Dear Customer Service Representatives:
This letter goes out to all the Customer Service Representatives out there. Be it back end, on a phone line or a computer terminal, or front end, interacting with customers face to face, or stocking quietly—we see you. We appreciate you. Without you, Customer Service Representative, much of what we do on our day to day just couldn’t be.
Firstly, I’d just like to say, thanks.
Thanks for being awake and open at god-only-knows when in the morning and past the witching hour at night. Thanks for being there right when the rush starts, and I’m traffic. I see you, and just, thanks. I know that the trade offs for workings and going to school, be it high school or college, are that when you work (because we both know it’s when, not if you work), those hours are the worst possible hours. Being a Customer Service Representative is often a thankless job—if you’re doing it well, few will notice that you did what you do. I noticed. And I want to say thank you.
I see you, Customer Service Representatives. It’s 5am and I’m running in for something quick before my day begins. It’s after 11, and the store is dead. It’s rush hour at the grocery and the line is a million people long. Customer Service Reps, wherever and whenever you are, I see you. I see you doing your best to handle the small group surrounding you asking for things at the opposite ends of the store. I see you scanning things faster than my eyes can track. I see you stocking or pulling orders. I see you and I appreciate you, yes, you, Customer Service Representative.
And I’m sorry, Customer Service Representative, I know that you have a name.
I do, it’s right there on your nametag for all the world to see. I’m still just going to say “Hey,” or “Friendo,” or just simply “Excuse me” because while I appreciate you, as a person, and you, as the labor you perform, I still buy into the corporate dehumanization that robs you of any semblance of agency, and I of the responsibility of treating you like a human being. I appreciate that you respond, with a smile. It makes the illusion easier to stomach.
I also want to say sorry, that this entry level position, which often requires years of experience, that starts out at entry level pay, probably won’t garner you much afterwards. I’m sorry that employers look at years of dedication to a company at the position of Customer Service Representative as nothing more than wasted time, as new labor to start you at yet another entry level position at entry level pay. This one isn’t really on me, I’m an English major, doomed for eternity in entry level positions. I am you, just more jaded. But I still want to say sorry. Your years of work are more than minimum wage.
My final apology is this: Sorry that got a little dark.
I see you for the joy that you live in your life. I see the extrovert who is adept as handling crowed, seemingly effortlessly. I see the introverts give the care and attention that makes all interactions smooth as silk. I see you all. I see the hours you put in, your dedication to a company, but most importantly, your dedication to yourself and probably your families. I see you getting your education, and I see you working your way through the corporate ladder until you’ve made it. I believe in you, even if I’m a David Downer.
I believe in you. And I see you and I’m impressed.