My pleasure

Workers learn to deal with needy, weird customers every day


Senior Carly Wieland prepares a gelato for a customer at Jeremiah’s Italian Ice.

When senior Ethan Enot started working at Taco Bell he thought it was going to be easy, then one day a man got furious over an enchilada and Enot had to call the cops.

Enot is not the only one who has to deal with customers who are annoying, rude or needy. No matter what job it is, people skills are essential to good customer service. All workers are consistently trying to make their customers happy, often fighting aggravation in the process.

Senior Tania Sims got asked to bag a customer’s food in plastic, then double paper, and make sure all of his cold products were in a paper bag.

“It was just a really weird order and I got really annoyed. I’m pretty sure I gave him a dirty look but he didn’t see,” Sims said.

Sims has been working at Publix for two years. She has to deal with needy customers every shift, but few things compare to Enot’s experience when he was working the drive-thru at 2 a.m.

A guy asked him for an enchilada and Taco Bell, where Enot works, does not sell enchiladas. The customer started asking a lot of questions and was angered at the fact that Taco Bell doesn’t have enchiladas, and he started calling Enot names.

“He pulled forward to the window and started banging on it and yelling at me, and I ended up having to call the cops,” Enot said.

All workers have different ways of coping, but Sims’ way of staying calm is not the normal, “fake a smile” type.

She goes into the break room, screams, then talks with her coworkers about the regulars who come in and are always really needy.

“I also vent to other customers who are around me at the time I got mad because they know why it happened and they understand, and a lot of the times friendships are made,” Sims said.

For some, this confrontation might have been scary, but Enot felt great after, stating that he was happy to see the guy speed off once he heard the cops’ sirens.

Dealing with difficult customers is not the only thing that comes with part time work. Senior Tanner Buis has gone through many unexpected experiences at his past job working at Smoothie King.

“I had a parent come in with about five kids and they basically wrecked the place, knocking a ton of products off the shelves and spilling smoothies,” Buis said. “I just figured that’s what kids do.”

It isn’t every day that you have a customer walk into a business with a parrot, but this was the case for junior Veronica Heredia, who works at Chipotle. She also had someone ask if the sour cream was ranch, which really threw her off.

“They ended up kicking the guy out though, because pets aren’t allowed in Chipotle,” Heredia said.

Most workers stay patient, calm and try to be happy and deal with the customers. Jobs not only promote responsibility but they also lead to better people skills and better communication skills.

In general, as individuals obtain jobs over time, people skills are learned without choice.

“I’ve learned a lot of people skills from working, such as dealing with others when they are angry or if someone is down I can ask them what’s wrong and what their day is like,” Enot said. “Overall it’s easier to have a conversation with people now.”