What happened to people who actually want to work? 240



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When we were growing up, having a job was so fantastic. We were proud to wear that badge, type those papers or even just stand at a desk and greet customers. A job was something so coveted and made you a real distinguished member of society….but what happened?

Everywhere we go, it seems that customer service has gone out the window. We get served by someone who doesn’t even want to look at us, or thank us. In America, waiters and waitresses get paid $8 an hour and have to work hard for their tips. They have an incentive to do it – they need to pay for their rent and lifestyle and their paltry minimum wage won’t do. They are so courteous and polite, and they cannot stop smiling. They’re almost over the top with how kind they are.

And, if you’ve ever been to south-east Asia or practically any other country, you’ll notice just how far the workers are willing to go for you. So when did the younger generations become so lazy, and why?

It makes me wonder, should we do reduce pays to make young Australians work harder in customer service jobs? Would that incentivise them to put in the effort for their company?

Our grandchildren and their peers seem to have developed a sense of entitlement – a job is a privilege and not a right. We were brought up to respect our employers and that the customer is always right but now the girl at the supermarket just gets in, does her job and leaves and doesn’t ever have to go above and beyond to get paid. She’s there, isn’t she?

Call any real estate agent and make a maintenance request and you’ll have it filed in the too hard basket. Call up your telco provider and go through 6 people before someone can help you. Make a claim for insurance only to be told you need to call back another time. It happens to us every day. And why should they care? They get paid and their employers turn a blind eye. In this time where businesses should be doing what they can to keep customers, doesn’t that seem counter-productive?

Should our employers being re-enforcing the importance of customer service in this day and age? Those foreign workers have it right – they know that a job is precious, whereas I worry about the younger generations we have left behind.

A family friend recently told us that of the 200 young people he employed, about two of them ever went above and beyond. The others would leave early, call in sick, avoid taking calls (in a call centre) and just were generally slack. Mind you they were getting more than $40,000 each year. This is just disturbing when you think about the amount of people who are struggling to find a job – including over 60s.

Even our family friend’s wife is struggling to find a job in her 60s and gets very upset when she thinks about all the jobs that are wasted on those who take them for granted. So what are the employers doing about it? Not a lot, it seems. There are plenty of great workers out there who stay back, work on weekends and never complain but they are few and far between.


Tell us what you think should be done: should there be more incentives for young workers to work harder or face the sack? Have you noticed the downfall of customer service? Tell us below.

Starts at 60 Writers

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  1. I actually think the is a bit harsh I know a lot of young people who work extremely hard at there jobs my daughter has never not had a job since she was 15 years old when she worked at a fast food place at which worked quite hrd while going to school Young people in the jobs are expected to work hard and do She is 25 and a mum she works part time in retail where she is a valued member of staff is doing a degree and bringing up her son. The people she went to school with are all working ( and they went to a public school ) my son works at his job and has glowing reports and my eldest son works two jobs my other son is breaking into photography and my daughter in law is nursing I actually don’t know many of that generation who have jobs who dpnt work hard

  2. Quite a bitter viewpoint. I agree with Jen Gannaway most of the young people I know work hard and dutifully at their jobs. The opinion pieces are after all probably deliberately seeking to provoke a polarization of viewpoints often using, as this one appears to be doing, an issue of current political debate. Should we follow the way of the US and parts of Asia, most definitely NO. Really, how could anyone wish for $8.00 a hour for a young person’s labour.

    1 REPLY
    • Your right..Tipping requires Australian’s to pay more for the good service they are already getting, employers are the one’s who benefit from their staff giving that good service, the money rolls into their bank account and they should pay staff a decent wage

  3. I work in fast food and yes there a lot that just come in and do their job according to them but then there is the few that actually do more alot have been raised this way its only a job and the employer has money. I try to teach them serve customers the way you want to be served and a smile and a nice word makes people’s day

  4. Young people rock! I have always found them polite, respectful, knowledgeable, but also willing to ask their supervisor for assistance if they need it. If you can’t get timely service, could it be that the businesses simply aren’t employing enough people?

    4 REPLY
  5. I’m sure most people do value their jobs but on the odd occasions I have met poor customer service it is not contained to the one age group. Now I am into my sixties I am determined not to become a nark about the younger generation.

    5 REPLY
  6. Wow! What a negative person. I cannot agree. I find young people just as dedicated and hard working as ever we were. And pleasant and helpful as well. But then, I always treat them with courtesy, respect, and a smile. Perhaps that has something to do with it.

    5 REPLY
    • I agree with your words. My grandchildren, daughter and I were all pleasant and happy. The children are very well behaved.

    • I went into a Woolworths store on Friday and the young man, probably his first job by the look of his age, was amazing. I was so impressed I let his manager know. The thing is, I believe those people are few and far between. We should only have to let people know when we get the odd bad customer experience. I did find when I went to Sydney that the restaurants, tourist vendors and hoteliers were so much nicer and efficient in customer service than anywhere else I had been.

    • I always try to give the best customer service I can, even to the older ladies that look at me like I’m dirt on their shoe, even when they speak rudely to me for no reason. It makes it all worthwhile when you get the occasional customer that compliments you on your customer service!

    • In England young people don’t want to work, they know they have to for the money but are so miserable !!!!!!

  7. I think that is very harsh, yes there are some kids who are lazy however the kids I see are usually hard working because they are understaffed and basically run off their feet so if they get the opportunity to slack off I guess they take it.

  8. Customer service is hard to get anywhere, no matter the age. Recently was shopping in a gift shop we waited for about 10mins.to be seved, older lady was to busy talking to someone she knew to assist us. Walked out. Happens all the time. My IGA.has the best service

  9. I have had both good and bad service. I always try to compliment the good to the management and also if the service is bad I tell them. I find on the whole (some large companies being exceptions) service is good.

  10. I think employers are trying ..they know the customers response to bad service is to go to an opposition.
    I mystery shop across a number of service types ..it’s big business these days and costly to the company … i do shops phone calls etc …even target certain employees .Some are excellant some good some very lacking
    We know what management expect and report accordingly ..hopefully it results in more training for staff and better service for us.

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