Well my resolution to be a consistent blogger has been off to a shaky start, seeing as it’s already halfway into the first month of the new year and I’m just now posting, but I have a good excuse.
Actually, it’s only kind of a good excuse, because I believe that if you truly want something, there’s no excuse good enough to explain why you’re not working as hard as possible to reach your desired outcome. So I basically just talked myself in a circle and am being a hypocrite, because though I may think that working full-time and catching a ridiculously bad case of the flu these past 2 weeks is a good excuse for not blogging, but it’s really not…I still could have found time to write.
I celebrated 2012 and welcomed 2013 in the eclectic city of San Francisco. We explored Union Square and Chinatown, took a long walk and drank soy lattes in Golden Gate Park, indulged in chocolate heaven in Ghiradelli Square, got our odd-coupley caricature drawn by Fisherman’s Wharf, ate dinner at Boudin’s, drove across the Golden Gate Bridge and even stopped in our country’s garlic capital and tried garlic-flavored chocolate ice cream!
The road trip there was half the fun
I’m back in Orange, but unlike the majority of the Chapman population, I’m not taking an interterm class. I couldn’t find one that I wanted/needed, so a whole month off? Yes please.
As I said earlier, I’ve been working full time these past 2 weeks. I worked at 85C Bakery in Irvine this past semester, and it’s probably one of the craziest, most hectic and fast-paced jobs out there. I’m not exaggerating at all–which is something I tend to do. THE BREAD IS AMAZING. IT’S DELICIOUS. It’s Taiwanese, so obviously it’s yummy. Unfortunately, I play no part in the making of such amazingly delicious breads. I work in the storefront.
There is seriously never a moment to take a break and if there is a moment of free time, I guarantee you that a customer will walk through the door within seconds. The job is frantically ringing up the mountain of different breads customers create on their tray while checking to see if the specific bread they want will be coming out anytime soon to see if they can pre-order it or if they want everything in a bag or a box or if they want any drinks with their order while the line is forming out the door and around the corner. I give my co-workers props, because I get easily overwhelmed during an 8-hr shift and all of them work way more than I ever did these past five months.
My last day there is this Friday and I’m torn between pure excitement, relief and sadness; excited and relieved to have a social life again this spring semester; sad because coworkers are awesome. Overall, I’ve learned a lot from this job and gained valuable food and customer service experience. I’ve also discovered that there are three kinds of people in this world. 1) People who have never worked in customer service 2) People who have worked in customer service 3) People who have never worked in customer service but don’t act like they are entitled, understand the fact that we are all equal and nobody is here to “serve” them.
A large majority of the #1′s should convert to a #2 or #3. I used to be a #3; I always made an effort to be extra polite to anyone who was helping me, even if they weren’t as perky or giving back the same kind of energy. I am now a #2, and not only will I continue to do what I used to do as a #3 but I also know exactly how to make things just a little easier for the #2′s.
a) Always make eye contact, smile and direct my attention to whoever’s helping me.
b) If they have a name-tag, make the extra effort to address them by name.
c) Say “please” and “thank you”. A lot, please. And thank you.
d) Don’t text or be on the phone. Whatever I think is that important can wait the short amount of time to acknowledge the human standing before me who’s trying to get me what I want.
I have come across quite a few, how shall I put this, ungratefully crass customers in my short time at 85, and I have to say it’s pretty disappointing how many people really do act like they are better than the people who are working. Granted, it’s not like this came as a huge shock to me as I also have retail experience with the type of customers who walk into Anthropologie. But this particular job condenses, multiplies and speeds up all my customer interactions into a much shorter amount of time. The most important lesson I will take from this is to stay happy and positive through everything. I’ve had my share of really bad days where the last thing I wanna do is be at work, but no matter what I try my absolute best to always greet every single person with the same (hopefully genuine) smile and “Hello, how are you today?” and end with a “Thanks, have a great day!“. Because out of the hundreds of customers that will either ignore you, grunt, or respond with a “Good.” (cue drawn out silence until transaction is over) …there will be those diamonds in the rough who will smile back, ask how you are and brighten your day a little more. There have only been three distinct instances in my whole time working at the bakery where I have received any type of positive reinforcement, but I will never forget them and they make up for all the thousands of mundane and non-responsive customer interactions. The first one was an old Asian lady who didn’t speak English very well; she stared at me for a little while longer than necessary after I told her to have a good day, then put her hands up to lips, said “Good smile!”, smiled at me and walked away. The second one was this older man who walked straight up to me and before I took his order said to me: “Don’t ever stop smiling. You’re doing a great job and your smile just made my day.” The last one was a couple days ago when this tiny little boy came in with his mom and after I rang them up, mumbled something I didn’t catch. His mom informed me that he said “Excuse me, ma’am, you look beautiful.” That last one actually made my whole day.
I’ve been told that I’m extremely perky at work. To quote some of my crazy (but awesome) coworkers: “You sound like someone who would be in Gossip Girl” “Did you used to be a cheerleader?” “Were you a popular girl in high school?” (which I completely laughed at because I never was) “Your voice goes up really high at the end of all your sentences” “You’re so energetic, it’s fun” “Like ohmygod, I’m Ivy, and like, how can I help you?!?!” and so on etc. blahblahblah. And that’s how I am as a person. I am actually that perky and energetic, believe it or not. Most of my coworkers like it, some make me out to be ditzy and one has just straight up has hated me from the start (because she “doesn’t like my personality”…even though we’ve never had a conversation, ever. Not once) but hey, you can’t win them all. It’s just me, take it or leave it. Or, to quote one of my current favorite songs to belt out while driving: “Now don’t you understaaaand, that I’m never changing who I am”.
Basically…respect. Just respect. That’s all.