Counter Theory

This one is close to my soul lads so buckle up!

I would like to think I came up with this myself but I know I probably didn’t! So counter theory is for those of us who work in the direct customer service industry, now isn’t every industry some form of customer service you say? Yes and no. There’s direct customer service and indirect customer service. They’re pretty self-explanatory but just incase, direct customer service is face to face and indirect would be over the phone for example. Let me also state by starting that if you go into a shop and a member of staff is rude to you then ya you have every reason to be peeved off, however if you go in looking for an argument. It’s going to go down a very different path!

So what exactly is counter theory? It is when a customer thinks it is all your fault and think it’s okay to tear chunks out of you. It is where they forget that you the person providing the service is in fact also a good faith customer in this world of ours and more importantly a human being! One niggling peeve I have with those aggravated and frustrated kind of customers is that they think we don’t understand why they feel the way they do when the reality is we actually do one hundred percent understand why. However nine out of ten times it is not the fault of the person standing there doing their job earning their way….no one earns their way by being rude or screwing things up intentionally so unless that person working in that shop or wherever has purposely ripped the seam of your dress or not packed the extra screw or mixed up your order or smashed your phone screen then why would you tear the backside out of them? Some people ignore that lovely thing called ‘human error’ and live by ‘the customers always right’ and think that the person behind that counter couldn’t possibly be dealing with anything else in their life apart from your broken zipper or whatever has your knickers in a twist as an excuse for making a muck up!

Now I know that no matter where you work and in every job you’ll always probably have to deal with crap, be it customer crap or boss crap I get it, but this is for those of us dealing with the unpredictable customers walking in & out our doors eight hours a day, five days of the week, I salute you! Retail is probably one of the hardest jobs I have ever done in my life, and I am a patient & understanding person so I guess it just baffles me how there are people who think it is okay to treat a person merely doing their job and following guidelines, policies and procedures they are given as staff like the sh** beneath their shoe. Since working in retail I have gained so much respect and tolerance when I am in a queue somewhere or if staff have made a genuine mistake. It isn’t easy dealing with people every day let alone dealing with those people who can’t just level with you and say ‘it’s okay take your time’, I’ve witnessed all the shoe tapping finger tapping impatient dance routines. What’s more is I have witnessed these in other shops too when I am feeling for the staff under pressure and I often ask myself what these shoe finger tap dancers work as? Do they have fluffy baby pandas to go back and feed or something?

From doctors, nurses, hairdressers, painters, handyman, call centres, flight crew, airport staff, hotel staff, retail staff etc; the never-ending list of us who deal with people day in and day out, those of us that know what it’s like on the receiving end and that know there are certain policies & procedures staff must follow, what right do we have to go in elsewhere and treat somebody else the exact way we hate to be treated? Everyone can get annoyed – believe me when I asked for twisty fries with my burger & drink that one hangover Sunday and I went all the way home without checking the bag only to find no twisty fries, I thought I was going to cry! Taking into consideration that the place was packed to the rafters with kids and families I knew it was a genuine mistake and I wasn’t going back to tear strips out of that staff member! So as a customer I too know what frustration and annoyance is.

On the flip side not everyone is perched on a cloud of doom when they come through the shop doors, there are such lovely people who can be a pleasure to deal with and make such a nice impact on your day. The people who are willing to have the chat and the laugh with you or let you know they understand your position. It’s human nature, if you are nice to someone they’ll return the kindness. More often than not they’ll probably remember you the next time you call into the shop. I know I remember the nice ones. Out of the hundreds of people who come through the doors in a week there are some rewards to working with the public face on, you get to meet some really genuine fantastic interesting people along the way. Hearing what people are doing, have done or are about to do is always so interesting. You’ll always meet people who have stories or something nice to say or crack the odd joke and it’s funny how that one person can alter the mood for the day.

So remember it doesn’t matter about what job you do or your ‘social status‘ or what kind of person you may think you are, next time something goes wrong with a purchase or you need to query it, contact the sellers or installers, there is probably a valid reason or perhaps it could be a genuine mistake or there could be a policy or procedure in place, so there isn’t really a need to go pulling the high horse out of its stable and giving it a right good gallop into that store you made your purchase and tearing the backside out of the person standing behind the counter. The real test of good manners is to be able to put up with bad manners pleasantly πŸ™‚

And if you love your job then fairplay to finding something you love and doing what you love to earn your keep πŸ™‚ If you work in retail and love it, please write and index, send it to a publishers, get it printed so it can be issued!

Yours Sincerely,

An exhausted retail worker πŸ™‚





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