a reply to: Atsbhct
I used to work in a frozen food retail environment. The company for which I was working at the time, were (and still are) famed for offering frozen
meat at rock bottom prices, and as a result, the store was next to always rammed to the rafters with customers.
Although I was tasked with many different duties during my time with the company, I was most often to be found operating a checkout station. I had
the fastest scan rate of any of our till operators, and was the only employee in the history of that particular store, to have received a tip for
service! I would regularly have regular customers stop to chat after their transactions had been completed, and so I would be dealing with customers
in the midst of the conversation.
However, because the customers with whom I had extended conversations, understood that I had a job to do, they would be respectful of that fact, and
wait until I had an ear free to listen with, before continuing the conversation. I no longer work in that area of retail, and have become a locksmith.
However, I still work at the counter of a shop, and I still like to talk with my customers, should they be in the mood for a discussion. Of course,
our little store is not in the centre of town, but on the outskirts, where the train line ends! So naturally, our customer base is smaller, and we
have more regular customers than passers by, if you catch my drift.
As a result, I find myself drawn into conversation about a great many things, with a great many people every week. My mother and I are both equally
happy to converse with our customers, and as it happens, this has been beneficial to our business. Through being prepared to engage with our
customers, not just as sources of revenue, but as members of a unified community, we have gained a reputation which goes beyond our mere technical
competency, and quality of customer service. People value our store and the folks who work in it, because they see us as being people who will always
make time for others, and although I am proud of the quality of the work we do and the services we provide, it is the fact that our store and its
employees are considered a vital part of our local community, which really warms my insides.
We are not a hugely successful business, we do not make vast sums of money, and we do not have it easy. But in the ways that matter, we are operating
in a way which pleases our customers and our community, and that, to me at least, is bloody beautiful.
In summary then, its true that no one has a contract of employment which states that they have to give a God damn about anything that happens beyond
the nose on their face. However, in order to feel good about the work one does, one must learn to embrace the community in which one lives and works,
to care about what happens in it, and the people it happens to.