Unless you’ve won the lottery or were born with a silver spoon, you’ve probably worked in the Service Industry. Servers, Bartenders, Cooks, Hosts, the Popcorn King at AMC - everyone has had to deal with working at least one of these jobs.
The truth is, no matter how much you love customers, there are those people who just ruin your shift. Here’s to them, those terrible customers:
1) Mr. Multiple-Conversation:
Since the advent of technology this species of customer has taken over. They’re excited to be eating in public. So excited that they pull out their phone to call their friend and tell them about it.
They’ll yell into their phone about how their burger tastes. They’ll give you a “just a minute” when you try to take their order. But don’t worry! You’ll be considered rude for making them wait.
What you can do? Pray to the almighty food-gods that this person will stop shouting for five seconds and get off the phone.
2) The Clueless Procrastinator:
He’s the guy waiting in line for ten minutes. She’s the lady that’s been waiting for you to finally get their drink order.
And you’re ready to take their order. Except they’re not ready. You’re met with blank stares as they consider what they’d like. Instead of looking at the menu directly in front of them they’ve been checking their phone, talking, or complaining about how long you’ve been taking. And then come the questions:
“Could you take half unsweet-tea and half lemonade and mix it together in a fishbowl?” “I know it’s not on the menu, but could I have my chicken crammed in a turkey?” “Could you tell me what the pumpkin pie tastes like without the crust?”
What can you do? Have patience as a virtue. Other than that: nothing.
3) The Lit Fuse:
You can see them a mile away - shaking their heads, jaw clenching in an infinitely-tightening scowl. If their face was any redder horns would sprout from their forehead. There’s a storm coming in your neck of the woods. No matter how hard you try, nothing will soothe them.
If you thought the Lit Fuse was a problem, I’d like to introduce you to The Bomb.The next second, The Bomb is screaming and cursing a hurl of insults. The Bomb will explode on you, the restaurant, the bread not hollowed out, the burger that wasn’t cooked right, and the price. They’ll ask to see a manager, and then proceed to criticize the management, the wait, the atmosphere, and everything else underneath the sun.
What can you do? Douse the Lit Fuse with kindness. If that fails, remember the customer is always right...until they walk out the door.
There’s a difference between small-talk and being talked to death. Super-Buddy doesn’t know the difference. When some people are lonely they decide to make friends. Mr. Super-Buddy decides to go to their local coffee-shop to talk the ear off of their local barista.
They don’t mind that you don’t care about a complete stranger. You’ll ask how they’re doing and they’ll proceed to tell you how their kid struck out in Little League. And they’ll do this every single chance they get. You’ll bring them their food, they’ll tell you their boa back home isn’t eating. You’ll bring them the check, they’ll point out how bright the sun is today.
What can you do? Smile and nod, maybe throw in a story of your own. The good news is that Super-Buddies give the best tips.