Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Antisocial Attitude Makes A Bad Customer Service Job Worse

Dear Tazi:

I am finishing my junior year of college and am stuck in between work and school. I am not yet qualified to work a paying summer job in my major so I am stuck working a menial customer-service oriented seasonal job that I hate.

The job itself is not challenging; I just hate working with the public. People can be so stupid! I hate having to answer the same exact question five different ways before someone gets it, only to have someone else come along and ask the exact same question. The tedium is getting on my nerves, but all I can do is smile and be nice. It's not the customer's fault that my job is so miserable (well, sometimes it is) but I can't help but dislike serving them anyway.

I am not sure I can continue this through graduate school, and am thinking of dropping out of college and taking a full-time job in a warehouse or somewhere where I don't have to interact with the public. This would not be a forever move; only long enough for me to save enough money that I can take classes year-round to finish my education sooner and get a real job. My parents are afraid that if I drop out of school I will never go back, that's how much faith they have in me. I don't understand why they can't see how miserable I am! All they say is that summer is only a few months and that I need to experience my bad job so I can appreciate a good job when one comes along.

Tazi, can you think of a way to convince my parents to see things my way? They are incredibly old-fashioned.

Hate My Job

P.S. I am paying my way through school, but I live with my parents which is why they think they can control my life.

Dear Hates My Job:

While your parents have a very good point, it appears that you have experienced enough of your bad job to appreciate a good one when it comes along. So why would you want to take a job in a warehouse, where you will be doing backbreaking work for average pay? Unless you get hired in a union shop working in a warehouse will not be much of an improvement over what you are doing now. Additionally, you might not be able to save much towards your education if your parents demand rent from you since you would no longer be in school.

I suggest you stick it out this summer and work towards finding a paying internship or fellowship in your academic field for next summer. There are plenty of opportunities available in all sorts of areas, you just have to look for them. Your school's Career Services department will be able to assist you with such a search.

There is such a  thing as being too customer social!

You should also talk to your parents about how miserable you are at your current job. Do not simply whine to them that you hate it - they already know that. Make a list of concrete reasons why you dislike your job and the effect it is having on your mental health. Explain to them that you do not want to drop out of school, but that you see no other way to make financing your education work while holding onto your mental balance. Perhaps they can assist you with a short-term loan to cover your expenses until you are able to find a new job and pay them back. If not, you are going to have to do as they suggest and tough it out until the end of the summer while appreciating the fact that you have a paying summer job, which is a lot more than a lot of college students have in this economy.


Ask Tazi! is ghostwritten by a human with a Bachelors of Arts in Communications. Tazi-Kat is not really a talking feline.

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