Friday, March 06, 2015

Show a Little Respect, Customers

Employees who toil at jobs in retail stores and restaurants often leave comments and complaints on a certain online forum. Sadly, sometimes tactless customers point to cashiers, sales associates, or servers and warn their kids, “If you don’t study hard, you’re going to end up like her [or him].”

That’s so rude and disrespectful. It’s nobody’s business if someone chooses to work at a store or restaurant. Some people actually prefer to work at those places. Customers are too quick to assume that the cashier, sales associate, or server isn’t capable of finding a better job.

Yes, it’s true that some individuals might not have the skills to get better jobs. However, many retail and restaurant employees are working their way through college, and that type of employment suits their schedules. And individuals who have retired from successful careers often work at retail jobs because they want to keep active or to supplement their retirement incomes. One woman, who was formerly a hair stylist, recently retired from her job at the cosmetics department of a neighborhood store—at the age of 84.

When I was a cashier/sales associate at Smart Mart, no parent ever pointed to me and told their child, “If you don’t study hard, you’ll end up like her.” Maybe people were just a tad more respectful in that area. Then again, that city was located in a somewhat economically depressed part of the state. Well-paying, full-time jobs were hard to find there.

However, if any parents had pointed me out to their children as an obviously bad example, I would have told them, “I am studying hard, and guess what? I’m on the dean’s list. Furthermore, I’m going to move out of this area and get a better job just as soon as I finish the requirements for my degree.

And I did.

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