What I Think at Work Versus What I Say

Anyone who has worked in customer service knows that you must act professionally at work even when dealing with difficult situations. However, that does not stop me from thinking about the things I wish I could say when dealing with these interactions. Below are some common questions/comments that I receive while working at a retail store during the pandemic.

Scenario #1

Customer: I know you just closed the store, but I came ALL THIS WAY to shop at your store, can I please come in? I know exactly what I am looking for!

Me, internally: If you came all this way for our store, why would you not do your research about our store hours to ensure that you would make it in time?

Me, out loud: Sorry, we are closed. There is unfortunately nothing I can do.

Scenario #2

Customer: Can you check to see if my size is in the back?

Me, out loud: Unfortunately, I know for a fact that we don’t have any more of that product in the back.

Customer: Can you please check again?

Me, internally: I already know that we don’t have it, and it sucks that people don’t believe me. It benefits me to sell more product, as I get incentive bonuses for making sales goals, so I have no reason to lie about what product we do or don’t have.

Me, out loud: Yes, I will check again, but don’t get your hopes up.

Scenario #3

*customer starts to enter the store

Me, out loud: Hi there, could you please put on your mask before entering?

Customer: I don’t have one, are you providing them?

Me, out loud: Unfortunately, we are unable to provide additional masks at this time.

Customer, angrily: You can’t force people to wear a mask if you won’t hand them out!

Me, internally: We are over 6 months into the pandemic. If you do not have a face mask of your own by now, that is because you do not want to have one. Plus, if you have experienced people giving you free masks, you should have held onto one of those instead of ripping it off your face after leaving a store and immediately throwing it out.

Me, out loud: Sorry, we are unable to provide masks at this time. If you wanting to enter our store today, I know you can buy a mask at the dollar store to your right.

Scenario #4

Customer, confidently: Just so you know, you don’t need all these safety protocols. Covid isn’t real.

Me, internally: There are not enough words in the English language to describe how ignorant you are.

Me, out loud: *awkward laugh* Okay, then.

(Featured Image by BBH Singapore on Unsplash)


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