Yesterday I was with my mom at a local bank and the transaction I made necessitated providing a photocopy of my 2 valid IDs. We didn’t have to walk that far from the bank as one of the country’s favorite bookstore is conveniently located across the bank branch.

photo (6)Once inside the bookstore we went over to the photocopying/scanning service section where one staff was leisurely trying to remove wrinkles from a laminated document. We said we wanted to photocopy 2 cards and I opened my passport to the front page and placed my SSS identification card on top of the passport front page on the desk. He only glanced a while at us and continued back to fixing the previous laminated document. We stood there and waited, wondering when he would attend to us. I was getting impatient as we had to go back to the bank and we never know what other delay might keep us from going home on time. I had stuff to do and unlike normal employees who are guaranteed to receive a paycheck every month, freelancers just can’t afford to slack off.

I blurted out to my mom and it was loud enough for him to hear, “How long are we gonna be standing here?” I then turned around and walked towards the bestsellers aisle. That was when he started to pay attention to us.

I would have been tolerant had my work circumstances were any different. I also don’t understand why anyone who’s supposed to be attending to customers isn’t warm enough. But I have to give him the benefit of the doubt – it was 10am and it wasn’t a busy day at the bookstore.

That experience awoke me to another realization – one that had to do with my 9-year career in the customer service industry. Having dutifully and diligently attended to client inquiries for that long has made me expect the same standard I had given to the clients whom I had served. Having responded to e-mail sales inquiries within a 12-hour period for almost 5 years in my last job has made me a wee bit impatient if I couldn’t get any reply within 12 hours to my technical inquiry regarding a website I am using.

It’s not about being too demanding – it’s about considering that your customer’s time is precious just like yours is.

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