Service With A Smile

11 Dec

No doubt this month you’ve been faced with a queue of some sort. Perhaps you were posting your holiday cards or getting a flu shot or purchasing a gift for a person you admire (note: my ring size is 4.5). You were probably annoyed by having to wait and when you finally got service, you were expecting a little compassion from the person behind the counter. After all, you’re a busy, important person and your time is valuable. If a service provider makes you wait, the least they can do is apologise, right?

I’m afraid I am unable to back you up on this one. As you know, I greatly admire manners and would love to be greeted with a smile by everyone who serves me. However, I also believe in keeping things in perspective.

Just for a moment, consider that person who is serving you. How’s their day going? While standing in line waiting to buy something is a pain, standing at the till ringing up other people’s purchases isn’t a barrel of laughs, you know. Of course, they’re probably being paid to do so (though undoubtedly not very well), but is pretending their life revolves around you and your happiness part of their job description? If in the end, you got my ring (I hope you remembered I prefer baguette rather than pear-shaped), the transaction’s been successful whether or not the clerk smiled at you or wished you a merry Christmas.

The run-up to December 25 can be stressful. If you can, make a smile part of all your public interactions. But if you don’t get one in return, try to be understanding. After all, it can be very tiring autographing book after book, and even the most sophisticated of authoresses can sometimes become frustrated. I’m sorry I kicked your child’s shin, but you got your book and isn’t that what you actually came out for?

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