OT - Obnoxious customers & limits

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

  1. Goomba38 wrote:

    > 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.


    Better yet, say "Your tantrum is important to us. Please continue to blather
    like a bombastic twit. Someone will be with you shortly."

    Bob
     


  2. Puester

    Puester Guest

    Julia Altshuler wrote:

    >
    >
    > 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
    >



    Whenever he comes in, I'd refer him directly to Boss or Mrs. Boss.
    It'll make him feel important and get you off the hook with the jerk.
    I'd also encourage the Lovely Young Thing to be otherwise busy when
    he is on the scene.

    gloria p
     
  3. aem

    aem 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?


    Glad you clarified. It may narrow the aim of all our shotgun replies.
    I have never worked retail, knowing it's not in me to have the required
    patience, but I'd think the answer for the first level retail clerk is
    Never. If you think a customer should be thrown out, go get the boss.

    > When does it make sense to call the police?


    When you perceive yourself to be in danger, when you think another
    employee or customer is in danger. Same as when you're on the street.

    > Verbally hitting on an employee by repeatedly asking her out?


    No, but she should be ostentatiously calling you or the boss for help.

    > Using explicit and suggestive language?


    Definitely call the boss, threaten to call the police. That's assault,
    verbal.

    > Cornering and groping her?


    Call the cops whether the boss wants to or not. That's assault,
    physical.
    >
    > What might Co-worker do besides hiding?


    If physical self defense is needed she can defend herself or call for
    help in defending herself.
    >
    > What sorts of rules and guidelines might Mr. and Mrs. Boss give to their
    > employees on how to handle this sort of situation?


    Have no idea -- call a lawyer.
    >
    > How much is too much? I wouldn't say C. Asshat has gone too far-- yet.
    > I want to be ready if he does. I want to know what constitutes too far.


    >From your own description of events, the customer certainly has not

    gone so far as to justify retailiation or to need defensive measures.
    If you react this strongly to the described events you should seriously
    consider whether this kind of work is for you. Dealing with obnoxious
    customers is not that unusual. -aem
     
  4. King's Crown

    King's Crown Guest


    > 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


    My thoughts have been that I'm not expected to put up with any yelling or
    cussing ... ever. The first time a customer started cussing, because we
    were out of something I calmly said, "When you can talk to me in a
    respectful manner I'll be happy to help you and I moved on to the next
    customer." He waited for me to finish. I turned to help him and the first
    thing he did was to call me a bitch. I again turned to another customer.
    He waited. I turned to him after finishing with the customer. First thing
    he did was cuss... I started to turn away and he begged for my forgiveness.
    I turned back. He started to state his problem and every now and then he
    started to cuss, but would catch himself and continue on. I was able to
    help him and he stopped cussing at me.

    Lynne
     
  5. Ted shuffled out of his cave and grunted these great (and sometimes not
    so great) words of knowledge:
    > 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
    >


    I have been in similar situations such as you describe.

    From 1st hand experience I can tell you the following:

    If a customer puts their hands on you, that is battery.

    If the customer uses foul language and/or is excessively loud that is
    disturbing the peace.

    If they verbally threaten you (or you think/feel they have) they have,
    that is assault.

    Any or all of the above can/will cause the person to be arrested if the
    police are summoned.


    If the person is just being obnoxious and rude (this can very easily get
    into the 'loud' category - see above :), tell your boss what happened
    (and do not sugar coat it either ) and inform the boss you will not wait
    on this person again. That unless he is going to pay you a minimum of
    $50.00 per hour you are not getting paid enough to be badgered and
    berated by this person.

    If you just refuse to wait on the person and/or pointedly ignore the
    person, you could be fired for failure to do your job (waiting on
    customers ). Once you have informed your boss AND the reason(s) why,
    your boss can do one of the following - he can wait on the customer,
    inform the customer to take his business elsewhere, or fire you.

    If he fires you, you file a claim at the employment office in your town.
    State employment offices investigators/personnel typically take a dim
    view of an employer letting their employees be badgered and/or berated,
    especially if it is just for a sale of merchandise.
     
  6. kalanamak

    kalanamak Guest

    Having worked with the public for a long time, the vast majority of
    jerks move on to other territory fairly promptly. A tiny minority become
    real problems, and I fear them. Your boss should not do anything but
    support two (I presume good) employees in their concern over this person.
    I quit one job because I found out the boss didn't tell us all that one
    employee's ex was threatening to "blow her away". Having moved in the
    middle of the night, leaving behind most of my possessions after a BF
    threatened to "blow me away", and then having to legally change my name
    years later when he found me, I wasn't about to die at the hands of
    another yahoo. The twit employee (very new, and not stellar) told the
    boss she didn't want her privancy breached. If that ex had showed up and
    started shooting, I would have sued the boss for not providing us
    warning, a plan of action, and a photo. The twit employee turned out to
    be very unreliable (drink, I suspect) and was gone a week after I gave
    notice, but I didn't trust that boss enough to stay.
    Again, the VAST majority are all yak, but if it escalates, I would avoid
    ending up on the evening news.
    HTH
    blacksalt
     
  7. Dave Smith

    Dave Smith Guest

    King's Crown wrote:

    > My thoughts have been that I'm not expected to put up with any yelling or
    > cussing ... ever. The first time a customer started cussing, because we
    > were out of something I calmly said, "When you can talk to me in a
    > respectful manner I'll be happy to help you and I moved on to the next
    > customer." He waited for me to finish. I turned to help him and the first
    > thing he did was to call me a bitch. I again turned to another customer.
    > He waited. I turned to him after finishing with the customer. First thing
    > he did was cuss... I started to turn away and he begged for my forgiveness.
    > I turned back. He started to state his problem and every now and then he
    > started to cuss, but would catch himself and continue on. I was able to
    > help him and he stopped cussing at me.


    LOL. I used to hang up one people who got abusive. One guy started in on me so I
    hung up on him. He called back and said that we had been disconnected. I told
    him no, I had hung up on him. He started cursing at me so I hung up again. After
    5 calls and 5 hangups he finally managed to control himself.
     
  8. Ted Campanelli wrote:

    >
    > I have been in similar situations such as you describe.
    >
    > From 1st hand experience I can tell you the following:
    >
    > If a customer puts their hands on you, that is battery.


    Then arrest me right now. I lend a comforting hand to my customers
    frequently. You might consider being a little more specific.

    > If the customer uses foul language and/or is excessively loud that is
    > disturbing the peace.


    Hard to prove or enforce. It's after the fact. Unless it is an
    environment that has plenty of witnesses to support the situation
    forget getting the law involved. Now if this is a regular customer
    that disturbs the peace and you have their name it is possible to
    obtain a restraining order.

    > If they verbally threaten you (or you think/feel they have) they have,
    > that is assault.


    Again, the only recourse would be to obtain a restraining order.

    > Any or all of the above can/will cause the person to be arrested if the
    > police are summoned.


    Is the party still present? Not usually. Then the complaintant would
    have to have full information on the identity of the offender. In
    retail situations the police would have to witness the offense,
    otherwise the only thing they could do is take a report and advise a
    restraining order.

    > If the person is just being obnoxious and rude (this can very easily get
    > into the 'loud' category - see above :), tell your boss what happened
    > (and do not sugar coat it either ) and inform the boss you will not wait
    > on this person again. That unless he is going to pay you a minimum of
    > $50.00 per hour you are not getting paid enough to be badgered and
    > berated by this person.


    Well that's just stupid. If I were an employer, and I am in a limited
    capacity, I would never be blackmailed into paying someone more than
    than the job pays to wait on people they don't like. I wait on people
    that are giant PITAs but I don't expect more than I am paid. It's part
    of the job. AND I wouldn't have employees that are unable to remove
    themselves emotionally from dilholes and do their job. Just this last
    10 days I had to move an employee from front of the house to the back
    of the house because she couldn't handle the dilholes. Man was she
    po'd. Figured I would give her a chance at another job before cutting
    her hours down to nothing (retail speak for downsizing so much they
    quit). Turned out that she likes back of the house better and is doing
    a phenom job. She is getting a raise from me next week.

    > If you just refuse to wait on the person and/or pointedly ignore the
    > person, you could be fired for failure to do your job (waiting on
    > customers ). Once you have informed your boss AND the reason(s) why,
    > your boss can do one of the following - he can wait on the customer,
    > inform the customer to take his business elsewhere, or fire you.


    Oh give me a break. I would never fire an employee for not waiting on a
    dilhole. When I was a subordinate I had managers beg me to work with
    customers they hated to deal with. Guess what, they became my best
    customers. I'll never forget the last manager I had before I went into
    management. She would see certain customers come in the door and run
    into the office and tell me she would pay me $20. to wait on that
    customer. I never took her money, but I had her job in two months.

    > If he fires you, you file a claim at the employment office in your town.
    > State employment offices investigators/personnel typically take a dim
    > view of an employer letting their employees be badgered and/or berated,
    > especially if it is just for a sale of merchandise.


    It's VERY hard for an employer to fight an unemployment insurance claim
    if there is a termination. They are put through almost 90% of the time
    if the funds are in the right quarters.

    Ellen
     
  9. EchoSierra [X-No-Archive] wrote:
    > Ted Campanelli wrote:
    >
    >
    >>I have been in similar situations such as you describe.
    >>
    >> From 1st hand experience I can tell you the following:
    >>
    >>If a customer puts their hands on you, that is battery.

    >
    >
    > Then arrest me right now. I lend a comforting hand to my customers
    > frequently. You might consider being a little more specific.
    >


    and if that customer feels threatened by your "helpful" touch, they
    could presumably press charges. It is a good idea to never touch people
    without their express permission.

    >
    >>If the customer uses foul language and/or is excessively loud that is
    >>disturbing the peace.

    >
    >
    > Hard to prove or enforce. It's after the fact. Unless it is an
    > environment that has plenty of witnesses to support the situation
    > forget getting the law involved. Now if this is a regular customer
    > that disturbs the peace and you have their name it is possible to
    > obtain a restraining order.
    >
    >
    >>If they verbally threaten you (or you think/feel they have) they have,
    >>that is assault.

    >
    >
    > Again, the only recourse would be to obtain a restraining order.
    >
    >
    >>Any or all of the above can/will cause the person to be arrested if the
    >>police are summoned.

    >
    >
    > Is the party still present? Not usually. Then the complaintant would
    > have to have full information on the identity of the offender. In
    > retail situations the police would have to witness the offense,
    > otherwise the only thing they could do is take a report and advise a
    > restraining order.
    >
    >
    >>If the person is just being obnoxious and rude (this can very easily get
    >>into the 'loud' category - see above :), tell your boss what happened
    >>(and do not sugar coat it either ) and inform the boss you will not wait
    >>on this person again. That unless he is going to pay you a minimum of
    >>$50.00 per hour you are not getting paid enough to be badgered and
    >>berated by this person.

    >
    >
    > Well that's just stupid. If I were an employer, and I am in a limited
    > capacity, I would never be blackmailed into paying someone more than
    > than the job pays to wait on people they don't like. I wait on people
    > that are giant PITAs but I don't expect more than I am paid. It's part
    > of the job. AND I wouldn't have employees that are unable to remove
    > themselves emotionally from dilholes and do their job. Just this last
    > 10 days I had to move an employee from front of the house to the back
    > of the house because she couldn't handle the dilholes. Man was she
    > po'd. Figured I would give her a chance at another job before cutting
    > her hours down to nothing (retail speak for downsizing so much they
    > quit). Turned out that she likes back of the house better and is doing
    > a phenom job. She is getting a raise from me next week.
    >


    this is not about PITAs, this is about abusive customers. PITAs are the
    rule, the latter the exeption.
    >
    >>If you just refuse to wait on the person and/or pointedly ignore the
    >>person, you could be fired for failure to do your job (waiting on
    >>customers ). Once you have informed your boss AND the reason(s) why,
    >>your boss can do one of the following - he can wait on the customer,
    >>inform the customer to take his business elsewhere, or fire you.

    >
    >
    > Oh give me a break. I would never fire an employee for not waiting on a
    > dilhole. When I was a subordinate I had managers beg me to work with
    > customers they hated to deal with. Guess what, they became my best
    > customers. I'll never forget the last manager I had before I went into
    > management. She would see certain customers come in the door and run
    > into the office and tell me she would pay me $20. to wait on that
    > customer. I never took her money, but I had her job in two months.
    >
    >
    >>If he fires you, you file a claim at the employment office in your town.
    >> State employment offices investigators/personnel typically take a dim
    >>view of an employer letting their employees be badgered and/or berated,
    >>especially if it is just for a sale of merchandise.

    >
    >
    > It's VERY hard for an employer to fight an unemployment insurance claim
    > if there is a termination. They are put through almost 90% of the time
    > if the funds are in the right quarters.


    I was fired, and was denied unemployment insurance. I guess I'm just
    unlucky.


    --

    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
     
  10. In article <[email protected]>, [email protected] says...
    >
    > Jerk is much to kind. This guy is an out and out asshole.
    >


    Sounds like the kind of guy who would take up being a usenet troll in his spare
    time.

    -P.

    --
    =========================================
    firstname dot lastname at gmail fullstop com
     
  11. EchoSierra [X-No-Archive] wrote:

    > It's VERY hard for an employer to fight an unemployment insurance claim
    > if there is a termination. They are put through almost 90% of the time
    > if the funds are in the right quarters.



    WRONG...if an employee is terminated for "just cause" there is very
    little chance that said employee will be deemed eligible for
    unemployment insurance...

    --
    Best
    Greg
     
  12. Gregory Morrow wrote:

    > EchoSierra [X-No-Archive] wrote:
    > > It's VERY hard for an employer to fight an unemployment insurance claim
    > > if there is a termination. They are put through almost 90% of the time
    > > if the funds are in the right quarters.


    > WRONG...if an employee is terminated for "just cause" there is very
    > little chance that said employee will be deemed eligible for
    > unemployment insurance...


    this is best to look up the cases and laws in each particular state.

    for example, in one state, pennsylvania, you cannot be fired for being
    incompetent.
    it's not the employee's fault but the employer's for hiring someone who
    cannot do the job in the first place. strange but a true paradox, this
    here thingee.

    so as long as the employee shows up on time and tries to do the job,
    that employee cannot be fired for not doing the job. now if that
    employee purposely does not do the job after having done the job
    before, that's another kettle of fish, or something.

    this is probably a fun subject to discuss on the internet but it's best
    to actually get down and dirty with the actual case and the statutes
    themselves for your state.

    just cause could be dicey. for example, even if a supervisor curses out
    an employee, the employee can be fired for cursing back at the
    supervisor. that's not fair but that's the way it is. however, if an
    employee shows up and tries, the employer may manufacture a just cause
    but that will not hold up. in fact, many of the big firms hire a
    certain third party hr firm located in missouri, that routinely
    fabricates a "just cause." these cases are always lost when fought. but
    many people don't know that. now they do :)
     
  13. "Dave Smith" <[email protected]> wrote in message

    >
    > 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.


    Customers can be rude and obnixious, but there has to be a limit. As some
    point you step up and take action. If i was being berated by a customer and
    you allowed it to happen, you can be sure it was my last day on the job
    becuase you are putting the sale ahead of my treatment. NO ONE should put
    up with abuse as it just causes more of it to happen if enabled.


    >
    > 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.


    Don't put your money up around my place of business. While not a retail
    operation, my employees, down to the lowest ranking, are allowed to halt any
    service with an abusive customer, agent, trucker, whatever. I won't stand
    for it and neither should they. They have my authorization and backing.
    Rare that anything happens, but they know they will not have to take crap
    and can do the job they are supposed to do.


    >
    > 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.


    Perhaps, but if the boss is not there, the senior ranking person should be
    able to intervene if needed. If you are going to leave two clerks in a
    store, they must have some authority and be able to take responsibility for
    their safety and well being. At times, the appropriate action must be taken
    NOW.

    Why is it you can stand there with ticket book in hand and get justice, but
    you don't think the retail clerks should be able to take control over a
    situation?
     
  14. RoR

    RoR Guest

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

    This is where the boss is wrong. If any customer gets so far out of line you feel at all
    threatened, not just that you don't like them or what they are saying (unless it's abusive
    and/or threatening) you should politely ask them to leave and to call and discuss this
    with the manager or owner.

    The owner/manager should back you up unless it was you that caused the problem.


    >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.

    Politeness will kill an angry persons reason for being angry soon enough.

    "I see you are angry about this, What would you have me do to correct it?"

    >
    >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 should have defended you. They have a responsibility to treat you with dignity and
    respect and to defend you, especially since you informed them about the situation. It's
    not like they were blind-sided with the call.

    >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.


    She needs to not run, but to politely help him, and if he makes any comment she feels
    uncomfortable with, she needs to let him know he is out of line and he will have to deal
    with someone else. If he persists, the police should be called and charges filed -
    regardless of the owners feelings. If he touches her, she should immediately call the
    police.
    >
    >
    >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.


    No more than you would tolerate from any other complete stranger.

    > 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?
    >

    You should tolerate nothing more from a customer than from a boss. Perhaps give leeway
    verbally, but certainly not physically. If anyone ever touches you, you need to let them
    know in no uncertain terms it is not acceptable, it is repeats, call the police. If they
    touch you sexually, no hesitation, call the police.

    I see absolutely no leeway for "friendly touching" among strangers, customers, employees,
    or co-workers. There is no such thing, and the line gets too blurred if any touching is
    allowed. Employers should be especially aware if they see employees or customers touching
    their employees, and should put a stop to it immediately.

    If you feel uncomfortable, let the other person know that they are over the limits. If it
    persists, call the police, regardless of the manager/owner.






    --
    Rick R
    [email protected]ult
    replace default with com to email
     
  15. On Sun, 18 Dec 2005 05:43:43 GMT, RoR <[email protected]> wrote:

    > I see absolutely no leeway for "friendly touching" among strangers, customers, employees,
    > or co-workers. There is no such thing, and the line gets too blurred if any touching is
    > allowed.


    To throw this even further off-topic ... why is it that complete
    strangers feel free to touch the bellies of pregnant women? I hated
    that!

    Carol
    --

    http://pg.photos.yahoo.com/ph/head_trollop/my_photos
     
  16. Dan Abel

    Dan Abel Guest

    In article <[email protected]>,
    Julia Altshuler <[email protected]> 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



    I don't know too much about retail, so I won't say too much. From my
    experience buying stuff, the owners want the business, and employees are
    expected to take crap from customers. It's how retail works. Some
    customers, the minority, think that because they are paying, they have
    the right to be jerks.

    I have very little experience in retail. I don't plan to get any more.

    --
    Dan Abel
    [email protected]
    Petaluma, California, USA
     
  17. Dan Abel

    Dan Abel Guest

    In article <[email protected]>,
    sarah bennett <[email protected]> wrote:

    > EchoSierra [X-No-Archive] wrote:



    > > It's VERY hard for an employer to fight an unemployment insurance claim
    > > if there is a termination. They are put through almost 90% of the time
    > > if the funds are in the right quarters.

    >
    > I was fired, and was denied unemployment insurance. I guess I'm just
    > unlucky.


    I was fired. I went and filed. I have to jump through some hoops.
    They look at the papers. Nope, no hoops. Not for *that* place. They
    have to verify that I was fired though. Come back next week. I come
    back, but there is no verification. OK, what's next? They look at the
    papers. That place? OK, they will call, right now. They call. No
    verification. They are major peeved. They know what is going on.
    There will be no verification. Hell can freeze over and it won't
    happen. I get the money. After a while, I find another job.

    --
    Dan Abel
    [email protected]
    Petaluma, California, USA
     
  18. jacqui{JB}

    jacqui{JB} Guest

    "Damsel in dis Dress" <[email protected]> wrote in message
    news:[email protected]

    > > 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.


    ObDisclaimer: I am not a lawyer nor do I play one on Usenet. I did,
    however, used to work for the largest labor law firm in the US which
    represented exclusively the employer. Over the course of seven or so years,
    I learned a lot.

    Everyone has the right to a sexual harassment-free workplace, be it from
    fellow employees, contractors or customers. So yeah, while I don't have
    statutes handy, your *employer* is legally obligated to create that kind of
    environment.

    And your boss is incorrect that he can only ask people to leave the store if
    they're doing something illegal. To the contrary, it's more than
    appropriate -- and *legal* -- to ask an obnoxious customer to leave.

    It might be useful to sit down with your boss after the holidays and gently
    nudge him to set up some guidelines, so that everyone knows how he expects
    them to act and just how much bullshit you're all required to take. Dealing
    with the public in a service position probably requires that you take some,
    but the description of this particular guy's behavior was pushing the
    limits, from my point of view.

    Good luck. :)
    -j
     
  19. jacqui{JB}

    jacqui{JB} Guest

    "Julia Altshuler" <[email protected]> wrote in message
    news:[email protected]

    <snip ... um ... *interesting* customer behavior stories>
    > But I digress into talking about all obnoxious
    > customers, not just Customer Asshat whom
    > I began with.


    Talk to Mrs. Boss instead of Mr. Boss. Let her deal with him.
    -j
     
  20. jacqui{JB}

    jacqui{JB} Guest

    "Damsel in dis Dress" <[email protected]> wrote in message
    news:[email protected]

    > To throw this even further off-topic ... why is it
    > that complete strangers feel free to touch the bellies
    > of pregnant women? I hated that!


    I cannot imagine what possesses some people. Some of my friends and
    coworkers have reported the same thing (hm, when I say "some," I mean all of
    them that have been pregnant!). It's a real wtf from my point of view --
    I've been curious, but never even asked a close friend if I could touch her
    in that way.

    -j
     
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