Seriously, Stop Complaining About Doing Your Job
It Just Makes You Look Unprofessional
I started officially working at the age of fifteen. My first real job was at Dairy Queen as a cashier. I say “real job” because I had been working at my dad’s office during weekends since I was 12 years old, and so I had already gained some basic office and customer service skills.
From Dairy Queen, I worked in a customer service capacity of one sort or another up until 2019, which would give me a total of 19 years of customer service experience. Of those 19 years, I spent over 7 years in an inbound customer service call center, and anybody who has ever worked in a call center can tell you, it’s rough.
I know all about pissed off customers, and I can tell you the funniest, most off-the-wall, true stories of customers gone awry over some stupidness or another (including one caller who asked to speak to a man and to whom I gleefully grabbed my lesbian, Puerto Rican manager to take the call).
I know customers can be wrong and they can be a pain in the ass, but at no point did I ever go home crying over what a customer said to me. In fact, me and every single person I have ever worked with (and I worked with A LOT of people) handled these customers both in-person and over the phone politely, professionally, and with smiles on our faces, and afterwards, we laughed it off.
A sense of humor honestly was all the solution I needed to leave any troubles I had at work.
I never videotaped, shamed, or reprimanded any of my customers. I smiled, apologized for their frustrations, and, when possible, helped find a solution to their problem. Honestly, most of them were just having a bad day and needed to vent, and though I know that isn’t an excuse, we are all human. I’ve never expected anybody to be perfect.
Yet, the posts I’m seeing today on social media by customer service representatives honestly couldn’t be more dramatic. They act like they’re suiting up for war each morning they put on their uniform. Not only have I seen posts by representatives in which they have claimed PTSD from encounters with customers who yelled at them (really?), but now we’re seeing Instacart drivers complain when customers order too many groceries. Seriously, where does it end?
I’m not impressed. I got yelled at every day when I was in customer service. We got yelled at so often in the call center, they actually put us in a week-long training class on de-escalating phone calls so that we could learn how to professionally calm down our irate callers. And you know what? I was cool with that because that’s what I got paid to do. If I wasn’t cool with it, you know what I would do? I would have gone and found a different job. I wouldn’t have kept working there for over 7 years.
Right now, there is a massive labor shortage in the USA. So all I’m saying is, if you don’t like your job, that’s cool. Go take your pick. You don’t have to work with people. Nobody has to work customer service. I don’t work customer service anymore.
Right now, employers are desperate for workers, so there is no better time for you to switch fields. But if you choose to stay with what you’re doing, that’s on you. Nobody wants to hear you complain about it — least of all the customer service veterans. It makes you look like more of a fool than any customer I’ve ever dealt with, and I’ve dealt with a lot of fools.
So, either quietly fill the order for the tall, nonfat latte with caramel drizzle and an extra-espresso shot, or find yourself a job you don’t hate. But the customers aren’t going to stop being customers, so complaining about them just makes you look bad (trust me — I speak from 19 years of experience).