I am NOT my name tag.
I have to keep reminding myself that. I work in a retail store, in customer service, dealing with returns and general sales. It's not bad. Not bad all the time. I can have some really great customers, who just want to make a simple return due to sizing or wrong color. I've had some great conversations with people. I do like people. But I also have some customers who will yell at me because something went wrong with their item or order. I get it. You need someone to yell at because you are upset it went wrong. But you need to know something.
It's NOT my fault.
Just because I work for the company, it doesn't mean that I send every order and deal with every little thing that goes wrong. I don't make the policies, but I'm told to follow them. And I will try to do that in a way that will still help you. But I can only do that if you listen and work with me.
Fine. You can yell.
I'd like to tell you that it doesn't affect me. But it does. Your words hurt. Your words hurt quite a bit. For every ten customers, maybe one will be a bit harder to help. But the words that stick with me are the negative ones. And it chips a little way at who I am. It hurts me. It pains me to say that it chips away at who I am and I can't help it. I try to not take it personally, but I do. I'm a human with feelings.
It makes me bitter.
And I hate that, because I don't want to be a bitter person. I work two jobs and my other job is caring for children, which I love. I love to make them laugh and to snuggle with them. I'm kind and I'm smart. It's hard to me to admit that because I don't have a lot of self-confidence, but I do believe I'm sweet and funny. I am a good person. I try to make my coworkers laugh to help them through their shifts. I'm invested in their lives, asking about their families and school. I want to show them kindness and respect.
People don't see me; they see a name tag.
I'm tired of being hurt and I don't like the person that I've become when I put on the name tag because I know people don't see me. When I go to a store, I'm always, ALWAYS nice to the person helping me. Even if they seem to be having a bad day, I'm still going to be nice to them because that's how I want someone to treat me. With kindness and respect. It doesn't matter if something got messed up, I'm still going to ask for help in kindness because I don't want to hurt the person working in the store. Going to work has become painful. Because I know that I won't be treated with respect by the customers. I've cried more times at work than I care to admit because people walk on my feelings. I cry because they don't care that they hurt me. I cry because I'm disappointed in myself for my life.
And I have to find a way to fix it.
I don't want to see myself as nothing. But I do. If I didn't need two jobs to support myself, then I wouldn't have to deal with it. But the sad fact is that I do. In this economy, just because a person works 40 hours a week, it doesn't mean that they have a livable wage. In my opinion, that's wrong. So I have to continue working 55 hours a week to barely make it. But somehow I'm gonna make it.
Until then, please don't see me as just a name tag. I'm more than that. I'm me.