AUTHOR’S NOTE: I wrote this in 2006 for a college course.
[Content Warning: Work related stress, ableist slurs, ableism (sorry, I was young and naive), ageism,]
My job is psychological guerrilla warfare. That is right; I work as a Customer Service Coordinator at a discount retail store. Customer service is not assistance and other resources that a company provides to the people who buy or use its products or services. It is not at all a service that a company provides to individuals. Customer service is the death of all that is logical. Customer service is the death of intelligence. Customer service is the death of pride. Most of all, customer service is the death of my faith in the future of humanity. All of this can be summed up into one thing, the policy that states that the customer is always right. Customer Service is succumbing to the customers.
There is a certain policy that many companies enforce. This policy is aptly titled: “The Customer Is Always Right,” and is pretty much self explanatory. This policy is to my logic what Brutus was to Julius Caesar. While the customer is always right, the customer is often wrong. Since the customer is always right while being wrong, I am stuck with the conundrum of whether or not what I know is right or wrong. If the customer says what I know is wrong, then it is wrong, and I must relearn what is right according to the customer, because the customer is always right. If another customer says that is wrong, then I am back where I started, because the customer is always right. For example, I make a Statement Z. Customer A makes a Statement A, which is contrary to Statement Z. Statement Z is now wrong, and Statement A is right, because the customer is always right. Customer B makes a Statement B, and Statement B is that Statement Z is correct, so Statement Z is now correct, because the customer is always right. Statements A and B are the control, while Statement Z is the variable, meaning Statements A and B are always right, while Statement Z can be right or wrong. Statement B equals Statement Z, while Statement A equals the opposite of Statement Z and B. Et tu, Brutus?
Let us suppose before I went to work today I took an IQ test. On that IQ test I scored a ninety seven, which is generally average. Then, the situation that was previously discussed occurs. In less than five minutes I have become completely devoid of logic, and it only took two people to accomplish such a task. Not to mention, these individuals are people I have never met in my life. They have completely destroyed my ability to identify with any reasonable logic known to man. A very good portion of the IQ test is logic related, and at least twenty five percent is specifically focused on logic. In general, the IQ test is roughly thirty three percent logic. If I received an average score on the IQ test before I had lost my ability to reason logic, now that my logic is gone, I will lose thirty three percent of the score I received if I were to take the IQ test again. Naturally, I take the IQ test again after that. I score about a sixty three. That score is extremely low according to IQ Test standards. In just five minutes I have become mentally retarded, thanks to a company policy I wish I were not required to enforce.
In the first five minutes of my shift, I have gone from average intelligence to mentally retarded. I am working a six hour shift. On average, these situations happen twice an hour on the off season. Lucky for me, my logic has already been destroyed and I can not lose anymore intelligence, even if this happened every five minutes for my entire six hour shift. While I am not losing intelligence anymore, I have lost one other thing. That one other thing is my pride. I lost my pride back when my logic was obliterated; even before that. As soon as I began to enforce the “The Customer Is Always Right” policy, Customer A had stolen my pride from me. It did not happen that second, but that millisecond. When I succumb to the whims of a customer, I am giving them my pride, because I can not stand up for my self when the tell me I am wrong, because the customer is always right, and if the customer is right and I am wrong, I have no pride. Good bye pride, good bye logic. Sometimes, before I go to sleep and I am lying in bed staring at the ceiling, I wonder what would happen if a customer told me I still had my pride.
Customer Service is readily handing over your logic, your intelligence, and your pride to the customer, and allowing them to stomp it into the ground. Customer Service is succumbing to the customers and their opinions on what is right and wrong.