Service industry workers are people too

Mackenzie Coughlin, Staff Writer

When looking for a first job or a job that does not require experience or a degree, many turn to the service industry where employees get paid minimum wage to deal with cranky customers all day. I have had my fair share of rude customer encounters from working at a chain coffee drive-thru (which shall not be named) and would like to shed light on the idea to be kind to everyone you meet. In honor of that, here is one of my favorite rude customer encounters over the past year and a half.  

It was a busy Saturday afternoon at said coffee shop and the 2-3 p.m. rush was in high gear as about 20 people were standing at the pick-up window eager to receive their drinks. My co-workers and I had a good system going, one on register, one on hot and iced drinks, and myself on blenders. The line seemed like it was never going to stop as giant orders kept tumbling in. It was obvious from the outside of the store that we were stressed and rushed.  

Now, put yourself in the shoes of a customer, standing around a crowd of 20 people who are all waiting for the same reason you are. Here comes me, holding a drink to hand out to the person who ordered it. “I have a large blended mocha latte,” I yelled so that even the back of the crowd could hear. 

A lady proceeds to interrupt me be saying in a condescending tone, “Oh, I’m sorry that’s not what I ordered actually…”. She then relays her entire 30-dollar order to me which is about five slots behind the current drink I was handing out.  

“I know ma’am, this is not your drink, it’s someone else’s, yours will be right out,” I explained in a gentle and kind voice. This same scenario repeated itself all the way up until the lady’s order was made, with every single drink that was brought out before hers. If you ever order from a fast-food restaurant or a business in the service industry, remember that they are giving you their service for close to minimum wage and are doing the best that they can.  


A service industry worker