Tales from the Booth

Come into my world...
Come into my world…

How many have heard “THE CUSTOMER IS ALWAYS RIGHT”?
In my line of work it comes up everyday. If any of you work in the service field, you can relate.

I’ve been a toll collector for over 27 years and believe me, we see it all. And sometimes, you wonder if some of these customers are right, in the head.
Like the business people wearing outfits to kill. Armani suits, silk ties  and a stuffed animal strapped to their waist. What’s up with that!?! Or just the other day I had a young guy wearing a black bra with a hot pink mesh crop top. He said he wanted to scare me.:) Well, he sorta did.
Once I had a person pull up brushing their teeth, not just with water. Oh no, there was definite foam action. And I wondered, “Where are they planning to spit that?”
But the one I see the most,  and its usually older people, is people who drive with their pants open.  Zippers down. Do they not know I can see that? Maybe they don’t care? Maybe they need bigger pants?
Definitely an interesting job for a people lover like me; so much variety. And insanity. But we all know working with people is challenging whether it’s at work, at church, on a team or with friends or family.
So how do we as Christ followers handle difficult people?
On my job if a customer pulls up to the booth without a ticket or EZ Pass to pay their fare, we have to charge them the full rate of the Turnpike which is between $30 and $50. You can imagine this customer may not be too happy. Recently this happened to a male toll collector and when he explained the full fare policy, the customer became irate spewing all manner of verbage, threw some money at the collector and shouted, ‘I’ll call the central office and make your life a living hell!’ to which he shouted back as she drove off, “Sorry I’m not looking for a relationship right now.”

I think we’d all like to have a good comeback when we get treated badly if we’re honest.  Something with a bit of sticking power? I know I do at times. But if the ‘customer is always right ‘ and I want to shine for Jesus,  I follow what I call THE SERVANT’S GOLDEN RULE.
First, I make up my mind that I want to do what’s right in God’s eyes not just what’s right in my own.

Second, I breathe a quick prayer for grace.

Third, I accept the idea that even this customer (who may be ornery)  is right, or at least deserves to be treated right by the grace of GOD in me.
And last, I just follow the Golden Rule from Matthew 7:12. We all know it.  “Do unto others as you would have them do unto you. . .” New Living translation.

Just BE nice and you’ll FLURISH! Because the alternative of being nasty, will in time, take it’s TOLL on you!

Shine On…

karan k

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