The title is not referring to a tantrum thrown by me. Well, maybe, depending on how you look at it. But here we go!
An interesting tantrum from a customer got me thinking. He was making a big deal about which danish he got, wanting the biggest one. In my professional eye, they were all the same size, but that hardly mattered. When we finally got him squared away, he gave me a mournful pout and said, "You don't really care which one I want, do you?"
My response at the time was to chuckle and say "They pay me to care," which is both partially true and a good way to appease the whiners.
But as days passed, I couldn't get the question out of my head. "You don't really care what I want, do you?"
The truth is: Of course I don't! And if we're really honest with ourselves, it would be creepy if I did!
Can you imagine what sort of backwards world we'd live in if customer service reps had the demeanor they do in the commercials? No family life, no goals, no interests outside of how many fish specials they can hawk out to the twinkling lights of their lives: the customers.
It would be like the marketplace the Stepford Wives shop at. Any personal trauma or loss of limb would be easily programmed away. If the C.C.R. doesn't achieve their goal of measuring out, pricing and packaging the customer's products PERFECTLY, they self destruct. Life is not living if you can't magically pull out exactly what the crotchety dude in loafers wants, whether or not it's been sold out for hours!
Is that really how the average customer wants to shop? Indentured robotics in aprons and uniforms? I seem to recall a time when some stranger taking a deep interest in what you've got going on was cause for a search warrant and arrest. Whatever happened to a simple, "Hello, I would like that one, Thank you, Have a nice day?" There's nothing wrong with responding to other humans with, dare I say it, basic human contact. Even if one of you is being paid to stand behind a counter.
So, no, I really don't care what my customers want. Or how they want it. Or what they're going to do with it. And that is the greatest gift I can give to someone I don't know.