OT - Obnoxious customers & limits

Discussion in 'Food and nutrition' started by Julia Altshuler, Dec 17, 2005.

  1. Customer comes into wine and cheese shop. He speaks to co-worker for a
    moment about ordering wine, and since I know more about the wine in the
    store (only from working there longer, I'm no expert), I take him up to
    the computer/register to take the order. This means saying that the
    wine he wants sounds familiar, saying that I think we're out but will
    check the product list, seeing that the inventory does, indeed, say
    zero, and moving to take an old fashioned order which involves writing
    down the customer's name, phone number, credit number and type of wine
    wanted. Somewhere in there, and it's hard to remember where, the
    customer interupted me at which point I knew immediately to shut up and
    let him finish. I smiled at him while he went into this long tirade,
    the upshot of which was that the boss KNOWS he wants the wine since he
    orders a case every month, KNOWS his name and that he doesn't have to
    put up with this, if he has to he'll order somewhere else. I'm making
    it sound more polite than it was. The man was a jerk. I just stood
    there and smiled while he bawled me out. When he asked me something
    that amounted to "can you do that?" I nodded once, and he left.


    When the boss got back, I gave him what part of the order I was able to
    take, mentioned how unpleasant the customer was, and learned that this
    is NOT a standing monthly order. The guy ordered once before. The boss
    scarcely knew him but was able to remember what it was about.


    I wondered about my options at the time. I was very near to throwing
    the guy out of the store and asked the boss about that, but he said that
    I really couldn't throw someone out unless he was doing something
    illegal. I have to admit that there's some sense to this policy, but it
    got me thinking. Are there limits to what an employee is expected to
    put up with? That's not to say that anything was too terrible. I've
    been yelled at before, and I did know that the best way to deal with
    they guy was just to grin at him without trying to defend myself.


    At my next shift, I learned that the guy had called to complain about
    me. The mom and pop pair who are my bosses didn't come to me to tell me
    about the complaint. I learned when we were chatting about customers in
    general. So it's not like they were unhappy with my work or how I
    handled it, but they didn't defend me either. They didn't tell the
    customer "look, she asked for a credit number. We TOLD her to do that."


    That made me ask if the guy said anything specific that I'd done that
    set him off. I know that I didn't remember saying anything awful, but I
    also know that it's possible for something to be interpreted different
    ways, and I wanted to know if maybe I'd said something that I should be
    aware of so I could make sure I didn't get perceived as impolite again.
    When I was asking questions along those lines, I learned that this
    same guy has been hitting on a co-worker.


    This is a young lady I really like. She's young (22), quite pretty,
    very nice, the sort of kid who can talk to and make friends with people
    who are older (I'm 47) and be lovely and genuine. She has an infectious
    laugh and bright smile. I could understand that young men might think
    she was flirting, but it's hard to help it when you're that pretty. She
    could model. (She has professional dance and acting experience.) It
    turns out that the customer has been hitting on her. She said it
    started out O.K. with him just talking to her, but most recently he's
    been asking her out and making comments of the "if I were younger"
    variety, not of the kindly old man gently teases with young woman old
    enough to be his granddaughter, but more of the middle aged man makes
    young woman uncomfortable variety. She said that the next time he comes
    in, she's heading for the bathroom and staying there.


    This leads me to the question I'm opening for discussion. What are the
    limits? I know what I'd put up with from a boss, but I've never
    wondered before about what I'm expected to put up with from a customer.
    You read all the time about sexual harrassment from a boss, but what
    about from a customer? The boss (a nice guy who can get grouchy but who
    has never been mean or unfair, someone who is actually more likely to
    get himself into trouble for being a pushover) hasn't given us any
    guidelines except the nothing illegal one. Any thoughts?


    --Lia
     
    Tags:


  2. On Sat, 17 Dec 2005 16:01:48 -0500, Julia Altshuler
    <[email protected]> wrote:

    > You read all the time about sexual harrassment from a boss, but what
    > about from a customer? The boss (a nice guy who can get grouchy but who
    > has never been mean or unfair, someone who is actually more likely to
    > get himself into trouble for being a pushover) hasn't given us any
    > guidelines except the nothing illegal one. Any thoughts?


    If it's illegal for your boss to sexually harass you, is it also
    illegal for a customer to sexually harass you? It'd be great if that
    were the case. You could just toss his sorry butt out of the store.

    We've got a few legal eagles around here. Maybe someone has the
    answer to that question.

    Carol
    --

    http://pg.photos.yahoo.com/ph/head_trollop/my_photos
     
  3. Nancy Young

    Nancy Young Guest

    "Julia Altshuler" <[email protected]> wrote

    > wanted. Somewhere in there, and it's hard to remember where, the customer
    > interupted me at which point I knew immediately to shut up and let him
    > finish. I smiled at him while he went into this long tirade, the upshot
    > of which was that the boss KNOWS he wants the wine since he orders a case
    > every month, KNOWS his name and that he doesn't have to put up with this,
    > if he has to he'll order somewhere else. I'm making it sound more polite
    > than it was. The man was a jerk. I just stood there and smiled while he
    > bawled me out. When he asked me something that amounted to "can you do
    > that?" I nodded once, and he left.


    Heh, what a jerk, and he also likes to think he's the king of you.
    If you really were smiling, you might have been infuriating him more
    that way, I've seen that, too.

    Miserable creature, dealing with the public is rough like that.

    > I wondered about my options at the time. I was very near to throwing the
    > guy out of the store and asked the boss about that, but he said that I
    > really couldn't throw someone out unless he was doing something illegal.


    Well, yeah, you could have, he has no legal right to be on private
    property. But, what would you do, tell him to get out? What if he
    says no? Forget it.

    > I have to admit that there's some sense to this policy, but it got me
    > thinking. Are there limits to what an employee is expected to put up
    > with? That's not to say that anything was too terrible. I've been yelled
    > at before, and I did know that the best way to deal with they guy was just
    > to grin at him without trying to defend myself.


    I've seen where some businesses will flat out not do business with you
    if you mistreat their employees, using foul language, whatever. (no,
    I did not find that out firsthand, laugh)
    ..
    > When I was asking questions along those lines, I learned that this same
    > guy has been hitting on a co-worker.


    Was the other co-worker there? Perhaps he was trying to look
    like a bigshot for her.

    > young woman uncomfortable variety. She said that the next time he comes
    > in, she's heading for the bathroom and staying there.


    Good for her. Too bad you'll be stuck with him waiting for her
    to reappear.

    I'd just give him minimal service, he wants to act like a fool, let him.
    I wouldn't stand there and take his tirades, either. Just let him know
    if he want to order, he has to fill out this form. End of subject.
    (make a form if you don't have one) Then go back about your
    business.

    nancy
     
  4. Mark Thorson

    Mark Thorson Guest

    Julia Altshuler wrote:
    >
    > She said that the next time he comes
    > in, she's heading for the bathroom and staying there.


    Wrong, non-confront approach. The next time he asks
    her out, she should calmly and very seriously inform
    him that she's a member of the Church of Scientology
    and only dates other Scientologists. She should then
    give him the address of the nearest Scientology org
    and suggest he go over there and find out what it's
    all about.

    If they manage to hook him, he'll be busy for a very
    long time. He'll forget all about her and you and
    wine and anything except more Scientology. Not a
    nice thing to do to somebody, but he deserves it. :)
     
  5. "Julia Altshuler" <[email protected]> wrote in message
    news:[email protected]
    > I was very near to throwing the guy out of the store and asked the boss
    > about that, but he said that I really couldn't throw someone out unless he
    > was doing something illegal.


    Wrong. You have avery right to just tell the guy "we don't want your
    business, please leave and do not come back". Some customers are not woth
    the hassle and cost more in time and effort than the markup on what you
    sell, not to mention personal stress.



    >
    > At my next shift, I learned that the guy had called to complain about me.
    > The mom and pop pair who are my bosses didn't come to me to tell me about
    > the complaint. I learned when we were chatting about customers in
    > general. So it's not like they were unhappy with my work or how I handled
    > it, but they didn't defend me either. They didn't tell the customer
    > "look, she asked for a credit number. We TOLD her to do that."


    They are proably more interested in making a sale than in your aggrevation
    wnd what he was doing to you. I'd have to wonder about them.

    >
    >


    ..
    > When I was asking questions along those lines, I learned that this same
    > guy has been hitting on a co-worker.


    OK, now we know the problem. It was you. Actually it was anyone but the
    young lady he is hitting on. He wanted to chat with her, to fantasize about
    her, to be close to her, talk to her, stare at her boobs, check out her
    butt, and you spoiled it by doing what he wanted done.


    >
    >
    > It turns out that the customer has been hitting on her. She said it
    > started out O.K. with him just talking to her, but most recently he's been
    > asking her out and making comments of the "if I were younger" variety, not
    > of the kindly old man gently teases with young woman old enough to be his
    > granddaughter, but more of the middle aged man makes young woman
    > uncomfortable variety. She said that the next time he comes in, she's
    > heading for the bathroom and staying there.


    Do that a couple of times and he may never come back. Problem solved.
    OTOH, if he really creeps her out, she should tell the boss. He, then, has
    an obligation to tell the customer that he should not return or to see
    another clerk that can assist him.


    > You read all the time about sexual harrassment from a boss, but what
    > about from a customer?


    No, you don't have to put up with it there either.

    The boss (a nice guy who can get grouchy but who
    > has never been mean or unfair, someone who is actually more likely to get
    > himself into trouble for being a pushover) hasn't given us any guidelines
    > except the nothing illegal one. Any thoughts?


    The boss needs some education. He is in charge and must take care of the
    problem. If anything happens, he can have liability for inaction. Maybe
    you should buy him a set of gonads for Christmas. From the little I've read,
    he is more likely to ignore rather than confront the problem. The other
    young lady is withing her rights to tell the customer off too, politly, but
    firmly.
    --
    Ed
    http://pages.cthome.net/edhome/
     
  6. Dave Smith

    Dave Smith Guest

    Edwin Pawlowski wrote:

    > "Julia Altshuler" <[email protected]> wrote in message
    > news:[email protected]
    > > I was very near to throwing the guy out of the store and asked the boss
    > > about that, but he said that I really couldn't throw someone out unless he
    > > was doing something illegal.

    >
    > Wrong. You have avery right to just tell the guy "we don't want your
    > business, please leave and do not come back". Some customers are not woth
    > the hassle and cost more in time and effort than the markup on what you
    > sell, not to mention personal stress.


    Sorry, but we have to appreciate that small businesses rely on repeat business
    and word of mouth. Sure, the guy is a jerk, and he is likely to spread the word
    if he is treated badly. His friends, if he has any, probably know that he is a
    jerk. My brother in law was like that. He had horror stories about every store
    he ever had dealings with. I had been with him on some of those ventures and I
    have to say that I felt sorry for some of the clerks he berated, even apologized
    to some of them. It was really embarrassing to be with him. The important thing
    is that they not give him any ammunition.

    I was lucky in my work. I worked in commercial vehicle enforcement and had a
    ticket book to get my revenge. Those obnoxious jerks could say just about
    anything they wanted to me, as long as they could afford it. I would just keep
    writing as long as they kept talking. Some of them would call up my boss and
    complain. I just had to be very careful to make sure that everything was
    documented and that I could demonstrate that I never lost my temper, never said
    anything inappropriate and never clearly said that they were getting tickets
    instead of warnings because they were assholes. If they came to court to fight
    the charges we never backed off and worked any plea bargains. You can bet that
    the next time I, or any of my co-workers had to deal with the guy again that
    most of them behaved themselves.

    Some of them seemed never to learn. The funny thing about those guys is that
    when you looked up there conviction records there were often multiple cases of
    multiple charges against them. They were often given a dose of attitude
    adjustment.


    > They are proably more interested in making a sale than in your aggrevation
    > wnd what he was doing to you. I'd have to wonder about them.


    A retail clerk doesn't have that option. Some store owners may just boot the guy
    out and tell him not to come back. Most are more likely to just tolerate them
    and make some money off them. One thing that you can likely bet on is that they
    would not tolerate an employee booting out a customer.



    > Do that a couple of times and he may never come back. Problem solved.
    > OTOH, if he really creeps her out, she should tell the boss. He, then, has
    > an obligation to tell the customer that he should not return or to see
    > another clerk that can assist him.


    That is the point. It should be the clerk who was being hit on that should
    approach the boss. Nobody gets brownie points for intervening in a situation
    like that unless the victim pipes up. In that case, it is better to let her
    deal rudely with the customer and back her up than to step in and claim that she
    was being harassed.
     
  7. On Sat, 17 Dec 2005 13:54:36 -0800, Mark Thorson <[email protected]>
    wrote:

    > Julia Altshuler wrote:
    > >
    > > She said that the next time he comes
    > > in, she's heading for the bathroom and staying there.

    >
    > Wrong, non-confront approach. The next time he asks
    > her out, she should calmly and very seriously inform
    > him that she's a member of the Church of Scientology
    > and only dates other Scientologists. She should then
    > give him the address of the nearest Scientology org
    > and suggest he go over there and find out what it's
    > all about.
    >
    > If they manage to hook him, he'll be busy for a very
    > long time. He'll forget all about her and you and
    > wine and anything except more Scientology. Not a
    > nice thing to do to somebody, but he deserves it. :)


    You are an evil genius!

    Carol
    --

    http://pg.photos.yahoo.com/ph/head_trollop/my_photos
     
  8. I was really smiling. The expression on my face probably looked like I
    was both being patient and laughing at him-- which I was. I'm almost
    certain I was infuriating him more. Snicker.


    The way to kick out a customer is to look him dead in the eye and say in
    a low serious voice "you have to go now." Repeat as necessary until
    customer makes exit. If customer makes threatening move or threatening
    noises, call 9-1-1 and explain to police that you need help. The police
    in this small enough city are responsive to those sorts of calls, but
    just knowing that I can call is enough. I've never actually called the
    police for help.


    > I've seen where some businesses will flat out not do business with you
    > if you mistreat their employees, using foul language, whatever. (no,
    > I did not find that out firsthand, laugh)



    I'm interested in what constitutes the "whatever" in the above sentence.
    Bad language is out, but what else? Where's the line?


    > Was the other co-worker there? Perhaps he was trying to look
    > like a bigshot for her.



    The co-worker wasn't there when the jerk (I just realized I should be
    calling him Customer Asshat) was bawling me out. All the employees work
    part time and thus see each other now and then as our shifts overlap and
    interconnect. So I met Customer Asshat for the first time last week,
    but she's seen him a lot.
    >
    >
    >>young woman uncomfortable variety. She said that the next time he comes
    >>in, she's heading for the bathroom and staying there.

    >
    >
    > Good for her. Too bad you'll be stuck with him waiting for her
    > to reappear.



    I'm not as happy with the bathroom solution as you are. I think
    something more pro-active is called for. For one thing, as the store
    fills up for the holidays, I might need the co-worker's help for
    something as mundane as cutting cheese. Beyond that, my co-worker
    shouldn't have to hide. She ought to be able to tell him to cut it out.
    Her only crime is being young, friendly and exceptionally pretty.



    > I'd just give him minimal service, he wants to act like a fool, let him.
    > I wouldn't stand there and take his tirades, either. Just let him know
    > if he want to order, he has to fill out this form. End of subject.
    > (make a form if you don't have one) Then go back about your
    > business.



    That's pretty much what I was doing when he got so impatient, sarcastic,
    rude and irrational.


    --Lia
     
  9. Julia Altshuler <[email protected]> looking for trouble wrote in
    news:[email protected]:

    > Customer comes into wine and cheese shop. He speaks to co-worker for a
    > moment about ordering wine, and since I know more about the wine in the
    > store (only from working there longer, I'm no expert), I take him up to
    > the computer/register to take the order. This means saying that the
    > wine he wants sounds familiar, saying that I think we're out but will
    > check the product list, seeing that the inventory does, indeed, say
    > zero, and moving to take an old fashioned order which involves writing
    > down the customer's name, phone number, credit number and type of wine
    > wanted. Somewhere in there, and it's hard to remember where, the
    > customer interupted me at which point I knew immediately to shut up and
    > let him finish. I smiled at him while he went into this long tirade,
    > the upshot of which was that the boss KNOWS he wants the wine since he
    > orders a case every month, KNOWS his name and that he doesn't have to
    > put up with this, if he has to he'll order somewhere else. I'm making
    > it sound more polite than it was. The man was a jerk. I just stood
    > there and smiled while he bawled me out. When he asked me something
    > that amounted to "can you do that?" I nodded once, and he left.


    Jerk is much to kind. This guy is an out and out asshole.

    >
    >
    > When the boss got back, I gave him what part of the order I was able to
    > take, mentioned how unpleasant the customer was, and learned that this
    > is NOT a standing monthly order. The guy ordered once before. The boss
    > scarcely knew him but was able to remember what it was about.


    Sounds pretty typical. One special order and asshole thinks he's God.

    >
    >
    > I wondered about my options at the time. I was very near to throwing
    > the guy out of the store and asked the boss about that, but he said that
    > I really couldn't throw someone out unless he was doing something
    > illegal. I have to admit that there's some sense to this policy, but it
    > got me thinking. Are there limits to what an employee is expected to
    > put up with? That's not to say that anything was too terrible. I've
    > been yelled at before, and I did know that the best way to deal with
    > they guy was just to grin at him without trying to defend myself.


    I'd say you handled it about right. I don't know what else you could have
    done. Throwing him out would have caused a huge stink and may have put
    your job in jeopardy.


    >
    >
    > At my next shift, I learned that the guy had called to complain about
    > me. The mom and pop pair who are my bosses didn't come to me to tell me
    > about the complaint. I learned when we were chatting about customers in
    > general. So it's not like they were unhappy with my work or how I
    > handled it, but they didn't defend me either. They didn't tell the
    > customer "look, she asked for a credit number. We TOLD her to do that."


    They don't want to lose his business for some reason. IMO they could have
    told him politely that employess are valued assets and they would
    appreciate more civil behavior the next time he visits and of course, he is
    more than welcome to visit again.


    >
    >
    > That made me ask if the guy said anything specific that I'd done that
    > set him off. I know that I didn't remember saying anything awful, but I
    > also know that it's possible for something to be interpreted different
    > ways, and I wanted to know if maybe I'd said something that I should be
    > aware of so I could make sure I didn't get perceived as impolite again.
    > When I was asking questions along those lines, I learned that this
    > same guy has been hitting on a co-worker.


    Gawd!


    >
    >
    > This is a young lady I really like. She's young (22), quite pretty,
    > very nice, the sort of kid who can talk to and make friends with people
    > who are older (I'm 47) and be lovely and genuine. She has an infectious
    > laugh and bright smile. I could understand that young men might think
    > she was flirting, but it's hard to help it when you're that pretty. She
    > could model. (She has professional dance and acting experience.) It
    > turns out that the customer has been hitting on her. She said it
    > started out O.K. with him just talking to her, but most recently he's
    > been asking her out and making comments of the "if I were younger"
    > variety, not of the kindly old man gently teases with young woman old
    > enough to be his granddaughter, but more of the middle aged man makes
    > young woman uncomfortable variety. She said that the next time he comes
    > in, she's heading for the bathroom and staying there.
    >
    >
    > This leads me to the question I'm opening for discussion. What are the
    > limits? I know what I'd put up with from a boss, but I've never
    > wondered before about what I'm expected to put up with from a customer.
    > You read all the time about sexual harrassment from a boss, but what
    > about from a customer? The boss (a nice guy who can get grouchy but who
    > has never been mean or unfair, someone who is actually more likely to
    > get himself into trouble for being a pushover) hasn't given us any
    > guidelines except the nothing illegal one. Any thoughts?


    Personally I don't think you have to put up with sexual harassment
    anywhere. I'm not an attorney but perhaps someone else can shed more light
    on the subject. The only instance I've seen is a cocktail waitress I knew
    in Colombus Ohio. Every Friday afternoon a group of us would go the Chi
    Chi's for happy hour and to chat with her. Same time, same place this
    disgusting drunk would show up. He finally went too far and grabbed one of
    her boobs. She knocked his ass right off the barstool. I don't think
    anything ever came of the incident be I never saw the man again.

    Michael


    >
    >
    > --Lia
    >




    --
    ....Bacteria: The rear entrance to a cafeteria.

    All gramatical errors and misspellings due to Ramsey the cyber kitten. He
    now owns all keyboards and computing devices in the household and has the
    final say on what is, or is not, posted.
    Send email to dog30 at charter dot net
     
  10. Mark Thorson <[email protected]> looking for trouble wrote in
    news:[email protected]:

    > Julia Altshuler wrote:
    >>
    >> She said that the next time he comes
    >> in, she's heading for the bathroom and staying there.

    >
    > Wrong, non-confront approach. The next time he asks
    > her out, she should calmly and very seriously inform
    > him that she's a member of the Church of Scientology
    > and only dates other Scientologists. She should then
    > give him the address of the nearest Scientology org
    > and suggest he go over there and find out what it's
    > all about.
    >
    > If they manage to hook him, he'll be busy for a very
    > long time. He'll forget all about her and you and
    > wine and anything except more Scientology. Not a
    > nice thing to do to somebody, but he deserves it. :)
    >


    ROFL... You are evil and I love it.

    Michael

    --
    ....Bacteria: The rear entrance to a cafeteria.

    All gramatical errors and misspellings due to Ramsey the cyber kitten. He
    now owns all keyboards and computing devices in the household and has the
    final say on what is, or is not, posted.
    Send email to dog30 at charter dot net
     
  11. Jessica V.

    Jessica V. Guest

    Julia Altshuler wrote:
    > Customer comes into wine and cheese shop. He speaks to co-worker for a
    > moment about ordering wine, and since I know more about the wine in the
    > store (only from working there longer, I'm no expert), I take him up to
    > the computer/register to take the order. This means saying that the
    > wine he wants sounds familiar, saying that I think we're out but will
    > check the product list, seeing that the inventory does, indeed, say
    > zero, and moving to take an old fashioned order which involves writing
    > down the customer's name, phone number, credit number and type of wine
    > wanted. Somewhere in there, and it's hard to remember where, the
    > customer interupted me at which point I knew immediately to shut up and
    > let him finish. I smiled at him while he went into this long tirade,
    > the upshot of which was that the boss KNOWS he wants the wine since he
    > orders a case every month, KNOWS his name and that he doesn't have to
    > put up with this, if he has to he'll order somewhere else. I'm making
    > it sound more polite than it was. The man was a jerk. I just stood
    > there and smiled while he bawled me out. When he asked me something
    > that amounted to "can you do that?" I nodded once, and he left.
    >
    >
    > When the boss got back, I gave him what part of the order I was able to
    > take, mentioned how unpleasant the customer was, and learned that this
    > is NOT a standing monthly order. The guy ordered once before. The boss
    > scarcely knew him but was able to remember what it was about.
    >
    >
    > I wondered about my options at the time. I was very near to throwing
    > the guy out of the store and asked the boss about that, but he said that
    > I really couldn't throw someone out unless he was doing something
    > illegal. I have to admit that there's some sense to this policy, but it
    > got me thinking. Are there limits to what an employee is expected to
    > put up with? That's not to say that anything was too terrible. I've
    > been yelled at before, and I did know that the best way to deal with
    > they guy was just to grin at him without trying to defend myself.
    >
    >
    > At my next shift, I learned that the guy had called to complain about
    > me. The mom and pop pair who are my bosses didn't come to me to tell me
    > about the complaint. I learned when we were chatting about customers in
    > general. So it's not like they were unhappy with my work or how I
    > handled it, but they didn't defend me either. They didn't tell the
    > customer "look, she asked for a credit number. We TOLD her to do that."
    >
    >
    > That made me ask if the guy said anything specific that I'd done that
    > set him off. I know that I didn't remember saying anything awful, but I
    > also know that it's possible for something to be interpreted different
    > ways, and I wanted to know if maybe I'd said something that I should be
    > aware of so I could make sure I didn't get perceived as impolite again.
    > When I was asking questions along those lines, I learned that this
    > same guy has been hitting on a co-worker.
    >
    >
    > This is a young lady I really like. She's young (22), quite pretty,
    > very nice, the sort of kid who can talk to and make friends with people
    > who are older (I'm 47) and be lovely and genuine. She has an infectious
    > laugh and bright smile. I could understand that young men might think
    > she was flirting, but it's hard to help it when you're that pretty. She
    > could model. (She has professional dance and acting experience.) It
    > turns out that the customer has been hitting on her. She said it
    > started out O.K. with him just talking to her, but most recently he's
    > been asking her out and making comments of the "if I were younger"
    > variety, not of the kindly old man gently teases with young woman old
    > enough to be his granddaughter, but more of the middle aged man makes
    > young woman uncomfortable variety. She said that the next time he comes
    > in, she's heading for the bathroom and staying there.
    >
    >
    > This leads me to the question I'm opening for discussion. What are the
    > limits? I know what I'd put up with from a boss, but I've never
    > wondered before about what I'm expected to put up with from a customer.
    > You read all the time about sexual harrassment from a boss, but what
    > about from a customer? The boss (a nice guy who can get grouchy but who
    > has never been mean or unfair, someone who is actually more likely to
    > get himself into trouble for being a pushover) hasn't given us any
    > guidelines except the nothing illegal one. Any thoughts?
    >
    >
    > --Lia


    Hi Lia,

    As a business owner, I don't allow my employees to deal with the
    "special" customers. People such as the putz you encountered are
    handed over to me, and I let them know that I want to handle their
    business personally. Ego trippers think it's great and cut the shit,
    wow I'm so important that I get to deal exclusively with the owner.
    Those that continue with the bullshit with my staff or me are promptly
    told where they and their wallets can go. I don't worry much about
    what they might say to others as it is a specialized market where
    everyone knows everyone else and the trouble makers are well known, no
    one gives much credit to what they have to say about who's refused
    their business. I don't know if you bosses would be willing to step up
    to the plate and handle the problem customers personally but it may be
    worth a shot at asking about. IME the are either gleeful that they
    have that importance and happily part with more of their money or don't
    darken my doorway again.

    Jessica
     
  12. zxcvbob

    zxcvbob Guest

    Julia Altshuler wrote:
    >
    > I was really smiling. The expression on my face probably looked like I
    > was both being patient and laughing at him-- which I was. I'm almost
    > certain I was infuriating him more. Snicker.
    >
    >
    > The way to kick out a customer is to look him dead in the eye and say in
    > a low serious voice "you have to go now." Repeat as necessary until
    > customer makes exit. If customer makes threatening move or threatening
    > noises, call 9-1-1 and explain to police that you need help. The police
    > in this small enough city are responsive to those sorts of calls, but
    > just knowing that I can call is enough. I've never actually called the
    > police for help.


    If you don't own the business or you're not the store manager, it's not
    your place to throw somebody out. (I would fire you on the spot for
    that if it was my store.)

    When he comes in, you can all ignore him; you don't have to put up with
    abuse. If the boss wants his business, let the boss wait on the jerk
    customer (boss should be doing that anyway in this case, IMHO)

    Best regards,
    Bob
     
  13. Edwin Pawlowski wrote:

    > The boss needs some education. He is in charge and must take care of the
    > problem. If anything happens, he can have liability for inaction. Maybe
    > you should buy him a set of gonads for Christmas. From the little I've read,
    > he is more likely to ignore rather than confront the problem. The other
    > young lady is within her rights to tell the customer off too, politely, but
    > firmly.



    The answers are only beginning to pour in, but I'm starting to see a
    pattern. Perhaps I do need to talk to the boss. In this mom and pop
    store, mom is more likely to play bad cop to pop's good cop. I like
    them both, but she's the one who sticks to her guns when customers get
    weird.* I wouldn't say that Mr. Boss has no gonads. He's a nice guy
    who has to figure out the right thing to do as each situation presents
    itself. You're right that he's non-confrontational, but I also think
    that he's capable of realizing that there's a problem if enough of the
    employees tell him that there is one. He's in the same situation I'm
    in. I'm not sure how myself where the line is between a customer who
    has had a bad day and is a little impatient and impolite, something that
    it is within my job description to put up with, and a customer who has
    crossed over into the abuse zone.


    *We had a guy come in who'd bought cheese the night before. He knew the
    price, paid it, took the cheese home, ate it, came back the next day
    saying that the cheese was good and that he liked it but that he'd never
    paid so much for cheese (we ARE a high-price, high quality store),
    objected to the price and wanted a partial refund. I'm glad I was
    working with Mrs. Boss that day. She said no, and after a little
    arguement, he understood and left.


    In contrast, Mr. Boss will do anything to please a customer even when
    that might not be the best decision. We had a good customer who is a
    realtor send a gift basket with wine, crackers, candy, to a client as a
    thank-you. The client came in to return the basket to us. That, in
    itself, is outrageous. You don't return food. She said she didn't like
    anything in it and wanted cash. I think my boss made the wrong decision
    when he gave her credit. Now she's turning into a nightmare as she uses
    the credit. She'll make 3 phone calls and tell us her life story in the
    course of asking us to put aside a loaf of bread that she particularly
    likes. Most recently, she bought some fancy pasta sauce, cooked with it
    twice and called us to tell us that she didn't like the taste. There
    was nothing wrong with the date or seal on the product; she just didn't
    like it and wanted to return it. It was Mrs. Boss who told her that she
    wasn't responsible for anyone else's taste buds. Customer then called
    the manufacturer in California, one of these small companies, and
    Manufacturer called us. But I digress into talking about all obnoxious
    customers, not just Customer Asshat whom I began with.


    --Lia
     
  14. In article <[email protected]>,
    "Nancy Young" <[email protected]> wrote:

    > I'd just give him minimal service, he wants to act like a fool, let him.
    > I wouldn't stand there and take his tirades, either. Just let him know
    > if he want to order, he has to fill out this form. End of subject.
    > (make a form if you don't have one) Then go back about your
    > business.
    >
    > nancy


    Fortunately, where I work, I have the option of calling security if I
    feel a "customer" is being abusive...... ;-)

    And the entire place is covered by security cameras so everyone can see
    what actually goes on.
    --
    Om.

    "My mother never saw the irony in calling me a son-of-a-bitch." -Jack Nicholson
     
  15. In article <[email protected]>,
    Damsel in dis Dress <[email protected]> wrote:

    > On Sat, 17 Dec 2005 13:54:36 -0800, Mark Thorson <[email protected]>
    > wrote:
    >
    > > Julia Altshuler wrote:
    > > >
    > > > She said that the next time he comes
    > > > in, she's heading for the bathroom and staying there.

    > >
    > > Wrong, non-confront approach. The next time he asks
    > > her out, she should calmly and very seriously inform
    > > him that she's a member of the Church of Scientology
    > > and only dates other Scientologists. She should then
    > > give him the address of the nearest Scientology org
    > > and suggest he go over there and find out what it's
    > > all about.
    > >
    > > If they manage to hook him, he'll be busy for a very
    > > long time. He'll forget all about her and you and
    > > wine and anything except more Scientology. Not a
    > > nice thing to do to somebody, but he deserves it. :)

    >
    > You are an evil genius!
    >
    > Carol


    Seconded. ;-)
    --
    Om.

    "My mother never saw the irony in calling me a son-of-a-bitch." -Jack Nicholson
     
  16. OmManiPadmeOmelet wrote:
    > In article <[email protected]>,
    > Damsel in dis Dress <[email protected]> wrote:
    >
    >
    >>On Sat, 17 Dec 2005 13:54:36 -0800, Mark Thorson <[email protected]>
    >>wrote:
    >>
    >>
    >>>Julia Altshuler wrote:
    >>>
    >>>>She said that the next time he comes
    >>>>in, she's heading for the bathroom and staying there.
    >>>
    >>>Wrong, non-confront approach. The next time he asks
    >>>her out, she should calmly and very seriously inform
    >>>him that she's a member of the Church of Scientology
    >>>and only dates other Scientologists. She should then
    >>>give him the address of the nearest Scientology org
    >>>and suggest he go over there and find out what it's
    >>>all about.
    >>>
    >>>If they manage to hook him, he'll be busy for a very
    >>>long time. He'll forget all about her and you and
    >>>wine and anything except more Scientology. Not a
    >>>nice thing to do to somebody, but he deserves it. :)

    >>
    >>You are an evil genius!
    >>
    >>Carol

    >
    >
    > Seconded. ;-)


    Thirded :)

    --

    saerah

    "Peace is not an absence of war, it is a virtue, a state of mind, a
    disposition for benevolence, confidence, justice."
    -Baruch Spinoza

    "There is a theory which states that if ever anybody discovers exactly
    what the Universe is for and why it is here, it will instantly disappear
    and be replaced by something even more bizarre and inexplicable. There
    is another theory which states that this has already happened."
    -Douglas Adams
     
  17. zxcvbob wrote:

    > If you don't own the business or you're not the store manager, it's not
    > your place to throw somebody out. (I would fire you on the spot for
    > that if it was my store.)



    Part of me wants to agree with you, but my question is about limits. Is
    an employee allowed to call the police or toss someone out for stealing?
    How about for groping an employee? What about groping another
    customer? Say the customer is yelling at the top of his lungs and
    causing such a stink that a store full of customers want to leave and
    not come back? Can you think of a situation where an employee could
    throw out a customer and be justified?


    --Lia
     
  18. Goomba38

    Goomba38 Guest

    Julia Altshuler wrote:

    > It sounds like I gave too much extraneous information surrounding my
    > original question. This might make it more clear what I'm asking. I'm
    > not just ranting. My questions are:
    >
    >
    > Under what circumstances is an employee justified in throwing out an
    > asshat customer? I realize that just being rude once doesn't do it.
    > Notice that I didn't toss him out and didn't give it much thought except
    > to wonder if I'd done something wrong that might have set him off. The
    > question came up when I learned he'd been hitting on a co-worker.
    >



    Sorry Lia, what the customer does or says to the other clerk is really
    none of your business. It is up to her to complain if it bothers her?
    All she need do is say "No Thanks" when asked out. It doesn't sound like
    anything that has gotten to the point where she need to ask for outside
    or legal assistance?
    As to throwing a customer out- I see nothing (yet) to warrant that and
    the bad publicity would certainly not be a good thing, based on so
    little aggravation.
    I think your first error was to "smile" so when he ragged on you. A
    serious face, while he ranted might have given him more feeling that you
    were hearing his complaints, invalid as they might have been? Just
    saying something like "I'm sorry to inconvenience you by asking again
    but I'm more than happy to take your order." and let him make the move.
    Perhaps saying "LEt me get the manager for you since he's helped you so
    well in the past!" is a back up plan?
     
  19. zxcvbob

    zxcvbob Guest

    Julia Altshuler wrote:
    > zxcvbob wrote:
    >
    >> If you don't own the business or you're not the store manager, it's
    >> not your place to throw somebody out. (I would fire you on the spot
    >> for that if it was my store.)

    >
    >
    >
    > Part of me wants to agree with you, but my question is about limits. Is
    > an employee allowed to call the police or toss someone out for stealing?
    > How about for groping an employee? What about groping another
    > customer? Say the customer is yelling at the top of his lungs and
    > causing such a stink that a store full of customers want to leave and
    > not come back? Can you think of a situation where an employee could
    > throw out a customer and be justified?
    >
    >
    > --Lia
    >



    The owner's not there, the manager is not there, none of the assistant
    managers are there.

    In your particular situation, if you feel that you just have to get
    involved on behalf of your coworker, you might helpfully suggest to the
    boss that he needs to wait on this customer personally -- and that by
    not doing so he is creating a hostile work enviroment and inviting a
    sexual harrassment complaint.

    I really think the best thing to do is for all of you to just ignore
    this particular customer, and if the boss wants to keep a repeat
    customer he'll step up to the plate. If he doesn't, the customer will
    never come back -- either way your problem is solved.

    (If he gropes you, slap him -- hard ;)

    Best regards,
    Bob
     
  20. Dave Smith

    Dave Smith Guest

    Julia Altshuler wrote:

    > zxcvbob wrote:
    >
    > > If you don't own the business or you're not the store manager, it's not
    > > your place to throw somebody out. (I would fire you on the spot for
    > > that if it was my store.)

    >
    > Part of me wants to agree with you, but my question is about limits. Is
    > an employee allowed to call the police or toss someone out for stealing?
    > How about for groping an employee? What about groping another
    > customer? Say the customer is yelling at the top of his lungs and
    > causing such a stink that a store full of customers want to leave and
    > not come back? Can you think of a situation where an employee could
    > throw out a customer and be justified?


    Listen to the part about not throwing the customer out. If the jerk was
    harassing and groping you, you would be within your rights to call the police
    and have him charged. If he is doing it to the other girl, it is up to her to
    act. If the guy is making a scene, get the owner to deal with him.
     
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