Stop Recording Everything!

Imagine this scenario. You are in a customer facing role — whether at a bank, or a client site, or you’re a sales officer trying to close a deal and going about your work. Your customer or counter-party, as you are transacting with them in the normal course of things, pulls out an iPhone and starts recording your interaction and conversation, without even checking with you if it’s ok to do that. Would you calmly continue doing what you’re doing or wonder what on earth he/she is doing and ask them the same? I’d bet it’s the latter reaction.

That is the situation hundreds of airline agents, bank tellers, gas station attendants, flight crew, customer service people, DMV employees and anyone in the service business is facing every single day. Consumers and laymen, in their eagerness to become “iReporters”, to use CNN’s childish word, are recording every interaction they have with employees in the service business, in the hope of catching the next “United Airlines situation” or the next instance of racial profiling or what have you.

Just last week I saw a video of a Muslim woman wearing a head scarf walking into a DMV counter in Washington state, with a phone in her hand, even before she starts a conversation. Of course the woman behind the counter loses her mind and asks her to put the phone away or she would call 911. I would do the same. If you do not respect the work environment of someone, you cannot expect to be respected or served.

It’s high time we all stop being sting operators, and realize that it might be just a 10 minute airport/bank/DMV stop for you, but the people that work there are real, and for them it’s a place of work. Then we will have less people being yelled at and less sting videos going “viral”.