I’m getting sick and tired of people buying into these negative stereotypes regarding race. No, all black people are not on welfare. No, we don’t all live in the hood, and contrary to popular belief, yes, we are capable of proving excellent customer service! This past weekend while working, a woman over the phone, had the nerve to part her lips and say that she hoped I was Asian or Caucasian because if I was African-American or Hispanic, she did not wish to speak to me! The only thing I was able to utter was, how can I help you before she shut me all the way down! It totally caught me off guard but little did she know, she was actually doing me a favor! What kills me is, she didn’t even give me a chance! She automatically assumed that I wouldn’t be able to help her all on account of my race. We happen to be the same race, by the way.
There’s always been a negative stigma associated with black women in customer service. The film industry can be partly to blame. We’re often depicted as lazy, opting to watch our “stories” over assisting customers, always on break (even when we’re not on break) and incapable of completing even the simplest of tasks due to our choice in hair and nail styles. Black women have had to work twice as hard to dispel these ugly stereotypes, shortening hard to pronounce names and having our “phone voices” down pact.
It’s laughable when the shenanigans happen on the silver screen. As the saying goes, life imitates art. I’m sure we can all recall a time when we’ve had less than satisfactory service at the hands of a clerk, cashier or administrative person. But don’t get it twisted, poor customer service comes in all shades. I hate going somewhere and receiving poor service so I make sure that I provide excellent customer service at my places of employment, always going above and beyond to help others. Moral of the story is, don’t judge a book by its cover, voice or whatever because the same person you’re judging could be the same person with the solution to your problems.
-A Black Girl About Town