To expect people in customer facing roles to be polite and friendly?

(88 Posts)
digitalpaintartist Thu 08-Sep-16 17:25:17

I am 39 weeks pregnant so wondering if I'm being hormonal here but in the last week I have come across some of the rudest people! Approached a booking clerk at antenatal, to book a scan. She barely acknowledged me and seemed agitated that I needed her to book a scan. When she couldn't book me in for when my consultant wanted to see me and I asked if there was a another option, she glared at me and said, 'Speak to your consultant, I just book what is available!'
Then today, I needed to grab a prescription. I went to a supermarket pharmacy and cheerily said hi as I approached the woman at the counter, she said nothing back, took my prescription out of my hand and walked to the back before returning to tell me they don't have it!

I mean, is it just me? I get that people can have shitty days but I seem to be coming across these rude people on a daily basis. If you are going to work in a role where you have to deal with people, then smack a smile on and be pleasant or AIBU?

BluishSky Thu 08-Sep-16 17:29:31

YANBU

I have this at the vet - I always feel they disprove of me and are going to bitch about me behind their back - like I'm wasting their time. Or that they don't like me - but I can't think of any reason why as they don't know me!

In that sort of job, they should be able to smile and chat if needed.

(I know everyone can have a bad day, but this is a regular thing).

BluishSky Thu 08-Sep-16 17:30:05

The vet receptionists, I should say - not the actual vet.

MumUndone Thu 08-Sep-16 17:31:09

Service in England is crap.

TheNaze73 Thu 08-Sep-16 17:31:31

YANBU, however whoever employed her is

Queenbean Thu 08-Sep-16 17:32:54

Yep I totally agree. Think this with shop assistants and receptionists are bad

But the worst is bar staff in trendy shoreditch bars who look at you as though you're utter shit for having the temerity to actually order a drink at their precious bar.

ScarletOverkill Thu 08-Sep-16 17:33:42

Another customer service bashing thread!
Yay!
hmm

BluishSky Thu 08-Sep-16 17:36:27

If they were polite (even just a smile), there would be no thread. It's not bashing, it's commenting on actual events.

SaggyNaggy Thu 08-Sep-16 17:39:19

am I the only one who couldn't really give a toss?

I don't want a meaningless chat with someone who is faking being interested and nice, I just want to be served, dealt with and on my way in the shortest amount of time possible.

digitalpaintartist Thu 08-Sep-16 17:42:55

I definitely don't expect anyone to chat to me Saggy. I certainly wouldn't expect to hold up other customers, for a chinwag with whoever is serving me, but I do expect a smile and for them to not behave as though I'm the very reason they hate their job that day.

Gottagetmoving Thu 08-Sep-16 17:48:43

When I was in a shop a while back, the assistant was miserable with everyone she served but one customer, a man of about fifty asked her if there was something wrong or was it that she just didn't like customers?
She gave him a forced smile but didn't answer.

Candypops14 Thu 08-Sep-16 17:50:52

Working in a customer faceing Role, I have never come across so many rude customers, the amount of people who are on the phone, don't use any manners, throw their money at you and are just plain rude and talk to you like crap, no wonder we all look miserable lol

BluishSky Thu 08-Sep-16 17:58:34

But if we are polite, why not be polite back?

Manners cost nothing, a smile costs nothing. It's not about faking a conversation, but positivity is surely better than negativity.

TobleroneBoo Thu 08-Sep-16 18:01:44

Service everywhere lately is shit, standards are shit

imwithspud Thu 08-Sep-16 18:03:33

YANBU, to an extent.

But having worked in mostly customer facing roles in the past I can confirm that this definitely goes both ways and some customers can be absolutely vile at times, some days its relentless and seems like everyone in the world has a chip on their shoulder and wants to take it all out on you. It's no wonder that people in customer facing struggle to keep up the facade 100% of the time.

As a result I am always polite to checkout assistants, receptionists etc even if they aren't the most polite to me. Having been on the other side, I get it. It's hard to be perfect all the time. I would draw the line at swearing or name calling though.

TweeterandtheMonkeyman Thu 08-Sep-16 18:04:17

I have worked in customer service roles my whole adult life so I'm going to have to agree with Candypops here. If they seem rude or dismissive they have probably just dealt with the customer from hell (or worked 10 hours with no break, or 7 days straight, or been yelled at by their boss etc etc.) The problem with a bad day in work when you're customer facing is that there's no hiding away to lick your wounds even if you feel like you're about to cry.

TweeterandtheMonkeyman Thu 08-Sep-16 18:06:08

Gottagetmoving Well, maybe she didn't much like the customers that day..and how patronising of that man shock !

U2HasTheEdge Thu 08-Sep-16 18:07:51

YANBU

At 5.30am this morning getting to the end of a 12.5 hour night shift I wanted to cry every time a certain patient called me to help her go to the toilet while I was trying to do my morning obs. However, I put a smile on my face because it's my job to be polite and customer assistants should do the same. You don't have to smile, or even make small talk, just don't act like you are pissed off with me.

digitalpaintartist Thu 08-Sep-16 18:09:40

I understand where those in customer facing roles are coming from, I do. I worked in retail all of my teens, then call centres and now the NHS but I suppose I do try and treat the next person I see as a 'new person' even if I had dealt with a nightmare customer/patient previously. Don't flame me, I'm not perfect! I just try to treat people how I'd expect to be treated.

U2HasTheEdge Thu 08-Sep-16 18:12:33

That's because you are good at your job OP.

I have been sick on, someone attempted to strangle me and I have had patients treat me like I'm shit on the bottom of their shoe.

I don't take it out on the next person.

TweeterandtheMonkeyman Thu 08-Sep-16 18:13:16

U2 I was referring to all public facing roles not just retail/hospitality. I've certainly come across some grumpy NHS staff in my time but I would never judge them for it unless they were actively aggressive/swearing or something. I think the OP was referring to mild unfriendliness/grumpiness (from the NHS)- to which I say everyone has an off day.

MumUndone Thu 08-Sep-16 18:13:26

True, the public are utter crap too! grin

HappenstanceMarmite Thu 08-Sep-16 18:15:58

At 5.30am this morning getting to the end of a 12.5 hour night shift I wanted to cry every time a certain patient called me to help her go to the toilet while I was trying to do my morning obs. However, I put a smile on my face because it's my job to be polite and customer assistants should do the same. You don't have to smile, or even make small talk, just don't act like you are pissed off with me.

👆This. I have driven to many appointments following a row with a partner/upsetting news/feeling unwell so not in the greatest of moods. But, once I arrive at destination, it's game face on. If you can't do that, you shouldn't be in a customer facing role. Tits and teeth, the show must go on and all that.

JenLindleyShitMom Thu 08-Sep-16 18:22:26

YANBU.

I am in retail and get some really rude arseholes at my till. But thats not the next customer's fault, nor is my long shift and sore feet their fault, or the fact my manager has been on my back all day.

My manager tutted at a customer today who asked for her help finding something because it meant manager leaving the shelf reorganising she was in the middle of. Then when the customer left she moaned about people taking her away from her work. Errr, without the customers you have no work! Serving them is your work. The customers are not an inconvenience of the job, they are the job.

Gottagetmoving Thu 08-Sep-16 18:26:25

Gottagetmoving Well, maybe she didn't much like the customers that day..and how patronising of that man

It doesn't matter whether she liked the customers or not. Her job is to serve them in a pleasant way.
As for the man being patronising, she was lucky he wasn't as unpleasant as she was. He was quite nicely making a point. He could have been a lot worse.

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