March 29, 2007

Toxic service

Via SlashFood, a post by an anonymous Starbucks barista, on how much he has nothing but disdain and contempt for his customers. It's actually pretty funny, in a sick sort of way, and there's quite a bit I can identify with from my time at the reference desk. People can be weird, stupid, rude, clueless and every other thing you can mention. On the other hand, I've had a couple of bad days over the years too, we all have. But, I always try and catch myself when I'm a bit less service-oriented than I should be. We're all human, right? We all like sharing clueless user stories around the campfire. And we've probably all been less than perfect on the other side of the desk on occasion as well.

But I have to know that this anonymous barista is a terrible barista and probably just a rude and unpleasant person, that his customers can see the contempt dripping from him, oozing from his every word and gesture, that he wears his feelings of entitlement and superiority on his sleeve for all to see. You can't hide it forever.

I like to use rants like this as a way of reminding myself to be at my best when I'm helping people, to have a bit of patience and empathy (and really this guy has none), to treat people like I'd like to be treated, to see the world through their eyes.

It also helps to be on sabbatical and not having sat at a reference desk in something like 8 or 10 months ;-)

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