As many of you know I recently went back to work and I love it. I work at a well known travel center/ truck stop that has businesses nationwide. In less then a week I have already had to walk away from other employees and customers alike for their lack of respect and patience for our truckers. I treat everyone the same, whether you drive a truck or not. If you come my way I am going to greet you with a smile, ask you if I can help you find anything and ring you up as quickly as possible. I will go out of my way to ensure things are presentable and easy to find for anyone. If you cannot find it I will do my best to locate it for you. That is just how I am, in everything when it comes to working with the public. You are always going to have to deal with people who are rude and impatient, but the choice on how you act is completely up to YOU and not the customer.
I know you are in a hurry, that you simply want to pre-pay for your gas and get going. You are already irritated that you have to pre-pay for it to begin with. But too many individuals thought that driving off without paying was much easier. That costs me the cashier, and I don’t know you well enough to take food out of my mouth or my kids for all that. I have seen you snarl your face up at the trucker who comes in dirty and sweaty. You stand there and look at them as they pay hundreds of dollars for fuel and pick up some food for the road. I have watched you tap your foot and roll your eyes as I help him with a cash advance or set him up for a shower, when I thank him for his business and ask him how his trip has been. Never realizing or caring that everything, and I mean EVERYTHING you purchase in this establishment, including the fuel, EVERYTHING you have on your person when you walk in, from your fancy wallet to your high dollar clothing, came through his hands before you ever saw it. You get to leave here and go on a trip with your family, or a day on the lake. You go to your 9-5, out to dinner, on dates and see movies. You have a life outside of work. You make plans and schedule appointments for yourself. He comes in with a schedule someone else gave him. Making record time on long hauls to ensure you get your precious name brand bottled water and special body wash, while he goes days without the chance to get a shower. On an average day you get the opportunity to interact with people face to face over and over again. He gets less than 2 interactions a day with a person face to face. Only when he stops for fuel as a rule, or when making a delivery. If he is fortunate enough to have a family back at home he rarely sees them. They are on the level of a military spouse because they may go weeks before seeing him/her again. I have been fortunate enough to see some truckers who bring their wife and small child with them. Team driving and allowing their children to travel while they are young and before the confines of school and life get them trapped at home. Even that is hard on them as a whole. Trapped in a truck all day with only a sleeper in the back. I am sure you think it is a grand life, but company owned vehicles are not all that posh. Bed, closet, small fridge and a microwave if they are lucky. Some have internet access, some don’t . Their fuel costs are calculated to the letter, their cash advances , that seem like a small fortune to you MIGHT get them through 3 days when they are faced with paying the prices of travel centers. We offer products geared specifically towards a trucker because whether you are aware of it or not he is our bread and butter, and yours. While you consider him and I menial labor we are your lifeblood. Learn to appreciate us a little more.
I realize that you have had a rough day, or are tired. We all have them, get over yourself. The last thing a trucker wants to come into is a travel center that isn’t prepared. Quit dogging your coworkers about their lack of work and worry about yourself. Stop acting as if you are doing the customer a favor by noticing them, and realize their words to the manager can make or break you here. Like you I hate to be stuck behind the counter and like to clean as well. But I do so where if they need me I am but a few steps away from hopping back in to ring customers up. Even if I am on break or on my way out the door I will talk to the customers and make sure they are cared for. If you are in leadership, be a leader. Period. Stop acting like you do so much if you don’t shake a stick at anything and for the love of pete stop talking to other workers about other employees. If you have a problem with one go to them, not talk about them to every other employee. If I have an issue with you, I will come to your face with it. I expect the same courtesy. If we have no customers, find something to do. Clean racks, clean the front, ensure customers are finding what they need. If you are behind the counter and you see a line forming, step up and take care of it. You are getting paid to be a customer service person. SERVE them. I don’t care who texted you, or what the latest gossip is. I realize the truckers can require a lot, I am also aware we have streamlined a lot of stuff for them, enabling them to get the basics without ever having to deal with us. But sometimes they would prefer dealing with us, allow that to happen. Period. They have enough lack of human interaction to have to come in and be shoved to the side like an annoyance because you have other things to do. It takes less than a minute to make an impression and the first one is the one that sticks the longest , make it count.