The Student News Site of Gannon University since 1947

THE GANNON KNIGHT

The Student News Site of Gannon University since 1947

THE GANNON KNIGHT

The Student News Site of Gannon University since 1947

THE GANNON KNIGHT

Working in the Service industry

The service industry is vast- from retail workers, hospitality workers, restaurant workers and more. As someone who has had experience in different jobs, I have become familiar with the conditions of the service industry. The following are my own experiences while working in the service industry and how that has influenced me.

My first official job was in a fast-food restaurant. While a learning opportunity this job seemed too often to be a stopping point for many before moving on to something more. For nearly a year I worked long hours while also in school, as I was sixteen at the time.

Finding people who want to work, show up to work, and do their job seemed hard even then. When the job made demands outside of my given availability I had to move on to greener pastures as some may say. My version of a greener pasture was working in an office for a while, working odds and ends.

This was a different sort of work experience where professionalism, organization, and collaboration came together in a more obvious way. The office was my only job experience outside of the service industry and some differences I noticed were the interactions people had with one another. The attitude that is present in customers from the service industry disappeared in this line of work.

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Now many have probably heard the term “the customer is always right” when working with people. This mentality often sparks a hierarchy of customers above worker. While satisfying people’s requests is the job, rude or uncaring people who don’t understand where the workers are coming from can often lead to tension.

Moving from office work back into the service industry, I began waitressing for quick easy money. Waitressing is a much different pace than working in fast-food restaurants because there is a more personal element to talking to people. While being trained by other servers every single one of them told me that the best thing is to find a connection to your customer.

This idea of connections was new to me. How do I build that connection for the hour they’re my responsibility? Is there a go to discussion starter? What sort of personality will allow me to build that report?

These questions that ran through my head were answered rather simply. Be kind. In the most cliché way possible, being kind to the people that came to sit at my tables was how I became successful in the waitressing side of the service industry.

Kindness, while not a new concept, is something that can often be overlooked or even cast aside. If a customer didn’t seem to be having a good day a simple cheery smile and positive demeanor

made a world of difference. Since I am human, a bad day at work is sure to happen, and an attitude that follows a bad day is a quick way to lose that connection to people.

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About the Contributor
Jillian Wells, News Editor
Hello, this year's News editor for the 2023 academic school year is Jillian Wells. She has written for the Gannon Knight as a staff writer periodically for the last two years and is looking forward to adding a third as an editor. She is also a co-editor for Gannon’s Literary Art Magazine the Totem, and a member of the English Honors Society Sigma Tau Delta. She is an easy-going person and tends to open up the more you get to know her. A good book and a cup of tea (or coffee) are all she needs for a free afternoon, and she is most definitely a dog (and cat) person. Jillian says that The Knight is a way for students and faculty to stay connected to the happenings around campus and to be a part of that is a great privilege. She hopes to do the best by you all.

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