Sunday, November 14, 2010

Maybe Customer Service Isn't My Forte

There are days I despise people.

I don't go out of my way to do this, but inevitably, and especially this time of year, it happens.

I can only play "nice" for so long with dimwitted, demanding, and rude customers. It doesn't help that this particular customer was a mall walker as well. I'm pretty sure I've let my feelings be known in here about them previously.

A man entered the store yesterday looking for a Christmas gift for his wife. Kind of sweet when you think about it. Usually guys wait until the week before Christmas, if not the day before Christmas, to do their shopping. This guy was shopping approximately six weeks in advance of Christmas.

(This is pretty much where my nice thoughts about this guy end though.)


He finds something he thinks she'll like. I've answered all of his questions about said product as far as features and benefits. Then we get to the part of the conversation where he hits my list of people to despise.

Dimwitted Customer: What's your return policy?
Me: We have a 30 day return and/or exchange policy. Unopened and unused you can get your money back. Opened or used we will do a one time exchange.
Dimwitted Customer: This is a Christmas gift. The 30 days won't work for me. Don't you have a policy that takes that into account?
Me: Yes, we do.
Dimwitted Customer: Okay, I'll take it then.
Me: Wait a minute sir. Let me explain how that works. From November 15th through December 24th we allow returns and exchanges on items sold through the end of January. Today's the 13th.
Dimwitted Customer: You people are all the same! Always trying to rip me off!
Me: Excuse me?
Dimwitted Customer: You heard me. Stick this (item) up your ass.
Me: Sorry sir. That particular orifice is exit only.
Dimwitted Customer: What?
Me: Let's try this again. Come back on Monday, the item will still be 30% off, and it will then fall under the Christmas return/exchange policy. 
Dimwitted Customer: I don't have time to do that. Why don't you quit being an asshole about this. I know you can bend the rules on this.
Me: I'm a bit perplexed sir. Not about the whole asshole part, but your lack of time. You're a fucking mall walker. You're in the mall every damn day.
Dimwitted Customer: You can't talk to me like that!
Me: Sorry sir. But yes I can, you opened that door when you told me to stick this up my ass. You then proceeded to walk through that door by calling me an asshole. Right now I could give two shits less if you ever buy anything from us.
Dimwitted Customer: I want to talk to someone in charge here.
Me: Not a problem. See that guy cringing back by the cash register. He's the manager, and excellent at hiding when people like you decide to come in here and be insulting. His one redeeming quality though is he has rabbit ears and has heard this entire conversation.
Dimwitted Customer: We'll see about that. I'm going to have your job.
Me: Good luck with that, sir.
Dimwitted Customer: Fuck you!
Me: Yes sir. He's right there, go talk to him, we're done talking now.

So the guy stomps off to whine to the boss and I start helping another customer. I do take the time to shoot a grin at the boss though as this guy is approaching him. I know he's pissed. But not at me. He's a little nicer than I am with people like this, but doesn't tolerate them either. Our company backs us 100% as well, under these circumstances. The boss just simply would like me to tell a customer like this to leave, and I probably should, but people like this really need to be told they're idiots as far as I'm concerned.

I don't need to be worshipped by any means, but if you want respect, you've got to show some as well.

A few minutes later the guy leaves the store, unhappily. He heard the same thing from the boss, albeit a bit nicer.

We now have a bet on the guy showing up on Monday to buy this gift for the wife. I say he's going to, the boss thinks not. But this douche will and the boss will be the one to benefit. The guy won't buy anything from me of course, so the boss will earn a little commission for himself when the guy does make the purchase.

And how do I know this?

Simple, this guy is truly the asshole in this equation. I've seen him ream the little coffee shop girls in the past when he's walking the mall and demanding they have coffee for him, prior to them even being open, or ready, for business. So as he's doing his laps around the mall and gets to the coffee shop when they're actually open for business he always gets his cup of coffee.

It's probably a damn good thing I don't work there. I'm not saying I'd refuse him a cup of coffee though. He'd probably be wearing one if it were me. Because I'm thoughtful like that, and stuff.


Miss Melicious said...

I absolutely detest people like that. Good for you for telling him...often times people like that walk all over so many people that they forget that they're no better.

Sparkling Red said...

Please come work at my office. We need someone like you.

The Blogger Formerly Known As said...

Whatever the product, you should take it off show on Monday, and tell him you’ve sold out.
The enigmatic, masked blogger

Just Plain Tired said...

Miss Melicious -- People like this one do piss me off.

Sparkling Red -- I'm not sure everyone would have that same opinion. ;)

TBFKA -- Now that would be funny. But the boss wouldn't let me go that far.

Anonymous said...

Tis the season to be... an asshole? Um yep, they're going to start coming in droves now. When your Christmas return policy ends, so will the majority of them shopping.

Good luck surviving the season!

MichelleLCSW said...

Not that I relish in having to encounter assholes like the one you describe, but I DO live for the moments that I can tell them off (like you did) and be completely in the right and know I won't suffer any major fallout! Bravo for you! And may the retarded holiday retail season be filled with VERY FEW of the kinds of assholes you just had to deal with!!

Dazee Dreamer said...

oh, you are a delight. I probably should never work with the public in retail. I would always be telling them off.

Warren said...


Since I've started reading your blogs, you are quickly becoming my hero. Your response to Dimwitted Customer is something I could only dream about with my old company that believed the customer is always right. Keep up the good work.

Deputy's Wife said...

I got cussed out the other day by a guy over $7 and some propane. Tis the season, huh.

P.S. I'm a new follower, love your stuff!

Anonymous said...

I worked customer service at Blue Cross/Blue Shield which slowly sucked the life out of me. One particularly nasty conversation ended with me calling the customer a bitch under my breath as I was hanging up. I lied to the boss and told her I thought I had hung up when I said it. I only got reprimanded at the time, but I went ahead and gave my 2 weeks notice shortly after...I'd do 3rd shift at Steak n'Shake again before that job. Still customer service oriented, but the customers are usually drunk or too tired to care at that time so you can have fun with them.

ChiTown Girl said...

Thanks for the giggles! I'd love to have a similar conversation with most of my students' parents!!

Gail said...

You are such a joy! I love that you have the freedom to speak your mind at your job.

I have the same A-holes to help but I must smile and say thank you and apologize if they are upset. I would love one day that I could say what I was thinking.

simply kim said...

that was.. OUTRAGEOUS. i work in the mall myself. i'm simply glad i haven't encountered someone as OBNOXIOUS as that guy... yet. keeping my fingers crossed here..

blueviolet said...

He's definitely the kind of person who is like that EVERYWHERE he goes! At least you can take comfort that you weren't singled out.

Sarahf said...

What a tosser. I wish I had the wherewithall to deal with people as smoothly as you do.

Kimmy said...

I have worked Customer Service from 1991 - 2004.

I will never ever do it again.

It wasn't just men, women. It was soccer moms, and retired old men. People that were so removed from an actual real job, you just wanted to tell them to go piss off.

Now, I help people get jobs as a staffing recruiter. If you want to work, I will help you. If you don't, don't send me your resume.


Good luck to you!

Mel said...

I know what you mean coz Im working in a retail store. You are one brave soul to be able to tell him such things. bravo... Lol.;-)

Gina Alfani said...

awwwww memories . . . .

I LOVE that post!!!

At least your company will back you up . . . I worked in a call center for a very short time and we had to take crap and like it.

. . . still laughing :)

darev2005 said...

One of the things I love to hear most in my line of work is "You can't talk to me like that!" Then I just grin and give them both barrels. Being both ex-military and a prison guard does have some vocabulary advantages over the less highly trained.

Jessica B said...

When I was in retail, I did the old "Kill them with kindness" thing. Makes most of them feel like a huge idiot for treating you badly. That was however, about 15 years ago. I don't have the patience for jerks nowadays though. Which is exactly why I am not in retail. LOL :)

Mustang Sally said...

Is WCW's job still open? I want it! I want to come work with you and for your boss. It's a win/win situation for me any way I look at it.

You would keep me in stitches, never a bad way to spend the workday. And your boss ... let's just say I've only ever had one or two that would back me up that way when called for.

Stupid isn't generally one of my faults but I expect crazy would work as well for blog fodder ... just sayin'.

aims said...

lmao they SHOULD be told they're idiots!! and who better to do so than YOU! i agree! tell them away!! i could write letters that you could just hand out maybe.. a letter declaring idiocy... love, me. ;)

Lucy said...

I love it. I left retail management after 9 years because I was tired of swallowing the shit that was flung at me.
I still encounter assholes now, but the boss is ruder than I am, so it's not as bad.