I'm enjoying my time working at the charity shop, but I've been very surprised at the behaviour of some of the customers over the last couple of weeks and at the number of people who complain needlessly.
I don't mean genuine complaints, where there are genuine grounds for complaint. I mean unnecessary complaints, that just waste time and sap your energy and positivity. Are we a nation of complainers or are people just rude or have nothing better to do?
As a non-paid volunteer or intern, you do your best and try to be polite and friendly to people, and you would think that this would be enough. But no, some people must think that they are entering Claridges when they come into the shop.
As the manager succinctly put it the other day, people expect exceptional customer service everywhere these days, and volunteers and interns are trained on the job, without degrees in customer service or lots of corporate training courses and of course can't always meet today's exceptionally high expectations.
A small example is that being completely new to working with a till, I do sometimes make mistakes and take a little longer to carry out a transaction whilst I'm training. It really doesn't help aide my confidence when a customer is tutting and looking disgruntled that the transaction doesn't take just two seconds. Don't people realise that everyone has to learn sometime.
I've also heard tales of unnecessary aggression towards staff which concerns me, not to mention shop lifting from the charity shop. I know it goes on everywhere and why should we be any different, and yes, some people are probably desperate and we are a charity after all, but really?
Every shift I am ever more surprised by things that happen in the shop. If this is a microcosm of the world outside our home, I'm quite pleased that I've been cocooned from it all this time, although I realise that this is not necessarily a good thing. I feel like Kimmie Schmidt coming out of a bunker after 15 years and finding the world changed beyond all recognition.
I think I'm just a little shocked and it will subside, as I get used to working there a little more. It's taking me a while to readjust, and I do find it very tiring at times, but hopefully I'll get used to dealing with the more difficult customers eventually. I'm sure it will become easier with practice.
Having had this little rant, please don't misunderstand, the vast majority of the customers are lovely, it's just the few that make me wonder what I've let myself in for.