Is it just me, or are you finding that customer service is not as strong as it should be now that we're in a post COVID environment? As a business owner, are you finding that your patrons are not as patient or understanding as they could be? No matter where you stand in this equation, I have to say that you're exactly right!

In the past few weeks, I've heard horror stories about people having a less than ideal experience in their human interactions in the marketplace. I've heard about someone who ventured into the "Happiest Place on Earth," Disneyworld and was astounded at the level of customer service they encountered there. The quality of customer service ranged, in their opinion, from ambivalence to indifference. Best Selling Author Simon T. Bailey (SHIFT your Brilliance), who spent time working in "Guest Experience" at Disney World tells about the training that their cast members go through to ensure that "WE" enjoy our time at the Magic Kingdom, since it's usually a once-in-a-lifetime trip for most of us. Indifference is unacceptable because the customer with whom we are interacting has chosen this day to make a lifelong memory. If your attitude overshadows their expectations, then you, unfortunately, will be part of their lifelong memory.

On the other hand, I've spoken to business owners who have been subjected to anger and vitriol by patrons who are impatient and frustrated because they have been asked to wait longer than usual to be seated at a table. These business owners have described customers' frustrations when they've been faced with altered business hours or menu shortages. We've all seen the person who is impatient and won't stand to wait in line. They expect to get seated immediately and they grow impatient very quickly upon their arrival to the restaurant. As customers, it's important to realize that the business may be dealing with different issues and they are typically juggling things around trying to serve their customers. I know that these business owners, and many others like them, are simply trying to do everything that they possibly can with the resources currently available to them.

The biggest issues facing our marketplace right now are a critical shortage of workers and a supply chain that is trying to meet the demands of a bustling world. We have been out of work for so long and many of us have gotten used to not going to a job every day. The myriad of reasons why people are unwilling to return to work are mostly speculation, however, most of those reasons are valid and real. Some say that people won't go back to work until school is back in session, which makes sense because there is a shortage of daycare options for workers returning to the workplace. Some people say that others are earning more now than when they are getting paid at work. Because we have seen an unprecedented number of stimulus options presented to the American worker we need to work through those programs before our workplace gets back to normal. Additionally, workers spent the previous 18 months realigning their lives to do more with less. We may never see our workplace get "back to normal" and our society must get better at adjusting our perspective moving forward.

It's important to remember that our post-COVID expectations are all based on a pre-COVID mindset and before we get to the root of the current situation we need to take a moment and focus on the only thing we can control in this situation: Ourselves! We can make things better in our own little corner of the world! When we make an effort to improve the way we interact with others and exercise patience and understanding it improves the situation for everybody involved.

If you happen to find yourself in a situation that seems like things are not going as you might expect, take a moment and look inward. Ask yourself the question, "What can I do to improve this situation?" You may just find that your attitude and behavior is making all the difference. Be patient and kind and know that they want to serve you as much as you want to be served. Blessings, my friends. See you out there in the marketplace.