The Northland Age

Kindness mantra is a two-way street

- Carmen Hall — Bay of Plenty Times

Iam ashamed to admit it, but I’ve lost my cool as a customer — on more than one occasion. Some things really rile me up, and I can feel the blood rushing from my toes to my head in less than a second.

I know customers can be annoying, and some are downright rude. I know it can be mentally and emotionall­y taxing talking to people face to face and listening to the whingers. I know some frontline staff work for the minimum wage, and I believe it’s not in their pay bracket to deal with abusive customers.

I know, I know, I know.

I also know the problem is growing with truck drivers, the latest to cop flak from customers not getting their goods delivered on time.

National Road Carriers Associatio­n chief executive

Justin Tighe-Umbers said this abuse was a growing trend and not isolated to the transport industry.

He said drivers were the last link in the supply chain, which had often suffered multiple delays throughout the process. Unfortunat­ely, the poor truck driver, who has no control over the delays, often bears the brunt of the end customers’ frustratio­n.

Orion Haulage owner Glen Mackay said most customers were understand­ing, but “some just don’t care about our problems and can get quite nasty”. He approved a letter going out to customers saying: “Please don’t abuse our dispatcher­s and drivers. We can take it — talk to the senior manager. Or abuse me, I have big shoulders.”

I think Mackay has got the right attitude — this is what leading from the front looks like. More employers are providing more support for their staff in the wake of Covid and increased workloads and pressure.

Mental health and wellbeing are vital as we navigate our way through this year and into the next.

I have worked in retail in the past and understand what it is like to be in the line of fire.

So, why have I lost it as a customer?

Rudeness, arrogance, and poor customer service. This is an excuse, but when we talk about kindness and being nice to each other and showing an ounce of human decency, that flag flies both ways. Once I urgently needed to buy a washing machine and had cash at the ready.

Granted, I was in activewear and did not look like I had a feather to fly with.

Another time, we waited an extreme amount of time for our drinks and meals. Next time I find my blood boiling, I will let my feet do the talking instead of my mouth.

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