The Journal Gazette
Friday, November 27, 2020 1:00 am


Workers, customers need more kindness

Masks can't cover up frustrations of 2020

LISA GREEN | The Journal Gazette

The eyes will give you away, most every time.

Sure, we all need to be masked up for holiday shopping this year, but customer service is still important. And so are facial expressions.

On a recent visit to a food service business, I was overwhelmed by the vast menu options – even though I had recently looked at them online in advance to get some idea of what I'd like on the first visit.

I deliberately stood probably 20 feet back from the counter where you would place an order – signaling my indecisiveness. When an employee asked if she could help, as in take my order, I let her know I was still trying to decide, and I would know it when I spotted it. She seemed frustrated and I caught her turning her head slightly and giving a grimacing look to another employee farther back behind the counter.

It was the middle of the afternoon.

The store was empty – except for me and the employees.

Not one to take poor or disrespectful customer service lightly, I asked the one employee if I was keeping her from anything and let her know that I noticed her expression.

I ordered. She appropriately shifted gears to a more appropriate presence.

This coronavirus pandemic has forced most of us to wear face coverings, but it's hard to mask moods and attitudes.

Retail workers and all others who interact with customers – regardless of the type of business – should keep that in mind. And it wouldn't hurt us shoppers to do the same.

Even if you're having a bad day, customers should never suspect it based on how you greet or communicate with them. That includes the nonverbal.

In this pandemic, we could all use a little more holiday cheer when we're out and about.

One of my favorite rising personalities is Tabitha Brown, an actress and vegan food influencer. Brown often closes her videos posted on Facebook by reminding people to have a good day. But if you can't, she says, “don't you dare go messing up nobody else's.”

Sign up for our daily headlines newsletter

Top headlines are sent daily