The Art of Dealing with Patrons

There is an art to dealing with customers that I have been developing since I first began my life as a worker bee eight years ago. Between five restaurants, 3.5 years at Starbucks, three days at J. Crew, a movie rental store, and an ice cream shop, I feel as though I can call myself an expert on the topic of customer service. And today, my friends, is the day the God of Patrons is testing me.
Nothing surprises me. Ever. A man walked behind the circulation desk today, looked over to me, and asked if anyone was using the computer next to me. He caught me off guard but I politely told him that was for library associates only and gave him further instruction on using the computer lab. Another customer called me and gave me a 1:16 long narrative on why she needed a hold removed. Instead of cutting her off, asking her for her library card number, and calling it a day, I listened. I gave her sympathy for her situation and gladly told her that I could reapply her hold so she could get the book at a later date. She was very pleased, I said thank you, and that was that.
This is where the difference between Verizon and Starbucks is noted; one attributes their popularity to customer recognition and creating a “Third Place” for their guests while the other has an attitude similar to that of the lone lion in the den. He’s wanted by some, needed by others, and used by all.
I truely enjoy serving people. I don’t see myself as a Starbucks barista and circulation desk associate; I am the delivery (wo)man early morning cheerfulness, late night salvation, and the next best read. There are those that never return the smile, dismiss my “Have an excellent day!” with a nod, and never seem satisfied with their lives. But I melt inside when they see me in Walmart and greet me. That reinforces my belief in karma. As Jesus said, “Do unto others as you would have them do unto you,” (Matthew 7:12)

2 Thoughts

  1. You write beautifully. Coming from someone who majored in mass communications, is a stickler for the English language, and prides himself on being a somewhat competent writer, that’s probably the highest compliment I could give someone. :)And oddly enough, after saying that, I had to post this comment a second time, because I misspelled a word. haha

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