Palm comes crashing

down onto the table

as you thrust your papers

into my face.

“What is this?”

you demand,

spitting in your fury,

mouth frothing.

Yet I’m the one in the cage.

“It’s all wrong,

why is it wrong?”

We stare at each other.

Both red-faced.

Both a little alarmed

by what you do next.

You tear away

from the desk,

like the shreds of paper

you leave behind

for me to clean up.

You roar,

slamming the door,

as you go.

I take a deep breath.

Smile, of course.

Whose next?

“Hi, how can I help?”

Customer service.

Whilst this is fiction, I draw on the sort of experiences I’ve faced working in customer service for a number of years.  I find from a psychological perspective (oh, there’s me utilising that A-Level) the behaviour of a customer to a cashier fascinating – I’ve been shouted at, sworn at, lied to, harassed. I’ve even heard of friends being attacked and stalked.  Always take a moment to remember that those figures behind the counter aren’t mindless drones – they’re just people.


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October 12, 2017
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