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How to Support Customer Service Workers this Holiday Season

As you complete your Christmas shopping this year, it’s important to keep in mind that customer service workers are under an immense amount of stress. The holiday season is extremely stressful on it’s own, but the pandemic we are stuck in adds another layer of frustration and anxiety on top of it. 

Be mindful of the health of the employees. Customer service workers have to interact with hundreds of complete strangers every day. With a virus running rampant, workers are put extremely at risk. If possible, keep your six feet distance from employees and respect their personal space. Keep your mask covering your nose and mouth to reduce the likeliness that they fall ill while trying to serve you and their communities. 

Keep in mind that customer service workers did not make up the current public health guidelines. All of the rules in place can be inconvenient, but do not take your frustration out on employees that have to enforce them. It’s simply their job, and it can be extremely emotionally taxing having to put up with customers that are angry about something completely out of their control. 

Remember that they have a job to do! When an employee asks you if you would like to sign up for a reward program or donate a dollar towards a charity, do not get angry with them. Most of the time, they are required by their workplace to ask these questions. They can be punished if they don’t ask, so make their lives a little easier by not punishing them when they do ask. A polite “no thank you” is sufficient. It may not seem like much to you as a customer, but it’s draining and hurtful to be met with rudeness by customer after customer, all day long. 

Try to be a clean shopper. If you mess up a display, try to clean it up a bit. The “it’s their job” mindset is extremely disrespectful. During the holiday season, the work pace increases and the amount of customers doubles. Workers don’t have time to clean up after every customer and there can be repercussions if their store isn’t clean. Make their lives a little bit easier by being careful about what you touch and grab.

Miranda is a political science prelaw and journalism major at Michigan State University. She loves yoga, pasta salad, and plants (she currently has 42!).
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