever thank us for our time.
Instead, people come to our registers with yelling on their cell phones, not bothering to pay any attention to what we have to say. For the eleventh time, we still do not accept Mastercard here, sir. No, you have to push the green button at the bottom. Yes, the green button. No, not the red one. Yes, the green button.
Meanwhile, you allow your children to run around our stores and restaurants, making a mess out of everything that we work so hard to keep clean. Last time I checked, the sign on the door did not say our businesses are a day care, so please don’t treat it like one.
And still, you have the nerve to complain about things that you either don’t understand, or didn’t bother to ask. You insult my employees, calling us ignorant, stupid and uneducated, all the while only making yourself look like the idiot. Yet here we stand with a smile on our face, doing our best to make you happy. It’s not our fault you didn’t ask us about our policies, but that’s okay. We’ll take the blame for this one, too.
Would you like to blame it on us being young? Where else are students (both high school and college) going to be able to find part time work? What about single mothers who can’t hire a babysitter for more than a few hours at a time? Perhaps we’d be better off if we just all stayed home. We’re doing the best we can to be productive members of society, so please learn to respect that.
We don’t ask for much. Please be courteous, respectful and kind, and we’ll be glad to do the same for you. Don’t belittle us, because we’re not lesser people than you. Yes, we’re here to serve you, but that doesn’t mean we deserve to be disrespected.
So the next time your coffee doesn’t have enough cream or someone accidentally put pickles on your hamburger, please understand that we’re simply doing the best we can. We’re not perfect, but neither are you.