sometimes the answer is no

Don't let the bastards get you down!

I hate saying no! There is something deep inside my psyche that screams failure when I’m unable to please people, which is probably one reason I am so good at customer service.

Rule number one in customer service is the customer is always right. The reason for this rule is simple; if you don’t aim to satisfy, you have no customer. Unfortunately, some consumers take advantage of this mantra and use it as an excuse to abuse those who are trying to serve.

Ahh, the salad days…

Back in my bridal days, I would do back flips (not really, this is a metaphor, you know) and tap dance in order to please brides. It was my duty to make “yes” statements and fulfill their innermost wedding dreams. Overall, I loved being part of her fantasy wedding.  It was great fun when a happy bride returned and showed pictures of her fateful day.

Too bad it was not all champagne, unicorns and rainbows for all of us. Some brides had problems with their gowns. Others had issues with bridesmaids, groomsmen, flower girls, etc.

Perhaps it was my fault, or one of the other bridal consultants who worked for me. Dresses came incorrectly, people mis-measured themselves, brides called off their weddings. I could go on for days about what could or did go wrong. The point is, sometimes mishaps were controllable and others were beyond my control. Whatever the complaint, I reacted similarly and took care of the customer.

Back to the present

Recently I have witnessed some of the nastiest customers to date, both at work and while shopping on my own. I understand that the economy is still in the toilet and people are grumpy, stressed out and broke.

This is no reason to take aggression out on a sales person or customer service agent. While in line at a convenience store a woman was shouting at the clerk because the store was out of a certain brand of cigarettes. Maybe this should be a clue to stop smoking (I know, it is another story altogether). I was appalled and embarrassed even though I had nothing to do with the situation.

What the woman failed to realize is that sometimes the answer is no. We are out of the brand, size, or style you were looking for. It is nothing personal. There is no conspiracy to displease you and leave you wanting.

As much as I hate saying no, I abhor reactions I get even more. Why add to the world’s stress by being inconsiderate of others? Is it really the clerk’s fault the store ran out of something? People are spending less and in turn stores are carrying lower inventories. It is the way things work; Supply and Demand.

OK, enough ranting already!

I will now step off my customer experience soapbox. Ranting is a great way to vent, but does it really solve anything? We all need to relax and realize that we are all in this together. Look at the bigger picture and see what you can do to make a difference.

Instead of growling, smile and become empathetic towards others. Stop thinking about your all-consuming problems and focus on something/someone else who may benefit from a thoughtful comment. Be the solution and not the problem.

What are your thoughts about the current state of rampant overreactions? Share your thoughts and comments. Better yet, next time you go in a convenience store (or any other for that matter),  show compassion and ask the clerk how his/her day is.


4 thoughts on “sometimes the answer is no

    1. miriamgomberg says:

      Thanks Eliz. I have seen a rash of nastiness lately and it is getting old quickly. Often, I find myself comforting forlorn associates who are being abused by inconsiderate rude people. We all just need to chill.


  1. Jessica says:

    I will admit sometimes I overreact but usually it’s because I’m exhausted or my kids are being difficult while I was shopping. I know it’s not right for me to take it out on the person working at the store but it just happens sometimes.


    1. miriamgomberg says:

      I think we have all overreacted at one point in time. What matters is what happens afterwards. Are you apologetic for your behavior or slink off into the shadows? It is a good reminder that how we behave matters. Thanks for the comment Jessica 🙂


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