Mandatory Service

Working in customer service is a nightmare. You put in many hours across the span of a single week, often wearing multiple hats and doing more than your original job description required, all the while being cornered by more than a few rude customers.

The stress is high, the thanks few, and the pay and incentives are never enough. Hell, this sort of rat-race job can make a bottle of jack look preferable to a few more hours on the line or behind that register where life trickles away.

As such, I propose that everyone should do it.

There should be, like a stint of military service in countries such as South Korea and Poland, a mandatory period – probably two years – where someone works in customer service and experiences what it is like to be behind a counter and deal with people all day.

In doing this, I would hope there would be a cultivation of empathy amongst the next generations after having been through this trial and the people who would accompany it.

While there are, of course, good customers in retail service, there are oftentimes individuals who are there to make one’s life behind the counter abysmal. We’ve all seen them.

The irate person annoyed at being unable to return an item well past its allotted time, and usually without a receipt at all, to the person seemingly unhappy with having to spend money to receive service.

There’s the customer who can, like a predator in the tall grass, swoop in and ruin an entire day’s rhythm for just a wrong look or a slight difference in the cadence to your voice. No matter what though, the customer will always be right, even when they are horribly wrong and rude.

Now imagine if everyone had to go through this trial of service in their lifetimes, had to deal with the aggravated and impatient, and the extremely belligerent for a meager pay.

Would you willingly allow yourself to treat others in such a manner afterwards?

Hopefully no one would and with that there would come about a real change.

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