Summer is officially here and while the rest of the world (or so it feels like) enjoys the sun and freedom I am back at work. Where I work specially doesn’t matter but the environment is something I know you all will recognise. I work in fast food, but I could just as easily say I work in retail or as a waitress. The title doesn’t matter- all you need to know is I work with the general public and anyone who has ever been in that position can understand how awful that can be sometimes.
My time at work has inspired me to write this post and to help you be a better human. Here are five tips from me to you on how to be kind, friendly and overall just a decent person:
When you’re making a purchase or ordering food I’m aware that the only thing on your mind is getting what you want. But that doesn’t mean you don’t have time to greet the person serving you. Next time you’re being served, anywhere, and the person behind the till or on the headset says “Hello, how can I help you?” just say “Hello” before barking out what you want from them. It’s simple but honestly makes such a difference to the server.
- Please/Thank You
That age old rule that has been drummed into everyone since childhood. Yet funnily enough, it seems that a lot of people have forgotten the rule! When asking for anything from anyone it’s only polite to say “please” and “thank you” and this doesn’t change when you enter a shop or visit a restaurant. It doesn’t take anything to say please after you order or ask a question; you’re already talking anyway. So please next time you’re out and talking to someone, just remember your basic manners. Thank you.
- Eye Contact
Now that is a difficult one for me too but it really makes a difference and changes the way you look to the person you’re talking to. If you talk or attempt to communicate with someone without even looking at them once, you look rude and appear as though you think you’re above them. And that’s not nice to be on the other end of that. Even if you don’t care what the person you’re talking too thinks about you, a basic bit of eye contact makes you more polite and actually helps ensure that you get what you want out of the communication as it makes things clearer.
- Treat that person the way you would want to be treated
Again, another classic. But if you think about the way you act when you talk to someone either in a retail environment or just in your day-to-day life, would you like to get that back? Think about the things you don’t like other people doing to you and avoid doing that at all costs. If it annoys you when people don’t smile at you, then try to smile at everyone you communicate with. It’s simple but something we can often forget when we’re in a hurry or having a bad day. Next time just take a second to think about what you would want to hear if you were on the other side.
- Remember that you’re talking to a person; not a robot!
This one applies more to when you’re making an order or in a shop but it can happen in everyday life to. The person you are currently communicating with, that person behind the till in the (presumably awful) uniform is also a person with feelings like you. Who’d have thought?! So remember that when you’re about to scream at them because you had to wait a second longer for your food than you expected* or you’re just in a bad mood and they’re the only person you feel like you can take it out on. You can’t. Just be kind, stay polite and the world will be a better place.
Now I have to leave to enter the joys of work once more. Thanks for reading and please try to be a better and more polite person at all times!
*You are allowed to complain about your service and products if they do not meet your expectations and are entitled to expect a certain standard of quality. What I mean here is it is not often the fault of the person who is serving you. Rudeness will not get you anywhere and will make whoever is in charge less willing to deal with your claim.