The Extras Bits

Hello Again everyone!

Since beginning working in customer service I have developed a fascination with hearing about what other people’s jobs entail. So today I thought it might be interesting to you to see what a standard Sunday shift entails for me. I won’t really be talking about customers in this post as I this is more to show what I am doing besides talking to customers in an average shift that customers may not be aware of.

First things first, I’m not sure if I mentioned this before but I work on the front counter of a pizza place. It’s a chain but not one of the cheaper ones that immediately comes to mind- the menu is a bit more expensive (something that I have to talk about at least once a shift).

When I arrive at 11:30 am there is already one of my co-workers there who has been doing prep (ie cutting up the stock) for a couple of hours. He will continue to do that for the rest of the day, with another co-worker who starts at 11:30. Throughout the day there are 2 guys doing the prep and one driver. Another driver will arrive at around 2 pm but shop workers will not start until 4 pm at the earliest. If it gets really busy I can call the guys doing prep to help me but I have to try and avoid doing this because it puts the prep behind schedule. For all intents and purposes I am the only shop worker and from the moment I am in the store it is open. So in-between taking customer orders I must do the following tasks:

  • Setting up the tables, chairs and other bits and pieces in the store
  • Turn on the oven
  • Mop the store
  • Fill up the sauce bottles (all of which are completely empty after a Saturday night)
  • Prep the garlic bread
  • Stock the front fridge
  • If the dough is low I will also have to cut it with the driver throughout the day

It’s a pretty short list to complete in four and a half hours but that doesn’t take into account orders. While the dinner rush can be expected at around 6-8 pm each night busy periods throughout the day are far more difficult to predict. I mentioned that I am the only shop worker which means that I take the order, make the order, cut the order and (most often) hand the order to you as you give me the payment. Which would be fine if not for 3 reasons;

  1. I have to answer the phone when it rings

If a customer rings when I am in the middle of making an order I have to abandon it to take the order. Depending on the size of the new customers order/their questions I can be on the phone from anywhere between a minute to ten. This will delay the order I was making prior to the call for that amount of time plus getting (and wrestling on) new gloves during which time the phone will often ring again.

  1. I am not a pizza maker

I am phone staff that has worked at the store long enough to know how to make pizzas. Despite this I am not a pizza maker. This means that it takes me longer to actually complete an order. Ask me to serve a continuous line of hungry, angry customers for hours with no pause- I’m your girl. Ask me to make three different pizza’s half and half with a pasta – it’s gonna take me a couple of minutes longer than the people who do it daily.

  1. No one else is prepping the order for me

In addition to me being slower, more people in the store means that everything is prepared for you but the pizza’s toppings. When I am on my own I am not just adding the toppings. I’m rolling, spiking and saucing the base. All very easy tasks, given to the newest workers, take time and unfortunately a day shift isn’t busy enough to do a lot in advance or the dough will dry out.

At 4 pm shop workers start and I get an hour’s break. When I come back my only job is back to being running the front which, in the evening, becomes more complicated for other reasons. I won’t go into that now though because it is what people will expect a front worker to do. The point of this post is to outline all the extra bits that a customer service rep may be responsible for while working in hospitality, that customers are probably not aware of. Hope you found it interesting and if you have a different job in hospitality please let me know about it either here or on Facebook or Twitter.



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