How Not to Celebrate Customer Service Appreciation Week

Are YOU ready to make your employees feel like kings and queens for a week? It’s rewarding and legal!

Anyone who’s in the same general field as my wife and I should be gearing up right about now for this year’s Customer Service Appreciation Week. I’m not sure if this annual internal salute to service representatives was invented by the same Hallmark scientists who created such business-based holidays as Boss’ Day or Secretaries Day, but since it benefits me each year, I refuse to be an ingrate.

The premise, for those of you in other fields with your own traditions of positive reinforcement: each year for five consecutive business days, customer service supervisors who can spell and pronounce “morale” treat their employees to a series of extra fun perks. Sometimes it’s free donuts for breakfast and/or a a catered lunch. Sometimes there are team-building exercises or one-on-one contests, with useful prizes at stake. For companies with relaxed dress codes, there can also be themed clothing days — e.g., Hawaiian shirt day, sports apparel day, jeans day, etc. If it’s different from a normal work day and doesn’t double everyone’s stress level, it’s welcome this week.

Between my wife and me, we have [mumble-mutter] years of experience in customer service, many of which have been blessed by superiors who observed CSA Week. We each have multiple fond memories of the occasion.

For 2013, Customer Service Appreciation Week has been designated October 7-11. I have no idea what my company is planning this week, but we’ve been duly notified that events are officially in store for us. I patiently await whatever boons they choose to bestow. If I end up disappointed, I’ll keep some extra cash set aside so I can go drown my disappointment in food-truck snacks.

If you’re an employer who’s considering opting into Customer Service Appreciation Week, please note the link embedded above leads to a quote-unquote “official” site that offers ideas for enriching your workplace ambiance and breaking up the monotony of the ordinary average work year. If you decide to perform your own brainstorming, please be sure to approach this not-yet-sacred institution from the proper perspective and not subject your minions to any activities remotely resembling the following:

* Free Brussels Sprouts Day

* Unwashed thrift-shop hat day

* Endurance contest to see which departments can last the most days without a single joke reference to Dilbert, The Office, or Office Space

* Draw Winky and Win Day

* Dvorak keyboard typing races

* Dress Like a Racist Caricature Day

* Reunion party for your all-time angriest former customers

* Pretend We’re Filming Your Every Movement Day

* Ergonomic chair customizing contest (maximum two flame decals per contestant)

* Design and hang demotivational posters in the windows facing out toward competitor companies across the street

* Take Your In-Laws to Work Day

* Free lunch special: leftovers from local school cafeterias

* Special Q&A panel and autograph session with the creators of Clippy the MS Office Assistant

* Emergency downsizing drills

* Swap Positions With Tech Support Day

* Absolutely anything involving the word “twerk”

Have fun! And don’t forget: your employees won’t mind if you’re generous to them the other fifty-one weeks of the year, either. No, really!

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