The Soup Nazi and Customer Service

In Part 1, students listen to a radio interview with a dyslexic journalist and answer questions about the details. In Part 2, students listen and read along to a radio piece about successful dyslexics. Students answer questions found in the reading. In Part 3, students analyze a graph showing the divergence of IQ and reading ability in dyslexics


S&L2: Integrate and evaluate information presented in diverse media and formats, including visually, quantitatively, and orally.


Estimated timeframe:

Activity steps

  1. Pre-teach: Ask students: How do you like to be treated by customer service representatives in person, on the phone, or online? Why is it necessary for people in customer service to be trained? What do you already know about good customer service? (Emphasize the “big picture” issues and why it is important to remember the mission of the workplace.)
  2. In this Ted-Ed lesson, complete the steps Watch, Think, and Dig Deeper: opens in a new window Seinfeld Customer Service Example (
  3. Extend: Have students write “poor” and “good” under each circle in the opens in a new window Customer Service Venn Diagram and write in characteristics as they watch some of the customer service videos they found in the Dig Deeper part of the lesson. Allow discussion of what students learned about good customer service.
  4. Show students how to navigate the Prezi of Characteristics of Challenging Customers: opens in a new window Ask students to name at least one challenging customer they have witnessed and describe the scene. Ask for ideas on how to react to this type of customer.
  5. Stay Calm! Virginia Reel Role Playing Game: Have students stand and form two lines facing each other. One line will be the angry customers. The other line will be the customer service representatives. The angry customers will make angry statements to the opposing side. (Examples: My toast is burned! You are just a waste of this company’s money. I want my money back now. You idiot, get me the manager.) The “rep” will try to respond appropriately to each statement as the angry customers move up the line. Switch roles.
  6. Partner-read opens in a new window 7-steps-for-dealing-with-angry-customers ( Discuss. Or, as an alternative, watch the two-and-a-half-minute video opens in a new window How to Deal with Angry Customers ( and discuss.
  7. Discuss with students: What are some of your triggers? Refer to these free anger management worksheets: opens in a new window
  8. Extension/Using Quantitative Data: Have students read customer service statistics online (opens in a new window and evaluate the meaning of the quantitative data. The instructor will want to think aloud/evaluate the first statistics as an example. Have students write and share orally their analyses of the other data.

Workforce readiness skills

opens in a new window Customer Service Venn Diagram
opens in a new window External Resources
ELA Activities for Level C / D
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America’s Skilled Workers: Vocabulary
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Summarizing Pro/Con Videos
Have students work in groups to find a persuasive speech online, use a graphic organizer to analyze the speaker’s claims, and write a summary in five sentences or less. Read More Summarizing Pro/Con Videos
Workplace Safety Presentations
Students read and listen to texts related to workplace safety. Then, students create their own multimedia presentations synthesizing the workplace safety lessons learned. Read More Workplace Safety Presentations
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