Tomorrow is the first day at my new job, and being the nervous kind of guy that I am, I’m, well, nervous. In trying to calm my feelings of anxiety, I tried to think about how I already have a general idea of what to do, how it’s a small store in a part of town inhospitable to window shoppers, and how I’ll have to get up at only 8:30 everyday. But what really put me in the right frame of mind was something I had never thought to do before: make this job what I want it to be. I will always be courteous to the management and keep busy, but who’s to say I can’t have fun with the customers (as long as I don’t piss any of them off, of course)? Why can’t I not get nervous when I don’t know something, but admit that I don’t know and send them in the right direction? Why can’t I make fun of a snotty customer right to their face in a manner they won’t pick up on, but still get them what they need? Why can’t I bullshit with a customer who seems like a bullshitter? There’s no reason at all.
I’ve spent a total of about four years in customer service jobs, and if there’s one thing I’ve learned, but still have had trouble taking to heart, is to not take things personally. Put in an order for a cheeseburger, but forgot to tell the kitchen to make it without onions? Didn’t know the yield of a particular toner cartridge or the size of the cache on a particular hard drive? No big deal. Mistakes happen, and you just won’t know things from time to time. The customer got upset? Fuck ‘em. They won’t remember tomorrow, and you shouldn’t think about for days after it happened. Take the opportunity to learn from mistakes, but don’t let guilt or worry swallow you whole.