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Things People in Customer Service are Thinking But Will Never Say

As a college student, I’ve worked my fair share of customer service jobs. From retail to food service, every single one of these jobs had one thing in common: truly terrible customers. Unfortunately, a customer service job is oftentimes the only option for college students. In the hopes that this will make people more aware of how they’re treating others, here are some things your cashier, host, barista, or server are thinking but will never say to your face:


Sure I’ll get the manager, but they’re just going to tell you the same thing I just did.

If I, the customer service worker, have just explained a company or store policy to you and your first line of defense is to demand to speak to the manager, chances are they’re going to repeat what I’ve already said. I’m glad we got to share this experience, Carol.


Your attitude is above my pay grade. BRB.

Along the same lines, on occasion, we will voluntarily fetch our supervisor for you because (shocking) most of what goes on at our place of employment is out of our control. I don’t get paid enough to deal with you. 

If yelling at me will bring you some sort of cathartic relief, go for it. I’ve heard worse.

Nearly everyone who’s worked in food or retail has been screamed at by a customer, most likely more than once. And after a point, it really can’t get any worse. I hope making the sixteen year old working the drive thru at Wendy’s cry was worth it, Brenda.

You are so lucky I’m not the type of person to mess with your food.

The majority of people working in the food industry will never meddle with your food. However, there are a select few that aren’t above doing so. Hmm, treating all food workers like the dirt under your feet is a risky move, isn’t it? 

HAHAHA Oh the classic “It-didn’t-scan-it-must-be-free!” That’s a real knee-slapper!

If I had a dollar for every time I heard this super duper original joke, I wouldn’t be standing here with a pasted on smile forcing out a chuckle to you, Janet.

I literally can’t believe I have to explain this to a grown ass adult but… here we go.

Some questions are very legitimate. But if you ask me the difference between a hot Americano and an iced Americano and expect me to keep the sarcasm out of my voice, you are SOL there. 

Wow, thank you so much for treating me like an inferior being because of my job. Feels great.

Apparently, in your eyes, this uniform and name tag are actually labeling me as “Lesser Than” and “Happy to Be Walked On” because there’s no way you would say these kind of things to a “real person.” There’s no need to point out that I look “tropical” and “when did I immigrate here?” There’s no need to loudly state your opinion that I “look pregnant.” There’s. No. Need. 

Ooh, so humble of you to brag about how great of a tipper you are only to leave me $0.00 after I politely decline your advances.

As flattered as I am that my wage is conditional on my decision to throw myself at you, kindly f*ck off. Tips are not optional. Tips are the majority of servers’ income. And contrary to your wacked out point of view, service workers are not there for your viewing pleasure. 


If you’ve ever worked a customer service job, I’m sure you can relate to some of these awful customers. If you are one of these awful customers, take this as an official intervention and use it as an opportunity to grow into a person with a shred of humanity. Thank you for coming to my Ted Talk.


Some story contribution by:

Liliana Dinwoodey

Kilee Thomas

Laura Fishburn


Image Sources

1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8


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