Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Not One Of My Finer Moments

I can admit freely to having very little patience for assholes when I'm at work. What I don't do is lose my temper though. (Well until Sunday that is.) Total failure on my part.

Being short-handed, swamped, long days, and very few days off contributed to this. Not the best excuse in the world, but it is, what it is.

I truly hate the Christmas shopping season for a myriad of reasons. While 95% of the people are great to deal with the other 5% should simply be executed. This percentage really doesn't change throughout the year. The trouble is that during this time of year we're dealing with five to six times more people between Thanksgiving and Christmas than any other time of the year. Instead of seeing one asshole a week we get to see an asshole almost every day we work now.

One thing I am very into is customer service. I actually want to be helpful and get people the information and product they need/want. Happy customers make me money. (And keep me gainfully employed, which is more important than making "more" money.)

I don't waste my time with assholes. Period. I'm blunt and to the point when someone goes into "asshole" mode. I don't raise my voice but get my point across and get them out of the store as quickly as possible. Except on Sunday.

The hell of it is it was the boss who started out with this guy. Quite frankly my boss is simply too nice of a person and can't deal with people like this guy. We were busy with about eight different couples in the store. This guy wanders in with a teenage son. The boss greets him and tells him he'd be with him as soon as possible.

I heard the guy announce, "No problem, we're just in here wasting time anyway."

So far, so good.

For about one minute.

We're bouncing between people who actually aren't in the store killing time while their wife is shopping, like this guy was doing. After a minute this guy approaches the boss, interrupts him, and says he has a few questions for him. Once again the boss stayed polite and told the guy he'd be with him as soon as he could. The guy grumbled something I didn't hear and walked toward me, as I was helping someone else myself at the time.

The guy interrupts me and I tell him I'd be able to help him in a few minutes. He then backs up a couple of feet and starts tapping his foot, muttering to his son about what poor service we're providing him. I glare at him and calmly (at this point) tell him foot tapping and muttering isn't going to get him any help any quicker.

He then goes and interrupts the boss once again. He points at me and tells the boss I was rude to him. Of course the boss apologizes to him, and then tells him we'd be more than happy to help him, but he has to wait his turn. So then the guy gets loud and starts telling other people in the store how badly we're treating him. That was enough for me. I excused myself from the people I was helping and sauntered over to this asshole.

I was pissed. The boss tried to cut me off, but I told him I've got this and this guy is out of here.

Me: Sir, what are you looking to buy here today?
Asshole: Nothing. I'm just killing time while my wife shops.
Me: Do you see how busy we are? With people who are interested in spending money here?
Asshole: Oh, so I've got to spend money here to get any service?
Me: No, but since you're just killing time you are going to take a backseat to people who are spending money here.
Asshole: Listen here mister. You're obligated to help anyone who walks in here. I don't even want to be in the mall today.
Me: Don't let the door hit you in the ass when you leave, sir. My obligation doesn't include putting up with idiots like you. 
Asshole: You can't talk to me like that!
Me: Yes I can. Here's another piece of advice for you. Grow a set of balls and tell your wife you don't want to go shopping. We don't have time for assholes. 
Asshole: I'm not the asshole here!
Me: My guess, just based on your performance here, you're an asshole no matter where you go. 
Asshole: Let me tell you some.....
Me: Get the fuck out of the store.
Asshole: You can't....
Me: Get out now!
Asshole: You...
Me: Shut the fuck up and start walking now.

His wife then magically appears in the store.

Asshole: (To wife) I'm being thrown out of here. These people will never see a dime of our money.
Asshole's wife: What's going on?
Me: Ma'am, get your husband out of here. We don't want, nor need his money. Since he doesn't have the balls to tell you this let me inform you he doesn't want to go shopping with you. We don't have time for assholes so I'd suggest taking him home and never taking him shopping again. He's not welcome to ever come back here.
Asshole: You can't do that!
Me: Not only can I do that but if you're not out the door in the next five seconds I'm going to call the police and have you arrested for trespassing. Don't ever come back.
Asshole's wife: Come on honey. Just leave the store.
Asshole: He can't do that!

Mall security then shows up because I've been yelling at this guy. They then proceed to tell him that we could indeed throw him out of the store and have him arrested for refusing to leave. He starts to give them a hard time and they escort him out of the mall. By then there was quite a crowd outside of our store, and hardly anyone left in the store. I definitely scared away some business by losing it the way I did.

The security guys came back and stated that the guy was jerk in a jewelry store earlier in the day as well. Just no one there put him in his place. Oh well, within a few minutes the store was packed again, and it was back to being swamped. But with nice people, and no asshole to deal with.

The boss waited a couple of hours to tell me he was less than thrilled with me. Unfortunately I have to agree with him. He had no problem with what was said, but screaming at the guy wasn't too cool. The "F" word wasn't a good thing to say either, and definitely not a word I've used in front of customers before. I honestly don't remember saying "fuck" but have no doubt I did as I was about as mad as I've ever been with someone.

I was ready for a written warning about my outburst but the boss said it wasn't necessary. (Apparently he called his boss to let him know what was going on, in case this guy raised a complaint about me.) His boss just simply said to tell me no more cursing, or yelling, but we don't have to put up with assholes and we can throw them out of the store. My guess is he realized that this was a bit out of the ordinary for me, as far as losing my cool. Plus he (thankfully) likes me.

I am so ready for Christmas to be over with.


ChiTown Girl said...

I'm so glad I decided to be late for work and check your blog first. You, sir, are my hero!!

Just Plain Tired said...

ChiTown Girl -- Ah, no heroics here. I'm not happy I let this guy get to me like that actually.

GoofyGirl said...

had i been a customer in the shop that day... i would have SO started the slow clap for your awesomeness.

Dazee Dreamer said...

You really rock my world. I hate people like that guy. And I'm glad you told his wife to never bring him shopping again. Why in the hell would you do that anyway. The only way me and the hubby go shopping together is for the common good. ie: buying Christmas for the grandkids. He should have just sat on a bench in the mall and people watched. Then he could have been yelling at all of them for going shopping.

I know you feel bad for yelling. You, like me, can only take so much before the shit hits the fan. His shit finally did it for you.

The Blogger Formerly Known As said...

Bearing in mind the asshole was wasting everybody’s time, I would say that your Customer Service was still superb. Good for you!
The enigmatic, masked blogger

Miss Melicious said...

Sometimes, people just hit their boiling points. I've done the same thing to a customer in the middle of a crowded retaurant. In hindsight, I couldn't believe that I did it, but sometimes other people need to be put in their place.

darev2005 said...

One of the phrases I just love to hear is "You can't talk to me like that!" Hee hee hee! Oh, you just let the horses out of the barn, buddy. The inmates have learned never to say that to me. It just makes things so much worse.

Charlene said...

A small percentage of the customer public believe workers are the lowest form of life. They enjoy the opportunity to show their belief in their own superiority.

They are the ones who enjoy calling up customer service and complaining about some thing. All the anger of their lives is stored up and cataloged until the moment they can get some poor soul to listen to them long enough to verbally dress them down.

As you illustrate here, a business person does not have to allow a verbal assault in their own place of business.

Mrs Midnite said...

Surely customer service is confined to customers?

I understand why you would want to work from home.

Nessa said...

Working from home won't help much lol. I work from home and not long ago had a customer scream at me for being unable to send the shoes she wanted by UPS ground from NJ to Hawaii. I explained the semantics of doing so a few times very politely then I finally just got tired of being called a c*** and a B****. I interrupted her tirade and said "ma'am, if you know a way for UPS to drive your package from NJ to Hawaii without the package ever needing to get on a plane, please feel free to call them. This could really open up some doors for their company!" and I hung up on her.

Smart Ass Sara said...

I would have done the exact same thing. I just wrote this on another blog comment somewhere else, but I really think people are really into this entitlement thing. Just because they can, they feel entitled to various things, but at the same time, have no consideration for anyone other than themselves. It sucks because sometimes it takes something like that to wake others up. Not this guy probably, but everyone else in earshot probably were a LOT nicer to their salespeople.

Sparkling Red said...

I was waiting for the part when your boss or grand-boss might say "Obviously you're burned out and over-stressed, so why don't you take the rest of the day and tomorrow off?" That would be the logical and compassionate thing to do. But, oh right, they're understaffed. So you know what? I think it's their fault. You can't overwork employees and expect them to continue performing at a high standard. Everyone has limits.

Sarahf said...

With the stories you write here about the idiots that come into your shop, I'm surprised you haven't lost it before, you deserve a medal for putting up with that.

Noner said...

Can you come work at my store for a while. We have a few assholes that need to be told a thing or two, and the only guy who would ever do it quit a while back.

YummY! Down on This

BeMistified said...

O......M.......G I am officially in ♥ with you. lol :) You rock!

Lauren said...

If your boss wrote you up...you would need to write him up...for not hiring enough staff during holiday hours...what do they expect?! Sometimes people just need a good kick in the butt! Good for you for doing it!

Mustang Sally said...

When I told a similar story that happened in a restaurant, you said you were extremely proud of the action I chose to use. I fail to see why you would be less proud of yourself.

Some people need to be taken down a peg or two. Look at it as you were an instrument of Karma ;)

I know, it's not what was said that's bothering you, it's the loss of control. Exactly, but it's done and you can't go back. Even if you could, it NEEDED to be said, even if there was a quieter way to do it. Nobody's perfect, don't beat yourself up.

Jean said...

Yeah right...:)

KLZ said...

I bet he actually did want to go shopping...so he'd have someone to be an asshole to while his wife was out of the house.

Couldn't just sit around with himself as company now could he?

Grace said...

How I wish I have the guts like you have.

I had worked in a ticketing office before and there are really customers who are mean but I didn't have the guts to treat them the way they should be treated.

Thanks God I had quit that job.

CrunchyVTMommy said...

Hi i am here to slow clap. Good for you! I chased a woman out of a store for calling me a bitch while I was trying to help a sweet elderly woman. Allz Ill say is I may or may not have threatened to beat her while her kids watched. People are such asses. Again good for you!

MartyrMom said...

some people think that just because you work in retail you must be retarded/slow and sub-human.

I hated retail and only worked there for a few months before some asshole made me cry.....I know crying wasn't the answer but neither was punching him in his fat face either.

Quitting seemed to be the best choice for me. Holidays are the worst too.... GRRRR