More job hell

I didn’t make it through Saturday at work. I started out ok but then I had a couple of passport form customers that sucked. First was a woman who swore in my face throughout and interrupted me while I explained something with ‘ok can you hurry it up? I have to be somewhere!’ So I bashed the paperwork through and handed it back, but if she comes back for the second check and there’s errors and she says ‘why didn’t the first woman tell me about this?!’ I will be extremely pissed off. Why do they come to use this service when they don’t have time? It takes time!!

The second was a woman who insisted on being seen by me immediately. We have a special counter for passports where you can queue there instead of the main queue, and my colleague (just the 2 of us on the counter) was already doing a passport while I was free and waiting for the inevitable Saturday rush. But as I was free she decided to come over to my counter, and cut me off during my explanation that she’d have to wait for my colleague because I had to be free to serve people wanting shorter transactions. She said ‘I’ve been waiting half an hour!’ (it was 10-15 minutes maximum, they think we don’t notice these things but we do) ‘and I had to wait half an hour to collect the form the other day as well!!’ (great, now they are saving up all the other times they waited to hit us with as well.) So of course I checked her form, thinking it was better than insisting and maybe being accidentally rude like I often am. But I was still not happy with how she acted. And of course a queue was building up while I did it as my colleague was still busy. But then afterwards, my colleague starts insisting that I should have tried harder! By saying exactly what I actually did say that didn’t work! What am I supposed to do, say it again? I felt like such a spineless pushover then. 😦 I really wish my colleagues wouldn’t do this whole ‘you should have said’ or ‘why didn’t you say’ thing. It’s too late once the customer’s gone. Just leave it. Plus she’s the same one who makes comments about me being angry and stressful to be around. If I hadn’t been able to keep a nice tone in my voice and this woman got offended then wouldn’t that have been a problem for my colleague too??

After that I could feel myself starting to get wound up. The tiniest thing infuriated me. Like I couldn’t open a box of forms first time so I ripped the card angrily and dropped the box and forms fell everywhere. Luckily there were no customers waiting and my colleague was in the office so no-one saw. I picked them up and shoved them away at top speed. But a fresh wave of customers was there and I was feeling worse than ever. I was convinced customers were picking on me all the time. I felt snappy but also sensitive and weak. One customer, an elderly woman, got shirty at me for asking if she was using a credit or debit card (we check so we can inform customers there’s a charge for credit cards, also the system doesn’t work if you select the wrong option) ‘it’s just a card why do you need to know!!’ I ended up getting sucked into an argument which I regret. After she’d gone I thought ‘that’s it, if I can’t control my temper with customers I have to go home, it’s only going to get more stressful towards midday and I will only get worse.’ Luckily it turned out there was one of my colleagues in the building who wasn’t timetabled but came to work by accident. He was in the office doing some uni work. He’d already refused the offer of a short break-covers shift but I went up there and pleaded with him to cover me. Which he did, he’s so kind. So I went home and spent the day not looking at customers and not hearing the inane things they say and the hurtful words and unfunny jokes and not having to ask the same questions over and over again or deal with queue complaints or have to put mail out when there’s a queue with everyone looking at me. Then it was yesterday and today off (timetabled) but I’m back tomorrow and I have 4 full days and a half day. And my least favourite colleague will be back from holiday. And the boss will be back too. I can’t be even slightly angry in front of him, I’m already on the verge of getting in trouble because I tend to argue back to customers instead of walking away. I wish I could control my emotions better. This is really serious. My job does not allow people to half arse it, my boss is always watching and he expects 100% from us at all times. There is no back room I can hide in to be away from the customers. Apart from my breaks it’s customer face to face time, all the time. I hate it.

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