Oklahoma service industry workers are underappreciated. I can confidently say this after spending over 12 years of my life working in jobs ranging from cashier, waitress, busser, and sales clerk. Though I have been in my 9-5 job for almost 2 years now, I still find myself empathizing with service industry folk when I patronize their place of work because Oklahoma customers are not always easy people to work with. In fact, here are 7 things Oklahoma customers do that drive service industry workers absolutely bonkers.
1. Leaving religious handouts as tips
For some reason, many evangelical Oklahomans think it’s real neat to leave religious handouts in tip jars or folded in with credit card receipts. If I had a dollar for every prayer card I had received with, or often in lieu of, a tip, I probably would’ve been able to pay more than the minimum payment on my credit card bill.
2. Having long-winded conversations
Anytime I have a friend visiting from out-of-state, they are quick to comment on how the average Okie is “so friendly” and “talks to everyone.” And it’s true. You cannot stand in a checkout line at Walmart without hearing at least one life story or learning enough information about someone’s medical history to at least make an educated guess on their diagnosis. As a customer service worker, this made our job super difficult. We had to find the balance between being friendly by not cutting off the customer wrapping up the story of their grandkid’s 5th birthday party long after their transaction is complete, and providing quick customer service so the next guy in line doesn’t have to wait too long to tell you about his wife’s latest hernia surgery.
3. Alluding to a weapon
At one job, the company policy was that anytime a credit card was used for payment, we had to ask for an ID. I don’t know what Oklahoma customers’ motives are when doing this, but it does not make service workers feel safe, let alone impressed, when you slide over your concealed carry license with a wink to verify your identification, let alone conveniently show a weapon when “searching” for your wallet.
4. Staying WAY too long (a.k.a. camping)
Like I said, Oklahoma customers are long-winded conversationalists. This is not a bad thing, unless you are a waitress trying to clear her table an hour after they’ve paid their bill or when it’s 25 minutes past closing time.
5. “Knowing” the manager
Yes, we are aware that Oklahoma City is a small world and everybody knows everybody. No, it doesn’t mean we are going to potentially put our jobs on the line by ignoring company policy just because you “know the manager” and want to be over-served. News flash: we also know the manager.
6. Offering “career opportunities”
If I had a dollar for every “Scentsy,” “Herbalife,” or any other multi-level marketing scheme business card I was given as a “career opportunity” by an Oklahoma customer, maybe I wouldn’t have needed a second job throughout college.
7. Sweaty money
I know that Oklahoma isn’t the wealthiest of states, but I also know that the average Oklahoman can at least afford a wallet or pants with pockets. Still, many customers choose to secure money on their person in the sweatiest places, like under their boobs or in their socks.
Hayley started off as a cashier at age 14. It was all downhill from there. Follow her on twitter @squirrellygeek