Working in customer service, you come across all walks of life. The friendly, the not so friendly, the disgruntled, the entitled, the one who makes your day. And we've all been there at some point or another. Whether it's pouring drinks, standing behind a register, or on the phones, we've been there. Spend a bit of time in the role and you'll do anything to get out. Spend a longer period of time, and you'll start to wonder what factors make people tick.
I personally have been in this role long enough to fall into the latter category. I watch, and I wonder.
I watch people day in and day out. Some are overtly cheerful; some are argumentative; some are bitter; some are abusively aggressive with their loved ones, while others are patient and kind.
I wonder why they are the way they are. Are they bitter because somebody hurt them? Are they kind because so many people hurt them and they've become softly strong? Do they argue tooth and nail for what they want because that's how they were taught to survive? Are they impatient with their loved ones because the world has been impatient with them? Are they soft spoken and kind because that's what their parents showed them? Are they open minded because they're well traveled or well read? Do any of these behaviours represent a simple cause and effect correlation?
It may sound negligible, but on a larger scale it's importance is palpable. These factors that make people tick, contribute to the hurt we feel around the world. It's the reason we protest for #blacklivesmatter; it's the reason I type in i-s-l-a-m and the fourth search down is "islamophobia"; it's the reason we shed tears in unison at terrorist attacks yet build walls of suspicion; it's the reason America is currently in such upheaval.
We are no more or no less than the sum of our experiences, teachings, and environment. It's difficult to understand let alone output anything more than we've been exposed to. And when we come together, we are a melting pot of opposing opinions. The outcome can often be beyond words.
But wouldn't it be ideal, if we used those opposing perspectives to our advantage.
If we were perhaps, a little bit more kind to one and other.