By photographer Zachary Staines

To Those Who Deal With the Public, Your Customer Service Makes a Difference

As someone who does work in retail, working with the public can be…a challenge. Some people can be so unreasonable, others curt and others downright unpleasant. But I’ve also been on the other side most of my like and there have also been some pretty disgruntled employees who look at you like your mere existence is a bother to them. I get it. I’ve been there myself. But there are days like today where I realize just how much customer service really means to people and here’s why.

It really can boost a person’s mood

Today Nathan and I had to get our passports renewed because of our new last names. He thought the process wouldn’t take too long. As anyone who’s been to the DMV at least once knows any government appointment takes forever and it’s always unpleasant. We showed up not knowing at all what to expect. Both of us hadn’t needed to renew our passports in so long and as a result we were both really confused. I’ll save you most of the agony but we sat there for quite a while filling out forms, me waiting till Nathan got back to get a money order we didn’t know we needed and me praying my phone battery wouldn’t die while I was waiting. But then a savior walked through the door. She was a little shorter than me, wore a blue button up shirt, had a cool short haircut and the sweetest smile. She asked who was there to renew their passports. Thankfully, it was only me and two other people who were there to do that. I felt like God had sent her there to help me gtfo.

She pointed to me and said she would help me first. I was so relieved. Then when we talked she apologized for the confusion and because she knew renewals were much quicker than applying for brand new passports. So she said she wanted to save us some time. Not only that she took me step by step on what exactly I had to do. *heart eyes emoji* That completely lifted my mood. I thought I would have to spend my first day off sans stomach bug with Nathan in the passport office. But thanks to Patty, I did not.

It really does make the customer feel special.

After a great visit at the passport office, Nathan and I went to the post office to mail our applications. Same sort of situation: there are lots of people, everyone seems like they really don’t wanna be there and I’m prepared to be standing around for a bit. We get called by one of the employees and it’s this really nice tall lady with long red hair. We’ve seen her before and I recognized her right away. This lady has always been very polite to us. She helped us pick which envelope to get and helped us organize everything. Nothing she did was even over the top or anything. But just the fact that she was so nice and made us smile and treated us as people rather than another person in line is what made us feel special.

You could be a really nice break from all the jerks everywhere else.

After two pretty great instances, Nathan and I didn’t expect anything else. We were just so happy the day was going so well. We had to go to the dollar store to get some tissues (I sneeze more than once literally every single morning like clockwork). We go through a lot of tissues. Anyway, we got to the front of the register and this woman with long brown hair was just talking to this little kid saying I don’t even know what. But it was adorable that she was even talking to him in the first place. Then when we got up, Nathan and I were being our messy selves playing around. The lady picked up this journal that I was buying to write some ideas in to which I got only after I got the okay from Nathan. She picked it up and read the label “Notebook/Cahier.” She pronounced it like kuh-here. I said “cahier?” (kaw-hee-err?)she said “cahier. (Kuh-hee-air)” Then she said “Is that French?” and I went “who even knows?” And we both laughed and said “who even knows!” after we left.

Her sweet spirit and funny pronunciation of “cahier” was a great break after all the idiots on the road we had to get through just to make it to the dollar store. People cut you off in traffic, they honk for no reason, they stop for NO REASON. Then you get out of your car and walk around and then people walk too slow in front of you or let their kids zoom around the place and they hit you as they run by or people purposefully let the door close behind you. By then after all that happened, you come in looking like you’re a jerk. But then people like this lady and all the women who helped us today make you feel really good. The rest of what happened that day pales in comparison to the kindness that got shown to you throughout the day.

I’m so thankful for those ladies for helping us out today and I will remember what they did for me. In return I will pass that along with all the people I interact with (as much as I can of course.) This is retail after all.

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