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Bad Customer Service or Bad Consumer Etiquette?

I just came off the road from a restaurant I buy lunch at at least four times per week. While there, I witnessed something I’ve become all too familiar with seeing in Jamaica – “bad customer service.”

I put bad customer service in quotations because I’ve realized that many times, bad customer service is preceded by bad consumer etiquette. It seems to me that most Jamaicans are experts in what customer service should be when from what I’ve witnessed many times, the reaction from the worker was warranted. And the idea that the “consumer is always right” only perpetuates this garbage.

I won’t go into the details of the incident I witnessed today but I will say to my fellow Jamaicans, respect is a two way street. If you’re going to demand respect, you absolutely must give it. It also doesn’t hurt to use your discretion in your dealings with people.

As a people, we need to be more sensitive to the stressful conditions that those in restaurants, supermarkets and other fast paced environments go through. These workers also work for hours on end (usually for low pay), so why make their lives even harder?

This is not to let workers off the hook with their customer service obligations; you should go above and beyond what is required to help customers but that’s a given. There are many online guides about good customer service but there’s hardly any on how a consumer should behave. It’s actually very simple. Treat people how you would want to be treated. If you work in KFC, do you want people to be constantly shouting at you to take their ticket even though the tickets are serviced in order? No.

Do you have bad days? You probably do. So also be mindful of that. And don’t tell me they should suck it up and all that bullshit, you don’t know what a complete stranger goes through before or after your interaction with them. Nobody is happy 24/7. So instead of pouring fuel on the fire, exercise a little kindness. Help change their day for the better.

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