Consider the state of the failing economy, supply chain crisis and labor shortage in the US. We are forced to rethink our priorities and decisions everyday.

“Inflation is here. The most recent Consumer Price Index (CPI) inflation report showed that prices rose across the board in September. By a lot.” Forbes

On the bright side, there are a few ways to be a part of the solution. First, can we consider a nationwide reset to increase the tipping percentage for service providers that do show up? Obviously, many people are struggling with the gas prices and increased cost of most everything. However, if you are fortunate to be able to go to restaurants, hotels or even pay service professionals at your home, please consider a higher tip when you can.

“There was a server at iHop that was one of two servers handling the whole restaurant. She did the best she could (which was pretty great considering). It turns out that she HAS to work because she has 3 children and a single mom. I decided to give her a 50% tip on my $20 tab. It was a small thing that I could do to be a part of the solution. People are hostile and taking it out on everyone. It was my small chance to make a positive impact.” -Kim, Customer Service Rep in Ohio

The quote above is from a chat with a telephone customer service representative at a major retail chain. Embarrassingly enough, I was not very nice to her since she was the fourth representative I spoke with there. Hours of wasted time and multiple phone calls (some dropped or they hung up on me) were no excuse for being rude. By the time I got to Kim, I was so frustrated (I think I moved the phone away and screamed). Turns out that the furniture is on back order (oh surprise), but she was the first person (no electronic notice either) to break it to me.

3 Lessons on handling the current state of affairs

  1. Consider increasing tips for service providers. No longer is 20% the top tier for great service. In addition, include the basic fact that they showed up and try not to punish them if the establishment is short staffed. Turn this nightmare into an opportunity to share huge appreciation.
  2. Ask direct questions and expect to increase your efforts for what used to be a standard business transaction. Business owners can communicate more efficiently with customers to help manage expectations. Not excuses, but facts… There is a way to share messaging to adjust customer expectations in all businesses. Being honest is better than leaving customers wondering what in the world is going on. I saw a sign that read, “we are short staffed so please do not take it out on the employees that showed up.”
  3. Everyone needs support and most likely…therapy. Remove the stigma of mental health support. In my world view, it should be just like an annual physical. I support having insurance companies require a bi-annual mental health check up. Since that is unlikely to occur anytime soon, and there are far too many people uninsured, let’s share resources and referrals to increase access to great mental health professionals. Top 10 Online Therapy Services

“Adversity introduces a man or woman to themselves.” – Albert Einstein

In conclusion, we are faced with a changing world and changing mindsets. Find a community to support you through the challenges facing all of us. If you are frustrated, stuck or feeling isolated, please reach out to someone. You are not alone.