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 Post subject: Job Requirement: Smiling at Everyone?
PostPosted: Mon Feb 08, 2016 3:24 pm 
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I'm not sure if this goes here, but one of my job requirements is to smile at and be friendly to patrons. I've had things thrown at me, had people get in my face, and just lots of general rudeness, but I'm required to smile and be cheerful throughout interactions. When I've experienced being treated poorly, I've gone to my supervisor, but he, and our overall boss, provide no support. Smiling and cheerfulness is written into my job description (it wasn't initially--that would've been a big red flag for me). I am looking for another job. In the interim, I'm having trouble keeping a good attitude and not taking things personally. I am finding it more and more difficult to smile when someone treats me like crepe. What are some good strategies for maintaining a thick skin?


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 Post subject: Re: Job Requirement: Smiling at Everyone?
PostPosted: Mon Feb 08, 2016 3:49 pm 
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I don't know if this is too violent but I like imagining punching customers in the face. Helps me stay happy and positive in the face of jerks. My therapist suggested it :)

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 Post subject: Re: Job Requirement: Smiling at Everyone?
PostPosted: Mon Feb 08, 2016 4:16 pm 
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Tofulish wrote:
I don't know if this is too violent but I like imagining punching customers in the face. Helps me stay happy and positive in the face of jerks. My therapist suggested it :)

ha! i should see your therapist.

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 Post subject: Re: Job Requirement: Smiling at Everyone?
PostPosted: Mon Feb 08, 2016 4:24 pm 
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This is hilariously great timing! We just got lectured/threatened today about this (which worked wonders, obviously) and now my co-workers are making fun of each other to smile. Unfortunately, I have no advice to give you as I'm in the same boat. I personally don't believe that I, or anyone else, should have to smile and take it when people hit me, throw things or scream at me. It's worse when you have little to no support from managers.

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 Post subject: Re: Job Requirement: Smiling at Everyone?
PostPosted: Tue Feb 09, 2016 6:19 am 
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ugh this is the realest problem re:working with the public. So I'm 25 this year and that birthday officially marked my 11th year having to smile at people who are mean to me in order to keep a job (or get tips! the sun has to shine out your asparagus if you're waitressing) so I FEEL YOU SUPER HARD.

At this point I've gotten pretty zen with it. I make it in to a sort of game, like I am SO NICE to them that they either slowly back off over the course of an interaction, apologize for their earlier behavior, or maybe later when they calm down from the terrible day they're already having they will feel TREMENDOUSLY GUILTY and I thrive on that guilt. I actually had a lady call in to where I used to work and apologize to my manager for yelling at me when I was like 18 and working in a craft store.

my internal monologue is "fight me you forking crasshole" though.

for example, I have 4 jobs right now and on the weekends I work in a small non-commercial gallery downtown where I'm the only person there for 7 hours each day. A lady came in already mad about something and started making comments on how easy my job seemed and how small and unimpressive the gallery is and instead of telling her to fork off I was very polite until she calmed down a little and then when she brought up my job again I gently reminded her that I was here, at work, on a Saturday, so people like her could come in and enjoy the art whenever they want, and I was happy to provide that service. The look of realization that I AM AT WORK WHEN SHE DOES NOT HAVE TO BE was great and she left SO FAST.

internal monologue: fork OFF


anyway, I feel u, let the righteous indignation fuel you and remember that people are crassholes.

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 Post subject: Re: Job Requirement: Smiling at Everyone?
PostPosted: Tue Feb 09, 2016 6:24 am 
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If this was me, I'd point any unpleasant customers to my managers, with a smile... "sorry I can't help you, maybe my manager can".

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 Post subject: Re: Job Requirement: Smiling at Everyone?
PostPosted: Tue Feb 09, 2016 7:14 am 
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Omg, what bullshiitake! I've always worked with the public, but have been told at every job that we matter and to never let anyone harrass me. "Don't be nice, just kick them out!" I've gotten lectures about being too nice to those people. Even at the worst jobs. So this is just utterly ridiculous to me. I'm so sorry. I'm guessing these places all have high turnover and little morale?


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 Post subject: Re: Job Requirement: Smiling at Everyone?
PostPosted: Tue Feb 09, 2016 7:24 am 
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This reminds me of Jennifer Aniston's job in Office Space.

Those are really stupid policies to have, if only because it is genuinely clear when people are painfully forcing themselves to smile and be nice. I hate it if I have a cashier who is clearly wanting to kill everyone but straining a smile anyway. I don't miss jobs like that.

I did manage a tasting room once and I had the awkward need to ask one of my staff to please smile a little bit more to make people feel welcome. It was in a rural area so people drove all the way there to be met with a very quiet and surly guy. He was bubbly and outgoing in his interview. I did tell him that I realize it is BS to need to pretend you are something you are not in the service industry, but I mean--it comes with the territory! He was better after and I realized that part of the reason he was ignoring customers before was that he was so focussed on remembering other aspects of his job. I didn't really think about that.

My first job when I was 14 was product demos at a grocery store and I remember thinking "THIS IS HELL. THIS IS WORK? HELL." Now I switch on the charm without thinking about it. Working with the public is acting.


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 Post subject: Re: Job Requirement: Smiling at Everyone?
PostPosted: Tue Feb 09, 2016 7:46 am 
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oh, I did forget one thing: I do not have to smile at anyone when I'm bartending. I get more tips when I'm sorta mean to the old men who frequent the bar where I work so there's a place to look for a new job if you want

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 Post subject: Re: Job Requirement: Smiling at Everyone?
PostPosted: Tue Feb 09, 2016 8:55 am 
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bastah wrote:
Omg, what bullshiitake! I've always worked with the public, but have been told at every job that we matter and to never let anyone harrass me. "Don't be nice, just kick them out!" I've gotten lectures about being too nice to those people. Even at the worst jobs. So this is just utterly ridiculous to me. I'm so sorry. I'm guessing these places all have high turnover and little morale?

Whoa, that's really cool! I've only ever had the opposite told to me. They make it very clear that we're just talking floors at my job. Not only so that people can walk all over us but so that all of the blame can roll down onto us.

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 Post subject: Re: Job Requirement: Smiling at Everyone?
PostPosted: Tue Feb 09, 2016 8:59 am 
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Also, the problem with getting a manager involved is that to the company you're either bothering the managers or you're alerting them to how bad you are at your job.

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"...anarchists only want to burn cars and punch cops."- nickvicious
"We'll be eating our own words 30 years from now when we're demanding our legislators outlaw aerosol-based cyber dildo-wielding death holograms."- Brian


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 Post subject: Re: Job Requirement: Smiling at Everyone?
PostPosted: Tue Feb 09, 2016 9:00 am 
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Mr. Shankly wrote:
Also, the problem with getting a manager involved is that to the company you're either bothering the managers or you're alerting them to how bad you are at your job.


I think my point really with this was that they should be bothered if you are having to be pleasant with even the most unpleasant people.

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 Post subject: Re: Job Requirement: Smiling at Everyone?
PostPosted: Tue Feb 09, 2016 9:05 am 
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linanil wrote:
Mr. Shankly wrote:
Also, the problem with getting a manager involved is that to the company you're either bothering the managers or you're alerting them to how bad you are at your job.


I think my point really with this was that they should be bothered if you are having to be pleasant with even the most unpleasant people.

The problem with that though is that it trickles down to us. At least where I work, the managers don't care about us or what is happening with people. When something happens, they'll make fun of us and/or get revenge. The corporate HR has been called on them and we know that because they made fun of the people who called on them and then got revenge. We've expressed how unhappy we are at this place and they just made fun of us.

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"We'll be eating our own words 30 years from now when we're demanding our legislators outlaw aerosol-based cyber dildo-wielding death holograms."- Brian


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