HomeOpinionFrustrated with poor service? Or grateful they showed up for work?

Frustrated with poor service? Or grateful they showed up for work?

The other night I went into a local restaurant to pick up dinner for the family.

And like happens upon occasion, there was some confusion among the staff that delayed the arrival of food for myself and some of the other customers that were in the place.

Was the confusion avoidable? Yes it was.

But the confusion was also partially caused by a worker who was obviously new to the job – she was young and not making decisions that the person in her role as a customer service representative would typically make, which was further slowing the process.

And with each confirmation of more delay, customers would become more and more visibly frustrated.

This was a pizza place, and when I was in high school and college, I worked at a pizza place back home in Alabama.

So I feel like I’m a bit more understanding when situations like this arise.

Do I like it? No. Am I tempted to step in and make suggestions? Definitely.

But I also know how one pizza chain is run in 2023 is probably a lot different from the way a separate pizza chain was run in the late 1990s and early 2000s.

But then the visible frustration of other customers progressed to verbal frustration. First to each other and then to the person at the counter who was the main line of communication with the customers.

And people seem to be more understanding now than they were five years ago.

I think going through the pandemic and the supply chain and workforce issues the country experienced and is still experiencing to a lesser degree now has increased our collective patience as a whole.

But having stood in the pizza place for 30 minutes since ordering a couple pizzas for carryout service does seem like a conversation is warranted – if for nothing else finding out how busy the store is at that time (this was a Friday night) that produced so many pizzas to make that it would take more than 30 minutes to go from the order being placed to the pizza being made to a few minutes in the oven to boxed up and brought to the customer.

The fact is about 25 years ago, I was that young person working their first job outside of cutting extended family members’ grass or helping neighboring farmers pick peas (I hated that job enough that peas came at the end of the summer and I was ready to start school after about two hours of that).

So when the frustrated person next to me began to ridicule the inexperienced teenager, I tried to be nice when I said, “She’s learning. She’ll eventually get it figured out.”

But here’s one thing I hope we all remember when we’re waiting in line for what we feel too long at the restaurant or at the checkout line at the grocery store:

It was three years ago we were begging for the opportunity to go get a pizza.

It was two years ago when we began to worry because no one could keep enough staff working that businesses could keep normal operating hours because they didn’t have people to come anywhere near meeting normal demand during peak hours.

So for the foreseeable future (and hopefully for the rest of our lives), we need to be glad that anyone decided to apply for the job, show up for the interview, pass any drug tests required to be hired then show up for work that day.

Because the last few years should’ve showed us what life is like when people don’t do that.

Brandon Shields is the managing editor of The Jackson Post. Contact him at brandon@jacksonpost.news. Follow him on Twitter @JSEditorBrandon or Instagram @Editorbrandon.

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