Is the customer always right?
Not necessarily, and it depends.
My father, a doctor, would tell us that we have to be compassionate with patients, especially those in pain, for they become irritable, because they are wracked with pain.
Oftentimes, apart from the necessary medicine he prescribes for their condition, he's able to divert their attention by making them smile, or laugh, as he gently teases them about their ways.
An aunt once said that just hearing his voice was enough to make her well.
I know what she speaks of, for I love that unique timbre in my late Dad's voice -- it was soothing, and healing for me, too.
Many of us serve people, and are served in return.
I used to teach customer service to professionals in the big city, many years ago, and I also taught a few lecturers themselves.
I even wrote a manual on customer service, as well as a slim volume on it, which I called "The Simplest and Friendliest Customer Service Book Ever".
Work is service, so surely we serve many people each day, whether our work is online, or offline.
And in these covid crisis days, patience and perseverance are especially tested.
More than at any other time, people's hearts will be tested.
Because people have been cooped up too long in their homes, they are rightfully irritable and short-tempered, even impatient.
Others have become ill, and depressed.
No one can really breathe well, with a face mask on, and I've heard of one gentleman who really has a hard time wearing that all day long at work.
And yet, he's still able to tend to some online marketing at night.
The world had become a "serve me now, I want it now" society, and we have been at it for a long time now.
The digital world, with all its apps, makes sure people get what they order as soon as humanly possible.
Before the covid crisis, many people, especially the moneyed and powerful people, could demand what they want, any time they wanted.
And now that everyone's on the same boat, we all have to be patient, and considerate.
Any person in their right mind, and with a heart full of God, would make sure they would prioritize the more fragile members of the population, like the elderly, the disabled, the pregnant women, the children, and those in dire financial need, the sick, and those going hungry.
In these most challenging moments, our hearts are being tested, our souls are being stretched, and not all customers are right, for now, we all have to conform to certain rules put out by governments, for the protection of all.
All customers have to be sensible citizens now, for if we make it hard for others, we may also endanger their lives, by being stubborn, or foolhardy.
Gone are the divas, and dudes, who have everyone at their beck and call.
Now, everyone has to sport a face mask, and observe social distancing, as well as be vigilant everywhere.
We cannot make undue demands on others, for their hands are full, and many places are understaffed, for many companies and institutions had to cut down their workforce as a result of this covid crisis.
Sadly, the covid cut down the workforce itself.
And we wonder if there will be an end to all these, as well as wondering what the real story is, and what the real statistics are.
We all have to make do with what is available -- resources and information -- and have to exercise patience, love, and temperance.
Where before, priests can attend to their parishioners, now, churches are closed.
Now, we all have to trust God, pray directly to Him, and get creative in everything we do.
And maybe, that's EXACTLY what God wants -- that we go DIRECTLY to Him.
Gone are the comforts, and luxuries.
Gone is the usual freedom to move about, and go anywhere, even travel, at will.
Now, the busiest people are those in government, health, the military, police, those in transportation, food production, food deliveries, utilities, and telecommunications.
These are the ones serving the hardest now, and customers and patients are lucky to be served at all, for service providers are outnumbered.
What does it mean to be a kind customer?
Under any circumstance, it means we are patient, considerate, friendly, and generous to those who serve us.
We pay the service provider what is due them, and we give it with a smile, and real gratitude, especially if we had been served well.
We pay people because they have to pay rent, staff, loans, materials, transportation, hosting, and a whole lot of other expenses in the back office that only they know about.
They also have to provide for their families, and perhaps, other people they're helping.
Even on these tough days, we cannot deprive them of their rightful payment, as they need that to keep their business, or enterprise, going, too.
Kindness means, you put yourself in the shoes of another.
I've been an entrepreneur many times over, serving people all the time, that's why I was able to write that customer service book.
We just hope, and pray, that customers put themselves in our shoes, too.
We, service providers, are grateful to be paid, but we are not slaves.
We are to be treated with the same respect as everyone else -- rich or poor, educated, or uneducated -- for we are all God's children.
Perhaps, this covid crisis has many layers of lessons to teach us all, and by the Grace of God, we can all be aware of it.
Only then can we really serve well and not be diffcult, stubborn, or unpleasant.
We're all in this together, whether we like it or not, for we are facing a battle that was not created overnight.
If you read my other blog, "Prophecy Lessons", you'd know more about who the real perpetrator of ALL difficulty is.
And he certainly is not of God.
Nevertheless, your hope is in Jesus alone, as you will see from this post.