Sorry about the jerks who came before me

Did you read Seth Godin’s blog today?

It reminded me of something I’ve been noticing a lot lately: service professionals’ surprise when I’m nice to them.

An example:
My husband and I hosted Thanksgiving this past year. It was our first time making a feast of Thanksgiving proportions, so to make things a little easier, I outsourced the bird to Whole Foods (I highly recommend it, by the way). I scheduled a noon pick-up on Wednesday, and when I arrived, they were a little backed up. I had a few Whole Foods staff members apologize for the delay, and I could practically see them prepare to cower from the hammer they thought I was about to bring down on them. But of course I didn’t. Instead, I said, “No problem. Thanks for the update!” Each time this happened, the employee looked utterly astonished.

And that is not cool because it leads me to believe that these people, who are working their butts off for us to have an impressive spread on our holiday tables, are getting reamed out by customers for being a little behind schedule. I’m not saying that customer service isn’t important–holy moly, is it ever–I’m just saying that maybe, when we’re the customers, we should keep our attitudes in check, too.

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