An Open Letter to the Rude Customer

Dear Rude Customer, 

You know who you are. You're the person who gets angry over the price of an item and takes it out on the cashier. You're the person who finds an issue with the tiniest of details then makes a scene about it. You're the person who argues with employees over how the business runs. You're the person who snaps, "I need to speak with your manager," when we've been nothing but polite and understanding while assisting you. 

First, I want to clear up a few things about ME, a simple food service employee.

I know for a fact this applies to every other service industry and their employees. 

Believe it or not, I'm not the CEO of this company.

I didn't come up with the prices for the food you're buying. I didn't plan the menu options and I didn't decide how the daily specials work. I didn't hire the employees working with me. When you come in and ridicule me for not having a certain kind of soup, that is not MY fault. When you argue with me over toppings costing extra, that is not MY fault. If you are deeply concerned with how the business is run and how you, as a consumer, are spending your money, then - and here's an interesting concept - just don't come back. 

I do nothing to provoke your behavior. 

I can't say everyone does this, but personally, I treat every customer with kindness and respect. When you come in I greet with you a smile and a "How are you today?" and all the rules of friendliness I was taught as a child. I work hard to answer the questions I can and service you how I can, because that is my job.

I'm just a young person trying to make money.

A broke young person in college, who is also juggling classes and organizations and relationships and life in general. Everyone has multiple layers to them and dozens of things going on in their lives beyond the register you see them behind. 

So, since I am not the direct source of your anger, don't direct your anger towards me.

Now, a few things about YOU.

You're a tornado of negative energy.

Let's be honest, you're a plague to society. Your negative energy comes in and effectively ruins everything and everyone around you. If you're feeling bad, you want everyone else to feel bad, too. In that way, you're selfish. 

You're ignorant. 

Can't beat around the bush here. Remember when I said I wasn't the CEO of the business I work for? And that a majority of things you're arguing with me about are not MY fault? That knowledge comes from a general awareness of your surroundings, and a very basic understanding of how service industries work. 

You think the world is ending.

You got a pizza instead of a calzone? The cashier made a mistake in counting change? The soda machine is out of ice? For some reason, these lapses in daily life make you believe the world as you know it is ending.

But there's hope for you! Here's 3 things you can do to be a GOOD customer.

Luckily, these are easy to put into practice!

1. Treat others the way you want to be treated.

Practice general kindness - I guarantee it will make YOU feel better, too.

2. Understand your surroundings.

Ask yourself these questions to guide you: Does the person you are directing your grievances toward have control over these things? Is there an easier way of handing this?

3. Let some things go.

I know you think the world is ending when the delivery driver was late bringing you your food. BUT, refer to the first two items in this list, and realize that everything is going to be okay. It's not a big deal and not worth your stress and the stress of others.

To all you service workers out there:

There will ALWAYS be rude customers, but the best way to respond is by remaining respectful and true to your own values. At the end of the day, they don't matter, but the money you've been making does!

Stay positive!


A Simple Food Service Employee