Sunday, August 24, 2008

Customer Appreciation Day

     Today was customer appreciation day at my place of employment.  Most places in the retail and entertainment industries have customer appreciation days.  And they are all a crock of shit.  Because, although we should, none of us really appreciate our customers.  We may appreciate the ones who are very nice, or who don't give us much of a hard time.  I appreciate the hot ones too.  But on the whole, we don't like a lot of the people that we serve.  That being said, it's still always a good idea to have some sort of customer appreciation event just to make your sources of income happy.  At my work they have a big cookout with chicken and burgers and brats and potato salad and huge sheet cakes.   The employees who make and serve the food do a wonderful job of getting all the "customers" and employees taken care of.  
     I put the work "customers" in quotations because one of the biggest crocks about Customer Appreciation Day is that so few of the people who come out are actually customers.  "Wait, that doesn't make sense.  If they are at your business then they are customers." I heard you say it Company, don't back down from it.  Here is the thing though: if you are in the service industry you get to know the bulk of your customers pretty well.  You see them on a daily basis sometimes.  But most of the faces showing up on "Customer" Appreciation Day were people we have never seen before.  And will never seen again.  Give away free food and everyone comes out of the woodwork.
     And oh my God are they gluttons.  A guy walked by with a piece of chicken, a brat, and two burgers, PLUS all the sides and desserts.  And I bet they went up again.  They had to start giving out meal tickets this year, entitling you to go through the line once, because last year they had people going through time and time again.  One lady last year ate most of a sheet cake by herself.  She went up the first time and took like five pieces, sat at a table and scarfed it down, somehow managed to not only get back up but not going into a diabetic coma, and had four more.  It was sort of like a train wreck in a way: it was deeply unpleasant to see but it was hard to look away.  The year before that people were coming in with Tupperware containers and filling them with food and taking it home.  It is expected that there will be a few people who just eat and don't partake in your business activity, who don't shop or gamble or actually see a movie on Customer Appreciation Day, but to show up with an empty Country Crock container and leave with it full of potato salad and brat remnants is unacceptable.  So I am glad that they put an end to that as well.
    So Customer Appreciation Day was a success for the most part.  It was busy and that is always good.  And they let us employees in on the free food too, which was really nice of the bosses.  But the bottom line is this: Very few people actually appreciate anyone on Customer Appreciation Day.  The employees don't really appreciate the customers for the most part.  The regular customers don't appreciate all the people who only show up for the free food and so they don't show up.  And no one really appreciates all the hard work the food service employees do on Customer Appreciation Day.  And we should.  But it doesn't matter.  In the end Customer Appreciation Day is a farce, and it's all about getting as much for free as you can.  Kind of like any other day, isn't it? 

1 comment:

Nelbo said...

I totally agree with your statements in this one Big Man! I may not have been working for the majority of Customer Appreciation day, but I did witness everybody leave when the food was gone and the free money drawings were over.