Working in customer service has provided much insight into my Aspergers. Although a generally nice person, I struggle knowing how to respond to people that I need to serve. Worries plagued me about being an awful person who could not be kind to others under stress. Perhaps I was not the sweet person that others claimed I was.
Now, I am usually great with customers. Smiling, complimenting, and paying close attention to their needs are skills that are not difficult for me. In many ways, my deep desire to serve and fear of offending others make me a good worker.
However, rudeness or crude jokes bring me to a halt. While other servers keep grinning and being sugary sweet, I struggle to simply look the person in the eyes. My first instinct is to run far away and hide. Yet, my job forces me to keep my feet grounded and continue helping my customer.
Why is it that other people can handle disgruntled customers so well? This questions has bothered me for the past couple of years. Finally, I connected my reactions to Aspergers.
Coworkers are just as annoyed with customers as I am. Sure, they smile just as brightly and are cheery. However, they complain and gripe about anyone who bugged them at all. The grins and politeness are fake. Inside, they are stewing angrily.
My Aspergers makes lying difficult. How could I stand in front of someone and act like they are my best friend when they just chewed me out because our policy states you must have an ID to drink alcohol? Try as I might, my face begins to show my frustration, confusion, and fear. Faking cheerfulness to the customer’s face and than making fun of them later is not something I can do.
Funnily enough, realizing this made me understand something even deeper. Not only am I unable to do those actions, I do not want to act like that. Instead, I want to love my customers through good service even if they are rude to me. With my faith and sense of morals to help, this is possible but not easy.
Customer service is not any easy job for anyone, but Aspergers makes it even more difficult. However, the challenge of remaining polite while not being two-faced is one that I am willing to take. Life may not be simple, but even the smallest actions can make an impact on others. That is how I hope to touch my customers even if they are unkind to me.