TO OUR CUSTOMERS
To insure that you as a valued customer receive proper courtesy and service we have reviewed our courtesy and service programs with all employees. Some of the basic courtesy and service elements you should expect to receive on each visit to a Winn-Dixie store are:
1. Sincere greeting when you are being checked out.
2. Fast, efficient check-out of your order with the cashier giving you, the customer, complete attention.
3. Proper bagging of your purchases.
4. Efficient and proper handling of your cash, checks, coupons, food stamps, etc.
5. Sincere “Thank You for Shopping Winn-Dixie.”
If for some unknown reason we might have employed a discourteous or rude employee, we ask that you report the incident to the front-end manager in charge or write to the Division
Manager, Winn-Dixie Stores, P. O. Box 440, Tampa, Florida 33601.
An investigation will be made and proper corrective action will be taken to insure that you receive courteous service in the future.
Thank you for being a most valued customer of Winn-Dixie. It would be hard to make a more explicit statement of the customer’s right to a sincere greeting and a sincere thank you, and hard to find a clearer expression of the view that display work and emotion work are part of a job.
By talking to customers about this promotion being a commercial gimmick, the cashiers laid claim to a personal sincerity. As one cashier said to a customer, “I don’t know why [the company] did this. They didn’t have to. I’m really friendly anyway.” By distinguishing her own sincerity from the variety being advertised as for sale, she seems to offer in-spite – of-the-job sincerity. But of course, we may think, it’s her job to do that, too.
Cashiers and salespeople may have to produce short bursts of niceness many times a day. They seldom get a chance to know any one customer very well for very long. But there are other jobs that call for longer and deeper relations with clients. Psychiatrists, social workers, and ministers, for example, are expected to feel concern, to empathize, and yet to avoid “too much” liking or disliking. As Sandy, a dropout social worker in the film A Thousand Clowns, commented: “I spent a long time understanding Raymond. And once I understood him, I hated him, and he’s only nine years old. Some cases I love and some cases I hate, and that’s all wrong for my work.”
Parents have different expectations about what a day-care provider should feel. Some want sympathetic interest in “educational experiences.” Others want warmth and physical nurturing for their children. Still others want full emotional substitutes for themselves and therefore place deeper demands on the day-care provider. In this case, especially, offerings and expectations may not match: “After Timmy’s mother told me she’d made another day-care arrangement, closer to her house, I had a long talk with her, and I began to realize that she expected me to be real upset that Timmy was leaving. I miss him, you know, but I wasn’t that upset about it. They picked him up at my house at 5:30 every day. It’s a job, after all.”
Doctors, in treating bodies, also treat feelings about bodies, and even patients who are used to impersonal treatment often feel disappointed if the doctor doesn’t seem to care enough. It is sometimes the doctor’s job to present alarming information to the patient and to help the patient manage feelings about that. In general, the doctor is trained to show a kindly, trusting concern for the patient. Ideally, he is both trusted and trusting, but sometimes trust may break down on both sides, as this doctor’s story indicates:
I worked for a company for twenty years. Some employees would come in to see me and swear that they’d developed a backache on the job when I couldn’t be sure they hadn’t got it at home. I didn’t want to seem suspicious, but a lot of the time I was. Then patients that had really injured themselves on the job would want to go off and have their own doctor take care of them and have it paid for by the company. You’re not supposed to see patients as swindlers and cheats, but I had a hard time with that sometimes, because they didn’t treat me like a doctor.
Lawyers, like doctors, have face-to-face or voice-to-voice contact with clients in whom they try to produce an emotional state. Divorce lawyers, for instance, must try to induce calmness in angry and despairing clients, who may want to escalate instead of conclude a battle over money, property, and children. Other lawyers, like those who specialize in wills, may find themselves drawn into becoming the client’s mouthpiece in family intrigues, with uncomfortable results:
When you do inheritance work, you’re often dealing with wealthy people who want to keep their kids in line. They want to pass the money on, but at the same time they want to keep control. Often I’ll be asked things like, “Jim, I think you’d be the best person to talk to my daughter. She’d listen to you.” Then I’ll have to lay down some line even when I think it’s grossly unfair. And then the kid gets upset with me.
In the process of being insinuated into family relations, the lawyer risks becoming the butt of someone’s anger, while at the same time he must maintain the trust of everyone involved.
Although a salesman is not as likely to be drawn into family matters, he or she very much shares the task of establishing trust among clients, and this may call for either deep or surface acting. In a Communication Style Workshop, Corning Glass salesmen were asked to distinguish between such styles of communication as “Advocating” and “Analyzing.” (Advocating styles are assertive and responsive, while those with an analyzing style are reserved and nonassertive.) In a section entitled “Trust,” the workshop manual treats the problem of how salespeople can prevent such things as a person with an “analyzing style” from distrusting a person with an “advocating style”:
Advocating style people may come across to others—especially analyzing style people —as being unreliable. This is because they tend to deal with life more light heartedly than other styles. They are busy, active people who make promises easily. Others wonder if they will really come through. To neutralize this evaluative perception, one must try to be more patient and serious. It will help to listen more carefully and take notes. … (Communication Style Workshop)
The end is to get the client to trust the salesman, to “neutralize” the client’s suspicion. This can be done either by surface acting—seeming to be more patient and serious—or by the deep act of becoming more patient and serious, which makes the act of “seeming” unnecessary. In either case, the worker faces an emotional requirement of the job (winning trust) and presumes he can work on himself so as to meet it.
It should be noted that although the social worker, the day-care provider, the doctor, and the lawyer have personal contact and try to affect the emotional states of others, they do not work with an emotion supervisor immediately on hand. Rather, they supervise their own emotional labor by considering informal professional norms and client expectations. So their jobs, like many others, fill only two of our three criteria.
How many workers, in all, have jobs that require emotional labor? Only by asking workers what they actually do, and asking employers what they actually expect from a worker, could we possibly begin to answer witlyfany specificity; after all, the sort of work that really attaches to a specific job becomes apparent only in the shaping of expectations on the spot. But a reasonable estimate, based on the data in Appendix C, is that jobs involving emotional labor are held by over one-third of all workers in the United States.
This means that one-third of all workers experience a dimension of work that is seldom recognized, rarely honored, and almost never taken into account by employers as a source of on-the-job stress. For these workers, emotion work, feeling rules, and social exchange have been removed from the private domain and placed in a public one, where they are processed, standardized, and subjected to hierarchical control. Taken as a whole, these emotional laborers make possible a public life in which millions of people daily have fairly trusting and pleasant transactions with total or nearly total strangers. Were our good will strictly confined to persons we know in private life, were our offerings of civility or empathy not so widely spread out and our feelings not professionalized, surely public life would be profoundly different.