When serving others, many employees encounter rude or disrespectful customers, despite trying their best to serve them. Senior Rilynn Turner works at Walmart and encountered a customer who was displeased with her service.
“It was right before Christmas. I was not bagging her items the way she wanted. She punched the register and started yelling at me. Another customer began yelling at her saying she was just an old lady who had not had her prune juice yet. She left without her items,” said Turner.
While being a cashier is challenging, being a server is another challenging job that requires a lot from the employee.
“I am a server at Cracker Barrel, which means sometimes if certain customers get angry, or we get busy, you have to stay positive throughout all of it. You are expected to be on your best behavior the whole time to get tips because that is how you make your money,” said senior Cindy Kirkman.
Despite her best efforts, Kirkman has encountered customers who have been very impatient and rude.
“One night I had three parties at once, which is basically like eight or more people at a table. The kitchen was behind and I was behind so one table did not get their food for like a half an hour. When they finally got it, they did not like what they had. One of the older men decided to lash out at me and spit on me when I asked if he wanted a refill. You just have to put a smile on throughout all of it and act as if it did not happen,” said Kirkman.
Although many customers are very particular about their food, many do not even realize what they are complaining about.
“During one of our busiest nights, a girl told me her food was disgusting and it was the worst coffee she had ever had. I got her a cup from the exact same batch of coffee and she was fine,” said Kirkman.
Food service in general requires efforts towards good customer service.
“I was working at one of our concession stands in Greentown for the Howard County Fair with Kenzie Fouts, and we were the only ones in the stand. I have been doing this basically since I could walk and she has been joining me for around four years now,” said junior Macey Kenna.
Despite working in the stand for years and knowing how to make each item, some customers are still unsatisfied.
“We were in the stand and it was getting pretty busy. A woman came up and ordered a red velvet funnel cake so I made it, Kenzie took her money and gave her the funnel cake, and she went on her way. She came back about a half an hour later with only a small crumb of the funnel cake left. She put it up on the counter and said she wanted a refund because it was cold. Kenzie looked at it and told her that she had eaten the whole thing. The lady got offended and leaned inside the stand, over the window and tried to grab Kenzie. She started screaming nasty words at her, so I had to go over there and pull them apart. She asked to speak to the manager, and I am the boss’s daughter, so I said ‘excuse me ma’am I am the manager.’ She explained the problem and I told her that I cooked the funnel cake in 400°oil, and that it was not cold when I gave it to her. I told her that it was clear she ate the whole thing and that she was not getting her money back. She filed a complaint at the fair headquarters so they had to come over and talk to me about what happened. They ended up just ranting about the lady with me,” said Kenna.
Aside from criticizing the food, some customers are unhappy with the way the food is made.
“We have fried cookie dough in our stand also. We were working a fair in Kokomo. To make fried cookie dough you put it on a tooth pick, swirl it around in the batter and dip it in the oil. This man got very mad because I didn’t have any gloves on and he starts calling me out saying it was a health violation and that I was nasty. I went over to him and said ‘excuse me sir but if you did not notice that oil is about 400°, now imagine if I had a cooking glove on and the oil got onto my glove and the glove burnt into my hand.’ Not to mention, if he knew anything about health, then the 400°oil would burn the germs off. He was very angry, and stormed off without his cookie dough, so Kenzie and I just enjoyed it ourselves,” said Kenna.
Most employees try to serve each customer to the best of their abilities. If the employee is struggling or not serving you the way you would like to be served, it is okay to be upset, but remember to be respectful and kind.