Through my early twenties, I worked in customer service as a gas station clerk and a waitress, and let me just say one thing.

The customer is NOT always right.

The customer is often rude, entitled, and just plain wrong. 

Once when working an overnight shift at the gas station, a man came up to the counter with his phone dangling from his ear.

“Did you have gas, sir?”

I waited while his soda and bratwurst sat on the counter with a $20 bill. He just kept talking.

He finally looked at me and threw his hands in the air.

“You gonna check me out or what?”

I felt heat crawling up my chest. As I started to ask him about the gas again, he went back to his conversation.

“Yeah, I’ll be there in a minute. If this idiot cashier ever does her f***ing job.”

I finally just rang him up and hoped he didn’t have gas. He left without even a thought to his hateful comment.

Maybe he didn’t know he made me feel like the toilet I had to scrub a few minutes later – my guess is he didn’t care.

It was sometimes a daily fight not to feel worthless while people screamed about expired coupons or a steak that wasn’t cooked quite right.

Society is ruthless and when it comes to being a public front-runner—especially during the holidays—it’s a war zone.

This is the season for grace. Really, though, shouldn’t all seasons be?

Sometimes your cashier will charge you for something twice.

She’s not an idiot. Maybe she is still shaky from the last guy who said she’s too stupid to work at Wal-Mart. Maybe she just messed up—she is human just like everyone else.

I’m not saying people who work in the public shouldn’t have a good attitude, but I know it isn’t always easy to keep that smile pasted on.

The bottom line is that sometimes the customer is right, and sometimes the customer is wrong.

But, it’s never right to make someone feel like trash.

Let’s all remember the reason for the season as we navigate our Christmas shopping.

Originally published on Meg Duncan – What a Life


Meg Duncan

Meg Duncan is a Christian author and columnist. Her writing takes readers to recognizable places and assures them they aren’t alone. From raising children, navigating marriage, sorting laundry piles, and avoiding carbs (or blissfully embracing them, depending on the day), she combats self-doubt with humor and grace.