One of the most frustrating aspects of customer service is always having to be happy and not just happy but over-the-top psychotic I am smiling until my death happy.
I once worked in a store where I legitimately got written up for not smiling. The best part of that story? It was while I was sweeping the floors.
There’s this idea in customer service where the people serving you are meant to serve you — if they fail to be a servant then suddenly they’re not just bad at their jobs but also terrible people. We create a hostile environment where workers have to be super likable, otherwise they can be fired.
Not only is that a ridiculous request but it also allows room for harassment. It doesn’t matter if you think they think you’re special — there’s no room to harass someone because you’ve trapped them in a public sphere. It doesn’t matter that you’re super attracted to them or that they’re being super nice. A woman in the workplace is a woman who is vulnerable because of her job.
The actual cost of harassing customer service
The nice girl probably isn’t even being a nice girl. She’s probably being told to be polite because she’s working. This doesn’t mean she has a crush on you. She doesn’t smile because she thinks you’re gorgeous, she probably wants you to take your shit and go, just like the next person. It doesn’t make her a bitch. It makes her an employee seeing countless people in an eight hour shift.
That’s why you’re just a blip in her day. I’m sorry that doesn’t make you feel special but it doesn’t have to. Just pay for your product and move on.
What if she reacts?
What if she doesn’t? A girl being harassed in public usually can’t do much besides laughing it off. If the issue becomes extreme she pay fight back but chances are she won’t have the opportunity to do so. If you’re flirting with a poor woman who’s working she is relying on your patronage for her paycheck and you’ve essentially trapped her in a public space where any form of rejection can be detrimental to her career. She can’t leave.
So what does this mean?
It means be kind. If you have a genuine connection to someone then that’s great but there’s other ways to reach out to them. A worker is a worker — they are not your friend, they are not your slave, they do not exist to cater to your whims. They are there to deliver the service that they have effectively worked for because you paid them, not for anything else.
Does this mean there’s no human connection? Absolutely not. But a woman or anyone who is working under a power dynamic can’t give you a genuine opinion when you have the power to get them fired. They’ve worked for their jobs and it’s not your choice to make it difficult for them.
Does this mean the worker gets to be a dick to you? No, a worker is obliged to be respectful because society expects us to be respectful. But being respectful is not the same as being open to bullshit.