Requiring Employees To Be Cheerful Isn’t Just Mean, It’s Bad Business
Ester Bloom

As an introvert, I find the Customer Service Happy Face exhausting — but reasonable, to a certain extent. Customer #46 deserves cheerful service just as much as Customer #1; it’s not their fault you’ve been there for six hours and your feet ache and you want to cry.

Where I feel like the Happy Face custom becomes a serious problem is when employees are required to keep smiling in the face of appalling behavior from customers. If someone is shouting obscenities at you, it is not reasonable or humane for the policy to be, not only “stand there and take it,” but “take it while continuing to be simultaneously gracious, apologetic, soothing, self-deprecating and perky — also, give them whatever they want even if it breaks the rules and gets you into trouble later.” I can’t stand to see stores rewarding bad behavior.