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There’s nothing more comfortable than working without a bra on

…or pants. But the general rule is, regardless of where you are, you keep your pants (or skirt, or dress) on in public. A bra’s optional but not for me, because I have traitorous little buggers that poke out to see the world when unleashed. I’ve had a few unintentional embarrassing episodes.

Anyway, nipple talk aside, I’ve been on a Forced Rest Day today. It’s a company off day that’s given to anyone who works Sundays by company request. I thought that I’d get some writing done because I’ve been sitting on it for the past two weeks.

It didn’t happen though, I ended up watching Mean Girls and Maid in Manhattan on Netflix. I’ve been hooked on Netflix ever since I got a (tremendously!!) better internet connection. The internet service provider I used to subscribe to had THE WORST CONNECTION EVER. I could never load a YouTube video even at 144p. Ridiculous!

Back to the movie Maid in Manhattan. There was a scene where Jennifer Lopez’s main character, Marisa Ventura was asked by a hotel guest to run over to a shopping boutique to buy different pairs of pantyhose. She gets to boutique, out of breath and in a hurry for her son’s school debate. But the cashier refuses to service her despite several attempts. Desperate, she goes behind the cash register and stands her ground about being “Sisters in (the) Service (Industry)”.

That scene struck me because earlier today, I went over to get my condo’s parking access card sorted. It hasn’t been working for the past two weeks AFTER I paid for a 6-month parking extension. Obviously, I was losing patience because the security guards refuse to let me into my own house without a working card. Everyday has been like a court case, trying to prove that I definitely live here.

So, I get to the condo’s management office and asked the cashier if she could check what’s wrong with my access card. And she blew me off. I did nazi that coming.

The conversation was like this,

“Hi, I’d like to check what’s wrong with my access card, it hasn’t been working for the past two weeks.”

Annoyed receptionist responds, “SO? The machine’s broken.”

Le me, “Oh, when will it be fixed?”

“I DON’T KNOW. EVEN IF I DO, I WON’T TELL YOU. YOU WILL JUST SCOLD ME.”

Shocked, I said, “I’m not scolding you…”

“YES YOU WILL. YOU ARE ALL THE SAME”, she got more agitated.

We carried on for five more minutes about her being accused of giving customer service and me coming over to scold her.

Realizing it was a lost cause, I came home with a bruised ego.

This episode and the Maid in Manhattan scene made me realise that, hey, I’m in the service industry too. I’ve been in it for 4 years now. I know that dealing with anyone on your bad day can affect the way you respond to situations and sometimes it’s no one’s fault.

There are days when I want to give the world to customers and then there are times I wish there are slimy cucumbers in their socks all day or that they have the worst stomach ache during a traffic jam.

And what’s great customer service? Does it mean a human robot with a pasted smile on their face repeating carefully crafted politically correct answers? Why are we so anal with the need to receive service with a smile?

Maybe we need to realise that sometimes it’s okay if someone doesn’t know the answers to our queries.

I was pissed at being brushed off from the condo management office but being “Sisters in Service”, I do wonder, am I a terrible customer as well? I do get annoyed when I don’t get an answer I want. I find that because I am constantly required to be giving correct, valuable answers all the time, I tend to be unsympathetic to other customer service providers because I believe that “they should know better” and “It’s their job”.

But then doesn’t this attitude demotivate others to do better at their jobs? It definitely makes me dread work more each day.

Customer service providers bear the brunt of customer rage while managers hide behind desks and count KPIs and performance stats. They are just deemed so replaceable.

I used to service Australian clients for a multinational company and upper management was based in Melbourne and Sydney. Customer service was based in Malaysia. At one point, we were told to our faces how “cheap” Malaysian labour was. That was like a slap in the face because I was receiving minimal pay and every other weekend I was seeing upper management go on company paid cruises and holidays to wine yards.  

I know right? Double slap in the face.

I didn't mean for this post to go from nipple rant to customer service rant but with all these in consideration, I don’t like how I was treated today but maybe it’s not as bad as I think it is. And if you have a customer service line, remember to give them loads of hugs and kisses because they go through much more emotional and psychological stress that we think.

about Alicia Chrissy

Discovering the adult world one diaper at a time, I share my travels, discoveries and inspirations. .