The picture above was only edited to include a modesty paint splatter because I chose to put it there. Besides that nothing has been done to the photo. Why do I have such an honest picture? Well I had an experience a few months ago that I thought should be accompanied by a picture for context. I was going to make this a pity party post but after having time to think about it decided to make it a teaching moment.
A few months ago I gave birth to a healthy baby. While everything turned out okay, I hadn’t been feeling myself due to things out of my control namely hormones. It had been a while since I had gotten out of the house without my little ones so hubby took me out for a midweek date. Everything started off great. Dinner, adult conversation and planning for the future. Then we decided to extend our evening by going to the mall. First I went to a makeup store to buy a liquid concealer along with two impulse buys. I was on a high because I really wanted the concealer but couldn’t justify buying it as I don’t wear makeup regularly. However my hubby is awesome and he was trying to spoil me per usual. The second store WAS my favorite. Just to clarify I am intentionally leaving out the name but I will say it was not Bath and Body Works. Now the story…
I was really excited to go to my store as I usually get to spend a decent amount on fun but completely unnecessary bath products. I went in with the intention to replace a skincare item and to get a few new bath balls. I walk in (see image above) with a huge smile on my face and no spending cap! Now I would never go too crazy but I was happy with the dollar amount I set for myself. I walk in the store but for the first time no one offers to help. Please note the store was in no way busy; there was maybe three customers not including ourselves. I figured someone would get to me when they were done however no one approached us. Then an additional associate walks out from the back and still nothing. I thought maybe they are changing places with the cashier but again wrong. I decided to say what I was looking for just in case they all assumed the other associate helped me but again nothing and one associate even avoided me. To reiterate small store, not busy and I am very hard to miss as I was dressed in a bright color. Right as I see an associate headed my way I smile and begin to form the words for the description of the items I’m looking for when she continues walking to help the customers that just walked in. At this point I am crushed because I have no other reasoning as to why I haven’t received assistance. Even my husband was annoyed to the point of wanting to complain.
So we go to the candy store next door in an effort to pick me up so I could work up the nerve to go back and give them a second try. The candy store was equally empty and the associate immediately greeted us and asked to let them know if we needed any help or had questions. This is all I wanted but didn’t receive at the previous store. We were greeted so nicely in the candy store I nearly cried. I was hormonal, still dealing with post delivery things and happy to be out of the house and that gutted me. I eventually walked to the back of the candy store so no one could see the tears forming. Now my husband was upset because I don’t cry easily. I explained to him that I haven’t dealt with that much profiling in YEARS. I thought “that stuff doesn’t happen where I live” because it is so diverse. Well I was wrong. Once I got it together, we brought our purchases to the front, made a few impulse buys, thanked them for their great customer service and left.
As we left and passed the offending store, my husband asked if I wanted to go back to complain. I declined. I was so sad that the thought of doing anything else gutted me. What if I went for dessert and the same thing happened? What if the way I looked put people off and that is why I wasn’t helped? Maybe my attitude seemed XYZ? Well by the time I arrived home I was still emotional but I started thinking. I didn’t do anything wrong. I am the same person I always am when around others. I smile at the very least and speak when at my best. I could have looked better but I was dressed the way I felt comfortable and in what could fit my post baby body.
The lesson I learned was to treat every customer like they matter. Don’t pick and choose who you will help. If you are at work in the customer service business and said customer has not been rude, violent, etc then you should give them the same customer service you want to receive. Or at the bare minimum ask if they need help. I don’t expect anyone to bend over backwards or go out of their way to help me. But what I do expect is common industry standard courtesy whether or not you think I have the money to be there. Because your actions might not have direct consequences but knowing you changed a persons day should matter. I consider myself a decent human trying to raise decent humans. I hope my children’s actions never cause anyone to feel the way I did that night at the bath store when Help was indeed Wanted…