Tuesday, 3 June 2014

Would You Tip Me? How I Was Expected To Serve

Dear Service Industry Workers,

I worked in the Service Industry and learnt so much while I was working there that I've carried it through as a general life skill. And whenever people comment on my work, it's often comments related to service, even though my other fields of work had nothing to do with the service industry.

Maybe my expectations of you are too high. This is why:

So, what would you tip me?
  • I was not allowed to be seen with my cell phone in my hands, even if the shop was empty. 
  • I greeted people with a smile. Always. No exceptions.
  • When 5 people were all calling reception at the same time, my goal was to answer the phone within 30 seconds, even if it meant putting people on hold and getting numbers to call other people back.
  • I had to deal with a woman asking me over and over for body wash/ something to clean her body with/something to make her body clean/something to wash her body with. After telling her for the 10th time (in a different way to the 9 previous times that she asked) that we didn't have what she was looking for, she spotted some shampoo and said that that's what she'd been explaining all the time. Something to make her HAIR clean! And you know what, I kept smiling the whole way through, asked if she would also like some conditioner to go with that shampoo and gift-wrapped her entire purchase for her.
  • I was expected to know the area and be able to recommend restaurants, fun activities and directions from the highway, even though I was a foreigner, didn't drive and all the activities were WAY out my price range.
  • I was expected to be able to recommend treatments offered, even though I had never had any myself.
  • I was expected to acknowledge all guests/customers by name if at all possible.
  • Managers NEVER told the clients they were wrong and if the client felt wronged in any way, they would go out of their way to make amends. Bad service? I'm terribly sorry, we're had a huge group booking that required all staff to be available at the last minute. Please, have a drink on us while you wait for your reserved table to vacate.
Some of my co-workers and I from the Spa
I will always be thankful for the training I got when I worked in the service industry. Does it make me judge your service? Of course! But I feel your pain when you've got 20 people in line, waiting to be served, the phones are ringing off the hook and you're trying to acknowledge all the people who walk in, answer the telephones, get people into their appointments and still smile. 

If you can do that and still smile at me, the last person in your line, I will commiserate with you. I'll say, "Don't worry. I know what it's like to be in your shoes, you did a great job dealing with that big rush."
Maybe I'll even tip you. If it's appropriate ;)

Click here, here and here for the other posts in this series.

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