During the holidays, stress levels are high. Everyone feels stress from the impending Christmas deadlines that involve gifts, parties, and decorations. As soon as we start to catch our breath from cooking and cleaning for our Thanksgiving feast, it’s time to catch up with the crowds on the tasks we said we were going to finish early this year but didn’t. Now, we must decide on gifts which convey just the right message for many close families and friends. We certainly don’t want our gifts to say, “I waited until the last minute and didn’t have time to think of a meaningful gift for you,” but we also need to stay within a reasonable budget. We finally finish the overwhelming task of figuring out what to buy so we can start looking for it, or we give up and join the shopping masses in hopes that the perfect gift will show itself.
In the middle of our stress, we head to stores with questions and frustrations, and we often call upon the help of customer service representatives. These individuals have spent the season answering endless questions, resolving problems, and trying to check out customers as quickly as possible, all with a smile on their face. They have listened to the frustrations of disgruntled customers, often regarding situations about which they are not aware and have no control over, and their jobs are often thankless.
I would encourage each of us to do all we can to make the holidays better for these individuals who are often on the receiving end of our anxiety-filled reactions to holiday tasks. A simple “please,” “thank you,” or “have a nice day” can go a long way. If you see that tired look from a cashier who has just had a customer scream at them or an employee out on the floor who has had customers hold them to unreasonable expectations about their job duties, it never hurts to take a moment to empathize with them.
Let’s make the customer service representatives we encounter know that we value them. We really couldn’t get through the holidays without the folks who work in these challenging jobs, so let’s show them some appreciation. They put up with a lot from us.