“Who has the energy to be bitter and angry at 7:30 in the morning. I don’t even have the energy to get out of bed let alone yell at people” said my 16-year-old daughter when she came back home from work yesterday.

She was upset about what happened and I was curious to know what made her that upset.

It turned out that one of the customers was yelling at one of the cashiers for punching in the wrong order. He was yelling and verbally using words that were condescending to the poor young girl. All of this because she gave him the wrong Danish pastry type. He added, “You all disgust me”. In his rage, he was not only not nice to the cashier but to the rest of the workers at the restaurant and believe me there were a lot of them at that time of the day.

Really! What’s wrong with people these days? Just let us stop for a second and talk some more about the above scenario which happens more often than not in the customer service world.

I heard appalling stories of what customers do when they get upset and do not get the service they want or expect from the service provider. I myself worked in customer service at health food stores both in Halifax and in Toronto and experienced first hand what rude customers can do when they are not happy with the service for whatever reason. On two separate occasions, I had two women that were upset for not getting the product at the price they wanted and threw the product back at me.

I hear over and over complaints from our youth of how customers are disrespectful where they treat them rudely and yell at them. As parents, we tell our children not to take it personally since we cannot control how people behave. As managers, they want to run the business smoothly and they do not want to upset customers, especially if they are small business owners. As customers, they get away with such a behaviour because no one is doing anything about it. At the end of the day, the aggression cycle continues even if it was a mild level.

Such a behaviour is not acceptable nor should it be tolerated. And really, that man that started yelling at a 17-year-old at 7:30 in the morning, what was he thinking?  Even if we consider the worst-case scenario where he was in pain, exhausted, and have not slept all night long, he was not supposed to treat others this way, especially young people.

If he only knew how his erratic behaviour can affect young adults’ self-esteem and self-confidence at this critical time of their lives where they are trying to find their place in the world.

If it is up to me I will not send my children out in the world to be yelled at by rude people. However, as parents, we know very well that at one point we need to let go and allow our children to spread their wings and fly away from the safety of our nest even if it meant being yelled at by bitter, angry, disrespectful and rude customers like this man.

Do you want to know what was going into my head when my daughter was talking about this man?

All I could think about how we as parents raise our children to grow up to be emotionally healthy. We raise them to grow up to be amazing adults with high self-esteem and self-confidence only to take someone out there, an adult that could not control his anger and did not learn how to communicate his needs properly, to scratch what took us years to build.

Now, you can argue if children are already confident, they will not be affected by such a behaviour. If this behaviour is not modeled at home then children will be fine. I completely agree with you; however, the child/youth/adolescent will be affected and embarrassed momentarily in front of his/her coworkers and managers even though that everyone knows that this yelling customer is a jerk.

That moment of embarrassment will discourage our children and make them hate their jobs which is not an empowering feeling. If the child is lucky enough to have a parent at home that he is emotionally connected to and that can help him/her move these negative emotions, then he is lucky. But we all know very well that is this not the case, especially with parents nowadays being stressed out and stretched thin. Maybe this child even living on his/her own and is trying to make a living to support himself/herself.

Why is it that we do not mind our manners and watch what we say before we blurt out a single word out of our mouth? Words are energy, and energy has a charge, so if you want to say anything at all make it positive and empowering. If not, just hold your peace.

If you are one of those rude customers, next time you walk into a store and you do not get what you want, please think twice before you say a single word. What you put out there will come back to you and that I can guarantee you because this is the nature of things. What goes around comes around and that Spiritual Law never fails. If you find yourself losing your temper, STOP, take a DEEP BREATH and COUNT to 10 before you say anything else.

And for you, my child, who is working in customer service, ignore rude people and keep that smile on your face. You can only control your emotions and your thoughts and this is what at the end of the day will cause you disharmony. If you are a parent, keep empowering your children, build their self-esteem and self-confidence so they can deal with rude peers, customers, and whoever it is that is trying to make them feel inadequate about themselves.

Be the best person you can be. Be an Amazing YOU.

Together we can Empower Future Generations to be Successful,

With Love,

Raja Mishal, PhD

Writing from life, about life, to support you live life.

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