Students should work in customer service, jobs teach empathy, respect

November 7, 2017

Lindsey O’Reilly

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    Whether it’s food or retail, working with the public isn’t fun. If you’re currently working in a customer service job, you know exactly what I’m talking about.

     But this isn’t always a bad thing. In fact, everyone should experience working a job in retail or food service at some point in their lives.

     These jobs instill a sense of self-control. Being yelled at while having to maintain a smile and friendly attitude is truly a special skill, especially since the “customer is always right.”

    But with customer service jobs, interaction with the customer is everything. These companies want the interactions to be positive and friendly in order to ensure the customer’s business. Learning how to resolve a conflict while being customer-friendly is a helpful attribute.

    It’s all about the experience and knowing how to shake off a bad situation while realizing that it was nothing personal.

     The customer service industry can teach you a great deal about human nature. You never realize how horrible people can be until you’re in the position of serving them. It is a humbling experience.

    You meet all people of all backgrounds in this line of work. You might even meet a lifelong friend, simply because you both suffered the wrath of customer service together.

    Working in these types of jobs can help anyone improve people skills, providing a spectrum of personalities from good to bad to plain ugly.

    You may get insulted. You may get dirty looks from the table that has been waiting for their food for the past 20 minutes. You may get a party of 30 people who tip less than 10 percent.

    Customer service jobs teach a skill of emotional intelligence that can help in your personal life as well. The way you are able to control emotions and maintain a calm composure can greatly benefit different relationships.

    In other jobs, you are stuck  with only a small sample of  coworkers, some of whom you won’t like, teaching you the value of kindness.  

    It’s incredible how a few nice words can make a huge difference in the help you receive. I find that I get the best service when I’m polite and understanding.

    Being on the other side of the counter, it’s always easier to help a polite customer; the nicer they are, the more it makes you want to help them.

    It’s almost embarrassing to watch an adult throw a temper tantrum over an expired coupon and take it out on the poor cashier. It makes me feel bad for the cashier, not the customer.

    Customer service jobs improve your coping mechanisms as well. These jobs are incredibly fast paced and often have multiple things happening at once. Being able to get everything done in a timely manner is essential.

    More often than not, it’s stressful for employees when they’ve got the phone ringing and a line building in front of them. Mix that with some angry attitudes and that’s what customer service is like. We should applaud employees in this industry that can hide their stress completely.

    Customer service jobs can also be motivation for you to find a career that you want and excel in.

     These jobs are great at bringing out the best qualities in people. Finding these skills within yourself is extremely helpful in figuring out where you want to be in the future. It shows some people that customer service is not where they’re meant to be.

    We should always remember that employees in these jobs are people too and deserve to be treated with respect, no matter the circumstance.