To Serve and Be Served

October 14, 2011 § Leave a comment

Working in a form of retail, making and selling the cupcakes as I do, has reopened my eyes to some truths.

Everyone should have a service-related job at some point in one’s life.

Though I’m in the kitchen for the majority of my shift, I have been pulled up to work the front more lately. The experiences are varied. Most people respond to me when they walk in the door, seem excited to be getting a cupcake, and will exchange pleasantries. A lesser number only attempt the bare bones of social interaction: “I want this and here’s my money and I’ll leave my hand out to wait for you to pass me my change/credit card.” Some don’t even make eye contact with me. Occasionally, it seems to be too easy for some to take out whatever inner frustrations they are feeling on people behind counters or in uniforms. Then, there’s the few who come in and have a look around and just walk out without a word.

Being on the receiving end of the full spectrum of customers has made me keenly aware of how I act when I am one.

A smile truly does go a long way. A genuine “thank you” does, too. Sure, I daily encounter the surly server or cashier or haughty sales clerk, but I feel that I make an effort to do my part and treat the person across the counter in the same way I would want to be treated.

Today, I smiled and made eye contact with the girl who took my money for my delicious steamed roast beef sandwich. Her previously monotone expression lifted into a smile, a “smize” even, as Tyra Banks would say. And, I know it made my outlook brighter as I left the restaurant. I can only hope it did the same for her, too.

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