Why are you doing that?

Do you wonder why people have the jobs they have? Would you ask, “Why do you have this job?”

Before you ask: I don’t shut up so that’s how I got into radio and newspapers.

But the miserable grocery store cashier who never smiles, is always overheard bitching about not getting her cigarette break and lets out a sigh when she is told she has to cover someone else’s break. Granted, she’s a teenager and it could just be the I-should-be-out-having-fun-and-not-working attitude.

How about the coffee shop worker in her 60s that doesn’t take your BS if you are unhappy with something? Is she one of those “lifers” at the job? Is it that her social skills would prevent her from working elsewhere and her rough-around-the-edges attitude is acceptable at a truck stop? Or does she deep down really like the job and is just playing up the miserable shoot-me-now persona?

We’ve all done that: we complain about something for the sake of complaining even though we don’t really feel that way. If we seem to eager or gungho about our job does it make us look like a dork?

I understand people need to make money. A job is a job. There is no rule that you have to love what you do. It does make me wonder why a non people person would be front and centre in a customer service role. Yes, it could be he or she wasn’t bitter 30 years ago when they started and the attitude has changed over time. People get comfortable after many years, so that could explain it.

Many people would have no interest in the job I have. It’s just as I wouldn’t find working in fast food or at a call centre exciting, but there are people who do it, have done it for years and love it. That’s the exact attitude to have: see the positive and make the best of your situation.

I called the cable company the other day and instead of the usual monotone foreigner giving misinformation I was surprised to hear from an operator who’d been with the company for 20 years, knew the ins and outs of the product and was chipper and happy to talk to me first thing in the morning. I was shocked.

Her disposition had me change my attitude when I should have been one of those pissy customers calling to complain. She worked her magic as a good customer service representative and it made me wonder, Why is she such a rare breed?

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