SOSA 2141 Lecture Notes - Lecture 22: Mantra, Deferent And Epicycle, Personal Grooming

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March 25, Week 12 – Would you like fries with that? Service Work
Emotional Labour
Requires workers to manage their feelings as well as those of the customers
Most unfortunate part is that it is generally not rewarded – rarely you will
see that it is a job requirement to manage customers’ emotions or you own
in check
Emotional rewards come along with service or care work – general fulfillment
from helping customers
Demands, Dirt and Degradation
“An asymmetry of exchange of respect”: workers must be deferent, police,
respectful; customers/clients can be as disrespectful as they want
“The customer is always right”: a dangerous mantra
How this permeates into our interactions with service workers
Powerful idea in our society
Ex. University and students as customers
Customer abuse – significant part of service industry experience;
Campaigns against Customer Abuse
USDAW
What to do if employees are harassed by customers
This solution the campaign provides is targeted at the individual – deals with
customer abuse as if it is an anomaly, something that only happens once in
a while
Ignores the systematic and structure of abuse in the service industry –
happening on a wide-spread basis so it is not rooted in the whims of a
customer once in a while
Understanding Customer Abuse
Psychological: “deviant” behaviors, analyzing the individual’s “character
traits” and psychological “dispositions” common to abuser
Contingency: what are the contextual “triggers” of customer abuse?
Limitations: psychological treats it like an individual problem; contingency
treats it like an aberration (a fluke) – both look at the specifics rather than
the systematic
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