I had two instances happen just this week where I observed poor customer service. I am not a big complainer but I don't think there is any excuse for a bad attitude while "serving" others at work. If you can't put your troubles aside then don't come to work. Everyone is entitled to a bad day and I know things happen throughout the day but I think we are all capable of treating others with respect and kindness regardless of what is going on in our lives. Maybe I spent one too many days behind the counter with disgruntled people on the other side - but I think as a server it is our job to make things better - not worse.
The first instance was just an observation - it didn't happen to me. Basically there was a misunderstanding about how much something cost. Instead of trying to work it out - the "server" basically was rude and said "tough". The customers then proceeded to walk out the door upset. Now what good did that do? They will now go around telling everyone how they were treated at this establishment and give it a bad reputation. I can think of at least 5 different ways to find a solution to that problem where everyone would come out happy.
The second was a couple of nights ago. We went out to dinner with my in-laws and were expecting a nice evening. The restaurant was a bit more expensive than what we were expecting but we were all OK with that - it would be a special time with them. Our server was pleasant enough - not overly cheerful but that was OK. Our food took a long time to come out and when he brought it 3 of our meals (that were the same) were over cooked. He asked how everything tasted and we decided to tell him since the meals were pricey. He walked away without saying a word and then the manager came over. The manager was very accommodating and replaced our meals along with comping 2 of them. We then did not see our waiter again. Instead of coming over and making sure things were remedied and taking care of us he chose to ignore us completely.
Both of these cases are just examples of the golden rule - treat others as you would like to be treated. How easily this is forgotten.