Be Kind to Tea Room Employees

never know what it’s like to be a store employee until you are one. It can be tough and even dangerous sometimes. What do you do when some customers start beating on another customer until she has a seizure? Well, that is admittedly an extreme example, but retail employees can go through some pretty harrowing stuff. Irate customers who can’t get that new gadget they bought to work right, cash register tapes running out when there’s a long line waiting, a big sale event that hordes of eager shoppers show up for, etc.

I try to empathize as much as I can, but have admittedly been less than sensitive to their plight, especially when I was the one who had bought the malfunctioning whatchamajig.

When it comes to tea room employees, I can get downright annoyed at their lack of knowledge, the strange way in which some of the teas are served, and the prices that seem way too high (which admittedly is not their fault for the most part). Being able to tell an oolong from a green tea should not be too hard, nor should heating the water to the proper temperature, providing a way to remove the leaves after steeping, etc. Charging me a bunch of money for a lovely green tea subjected to boiling water and steeped too long is not the most gratitude-inspiring treatment that I, as a customer, care to endure.

Still, being kind to the tea room employees is a good thing. To most of them, it’s a job. And most of their customers are there just to have a pleasant time.

What do those of us who want more do? Well, for one, we don’t take it out on the tea room employees. We make the most of the experience, perhaps even passing on to them a bit of our tea knowledge. Alternately, we could forego actually having our tea there and just make a tea purchase to take home and give the love and attention a fine tea deserves. The third option is to avoid such less-than-stellar tea rooms and go to those serving teas properly at the hands of knowledgeable staff. (Yes, there are such places in the U.S.)

As for hubby and me, we have ceased going to any tea room after the last one we went to turned out to be a fairly high-priced but not high-value establishment. I’m proud to say, though, that we were kind to the employee who waited on us.

Just passing this along to you so that, as your knowledge of tea increases and therefore the frustration you feel at the lack of knowledge that most tearoom employees have also increases, you will find the strength within you to remain kind.

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