It's time to put on that uniform

'Tis the season for spending too much money on Black Friday, plane tickets home, and busy restaurants. The jobs within customer service are amped up for the holidays, and seasonal jobs are offered. We’ve all heard the horror stories from these employees, not only during this time, but all year round. Despite the inevitable fact that working a job in customer service will send you into a puddle of despair, everyone needs to work a job like this once in their life.

I know, it sounds crazy. Why subject yourself to that kind of torture? Although you won’t realize it right away, working a job in customer service will help you develop strong life skills for your future career and develop stronger personality traits. It's time to put on that uniform and try to overcome the stress of the job.

First and foremost, if you’re soft-spoken and shy, you’ll get over that quickly. Nothing gets you out of your shell like hundreds of people being thrown at you day after day, and having to help them. If you’re really that bad, don’t worry; you’ll be given a script of sorts until you can finally hold a proper conversation with someone off the cuff.

They say patience is a virtue, and this was something I didn’t realize until I worked customer service. When a customer just won’t let up about some discount you forgot to give them, or some dish that wasn’t prepared correctly, all you want to do is yell at them right back. But do you really want to lose your job? You might be thinking yes, but really the answer is no, no you do not. After a few months, or even a few years of dealing will difficult customers and being forced to remain pleasant, you’ll develop patience by default.

Watch that table, and this table, and that table. Get this down for her, and then ring him up. No matter what area of customer service you work in, learning to multi-task is a must. You won’t make it very far in this line of work without that ability, nor will you be able to make it very far in your future career.

Most importantly, you’ll develop a newfound respect for the cashier ringing you up, or the barista making your coffee. When they’re running around frantically, you’ll remember when you were there. When you have to wait just a few minutes more than you would like, you’ll be much more understanding of the situation and cut them a break. With all of the impolite customers they have to deal with in the run of a day, they need a few customers that feel their pain.

Although this might be a job full of headaches, a job within customer service is a necessary for everyone to endure once in their life time. You’ll learn how to deal with people, and that’s a skill that will always be an important asset, even if you become a CEO.


Reach the columnist at dpharias@asu.edu or follow her on Twitter @_Desirayray

Editor’s note: The opinions presented in this column are the author’s and do not imply any endorsement from The State Press or its editors.

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