[Image Description: Background is several triangles in a circle like a pie alternating from true red, scarlet and black. A robin is sitting on his perch looking to the right.
Top Text: “DIDN’T NOTICE CUSTOMER AT COUNTER”
Bottom Text: “”GET OFF YOUR ASS AND DO SOME CUSTOMER SERVICE! ASSHOLE!””]
Bookstore robin here. I have been working in customer service for about 7 years and I have never had an experience as bad as the one I had today. Of course we get minorly rude people all the time, but this was really horrible.
I was sitting at the desk unpacking some books while my coworker was helping someone at one of the registers. I’m skimming through an interesting looking book for less than a minute before I look back up to check on things and this guy is standing at my register glaring at me. I ask him “Can I help you?” and he practically SHOUTS back “Yeah, how about you get off your ass and do some customer service?” I was really taken aback and didn’t know what to do so I ask him what he needs help with, it turns out he has some stuff on hold to pick up. As I’m ringing him up he keeps spewing hate at me, saying “I’ve been standing here for 5 minutes, what the fuck is wrong with you people.” It was all I could do to not shake too badly as I was trying to ring him up but apparently that wasn’t acceptable because then he says “Yeah just keep trying to act all innocent. ASSHOLE.” When he finally left a coworker was nice enough to take over so I could collect myself in the back room because at that point I was shaking and in tears. I have always had a really hard time dealing with being yelled at or unfairly criticized and I basically spent the rest of my shift in a flop sweat and trying not to start crying again. The worst part is, I have seen him around before and I think he will probably come in again.
I keep thinking over how I could have handled it differently and I would appreciate some advice from fellow robins. I didn’t respond to his insults because I was in shock/didn’t want it to escalate. Should I have asked him politely to calm down or something? Apologized even though I know I didn’t do anything wrong? (there is no way he was standing there for 5 minutes, and he could have politely caught my attention by saying something instead of glaring silently) Or asked my boss to deal with him?
Jeez, I’m so sorry this happened. I hate asshole customers. It has always been my belief that everyone has EVERY right to walk away from a verbally abusive customer. Fuck them. The customer isn’t always right. Sorry, just channeling Mallrats. But honestly, I do the same thing you did, I don’t say a word. Unless its REALLY bad. I have walked away from customers and have someone else take over before.
YAY! Got the call today about passing all the background/rental/credit shit. And we were thrilled to hear that our security deposit will be the lowest possible! YAY!