Nikolai Talks 9: This Service Doesn’t Come With a Smile

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I never knew that smiling could be something negative. As in, how can shining teeth and dimples be a problem? I personally enjoy when people smile, because it brings out their facial features and makes them look lively. A lot of times, smiling comes so naturally because we can’t always control it. I started off talking about smiling, because it is highly important in the workplace. Whether while talking to your colleagues or engaging with customers, smiling is basically one of the attributes that increases likeability in the workplace. I am not saying that you must be liked by everyone, but smiling increases positivity and makes for easier transactions within the work environment.

I went to this one store, picked up a few things and headed to the checkout line. I had smiled at the lady behind the register and I swear down, she looked like she wanted to kill me. I thought that she hadn’t seen my smile and couldn’t believe that she had such a look on her face, so I smiled again and Lord knows her face kept still in the same position. I told myself that maybe she was having a bad day and she didn’t want to smile that day. I paid out and said “thank you”, but my show of gratitude wasn’t reciprocated. I got no reply and walked out. A few days had passed and I had to go back to the store. The same lady from last time was at the register, so I walked up and smiled again. “My golly!” The same fixed face was here again. I stopped the smiling and let her know I had some items to return before I checked out. This lady looked at me as if she wanted to start the next World War in the shop. I couldn’t take her seriously anymore, so I just maintained my own. She finished returning the few items and rudely gave me a receipt to sign. I told her “thank you” and again, there was no response. I knew better this time. She checked out my remaining item and I paid for them. I just could NOT address her as a human being anymore. I walked out and REFUSED to display ANY form of gratitude, because she was rude beyond measures.

Now, I am not saying that this lady should have ‘killed me with kindness’, but a smile in return wouldn’t have hurt anyone. Her rude mannerism wasn’t good for her, me (the customer) and the store. Smiling is not for everyone, but in the work environment, it is necessary. A lot of people have picked up the behavior of having a ‘bitchy resting face’ whenever and wherever they go for absolutely no reason. Of course I understand that she may have been having a bad day or wasn’t interested in interacting with anyone, but I can see that it’s a continuous habit for her. What she has succeeded in doing is losing a customer for the store because of her unpleasant behavior. Only goodness knows how she communicates with other customers or people in general. All it takes is one complaint and it could cost her this job that provides some meals for her. Would she prefer that? As harsh as that may sound, it’s the honest truth. I bet I am not the first or last to be disturbed by this girl’s facial expressions.

I have worked within customer service and marketing and have realized that there is no need for such attitude in the workplace. I have experienced such behavior from both ladies and guys. If you’re having a bad day, you have to find a way to beat around your emotions and don’t carry it out on someone else. I don’t randomly release all my emotions or distaste on a customer in any kind of way. What would that do for me? How about my workplace? If you no longer like your job, try your best to find a way to get another one. I understand that in certain areas/ countries it’s harder to work than others, so that may be a bit more difficult for some people. But, if you are capable of implementing a change, DO IT! It is better for you and others around you. Sometimes you have to realize it’s time for a change before you reach the last straw. If you know that you are guilty of such and you don’t want a job change, I suggest that you ‘change’ your attitude. You will realize in the long run that it not only improves your communicative skills, but it also helps boost your confidence within the workplace.

Nikolai Obee

Nikolai Obee

Nikolai Obee (a.k.a Ms. Don't Use Me For Example) has a highly exuberant, but yet quirky personality. She’s a free spirit at heart and is constantly looking to broaden her horizons. She’s always open to others viewpoints and is an insightful listener, but never hesitant to speak her mind. Nikolai’s the typical girl next door, just with an animated twist! Follow her on Instagram @NikolaiObee Follow her blog

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