Yelled at by a customer today. :(

Discussion in 'Teacher Time Out' started by DrivingPigeon, Jul 24, 2011.

  1. DrivingPigeon

    DrivingPigeon Phenom

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    Jul 24, 2011

    For those who don't know, I work part-time at a teacher store.

    The store closed tonight at 5. At about 4:50 we started getting a ton of customers coming in the store. I was checking some people out and they commented that it was getting busy, and I said, "Must be the 4:50 rush!" I said it in a happy, up-beat voice (not annoyed or angry or anything).

    Well, a customer was checking out around 4:58 and she said, "I came in right before you closed, knew what I wanted, and was out before the store closed. I don't appreciate the comment you directed at me when I walked in!" I didn't really hear everything she said. I just heard "appreciate," so I said, "No problem!" with a smile. She was already heading out the door and turned around and YELLED, "NO PROBLEM?!! I said I DIDN'T appreciate it!!!" and she stormed out.

    It took me about 3 minutes to even realize what comment she might have been referring to, and the one I mentioned above is the only one I could possibly think of. :confused: I'm so confused by the entire situation, because I a) wasn't directing the comment at her, b) wasn't even being rude with the comment. I could have said, "Must be that 1:00 rush!" What's the big deal?!

    It really upset me...I emailed my boss immediately and told him about the situation, just in case she calls to complain. She was either having a really bad day, or is the type of person who is always angry at the world.
     
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  3. jenglish97

    jenglish97 Devotee

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    Jul 24, 2011

    Sorry to hear that! :( You did the right thing by emailing your boss...
     
  4. JustMe

    JustMe Virtuoso

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    Some people!
     
  5. XOEmmyLouOX

    XOEmmyLouOX Rookie

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    Some people just have a nasty attitude... Don't take it to heart. :)
     
  6. webmistress

    webmistress Devotee

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    I could never work retail again. I worked in the women's shoe department at Dillard's. Absolute nightmare, we literally had nightmares at home about it. There were tens of thousands of shoes in the stock room, I'm remembering over 40,000 shoes, memorize the stock room, you could get lost in there and have 6 customers waiting on you specifically but of course there would be many more waiting in general. So I learned to remember 6 different shoes sizes, and 6 different types, styles and colors all at one time. I couldn't go higher than 6.

    Store would be closing and they would turn off the lights in the stock room yet customers still wanted you to find their shoes in the dark. That was my last day. I cried after dealing with such a horrible customer and remaining as patient as I could.
    If you don't sell enough and make enough money for the company, you're fired anyway. LensCrafters was that way too.

    Anyway, there are some really mean people out there who like to shop! lol
     
  7. Ms. I

    Ms. I Maven

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    Jul 24, 2011

    Sorry that happened to you! There's always going to be mean/strange people. I don't think I could ever work retail again either. Eons ago, I've worked in the lingerie dept of Robinsons-May (before it became Macy's), the kids' shoe dept of Nordstrom seasonally, the Guess store at a newly opened mall, & a small upscale women's boutique. Also Carl's Jr. & briefly at a movie theatre concession stand before any of the above.

    The Guess store was the worst for me because we had to stay about an hr or longer after closing to fold up everything! No one ever actually yelled at me though at any of those jobs.
     
  8. yarnwoman

    yarnwoman Cohort

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    Jul 24, 2011

    I am sorry :(

    I am thinking she was probably having a bad day.
     
  9. janney

    janney Cohort

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    I agree. I worked at a major retail store in a crappy neighborhood for seven years as an hourly supervisor. I've had bread, cds, and a cart thrown at me. I've had someone run into me with their cart and yell at me and call me racists (all different people). I had a woman call for a salaried manager to complain that I didn't go get her a bag of tootsie pops when she was checking out. It was Christmas and I was the only manager up front, plus SHE NEVER ASKED ME TOO she just asked where they were and I gave her excellent directions! :eek:

    Anyways I know it's hard not to take it personal but I've found that some people go out shopping just so they can vent and yell at someone. The man who shoved his cart at me actually came back a few days later and apologized and admited he was having a bad day.
     
  10. Mrs. K.

    Mrs. K. Enthusiast

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    Jul 24, 2011

    Go read this website, and you'll see there are lots of "not always right" customers in the world! http://notalwaysright.com/

    I always get a kick out of it.
     
  11. mmswm

    mmswm Moderator

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    Mrs. K, that site is hysterical.

    DP, I'm sorry you had a rude customer. That stinks.
     
  12. DrivingPigeon

    DrivingPigeon Phenom

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    Ooooo I'll have to check that website out later. I love sites like that.

    The reason it's bothering me is that we're a small, locally-owned business, and the owners are very big on having good customer service. I don't want this lady to go out and tell people that the employees are rude. I just feel bad. But I work tomorrow, so I'm going to come in a little early and talk to the manager/owner in person.
     
  13. SpaceAngel

    SpaceAngel Comrade

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    I spent time in Kids' Shoes for Dillard's. I only worked weekends. It was very slow. Some Sundays I never saw one customer......not as in, they weren't in my department. I didn't see them at all. I almost never made my sales goals. My pay was cut and cut and cut, and then they fired me.
     
  14. Irishdave

    Irishdave Enthusiast

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    I could never work retail again either I am at the point in my life where I don't give a Da-- what people think or care
     
  15. DrivingPigeon

    DrivingPigeon Phenom

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    Hah, maybe I need to get to that point, and then stuff like this wouldn't bother me!

    I would love to not work retail anymore, but the extra $500-600 a month is nice. :unsure: Especially since my regular paycheck is going to decrease by $250/month soon, thanks to the wonderful governor of Wisconsin.
     
  16. The Fonz

    The Fonz Math teacher (for now...)

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    Jul 24, 2011

    i worked in retail when i was in college...A&P (my worst experience), Blockbuster, and J.Crew...it happens, just always be on your best behaviour...never know who's watching.
     
  17. becky

    becky Enthusiast

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    You remind me of my recent experience at our AC Moore.
    I was shopping for vbs..80 flower pots, 80 saucers, 8 jars of paint, 60 sponge brushes, 80 wooden picture frames, and approximately 80 wooden apples. You can't just tell the cashier how many you have and then have her scan one and enter the quantity- she must do each one. I caused a long line, and one lady was vocal about the wait. It didn't help that this store keeps a short staff, even on busy days.
     
  18. Ms. I

    Ms. I Maven

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    Jul 25, 2011

    I've worked (on the other side of it as well) doing a couple jobs as a secret shopper too, so yes, you just never know who's watching! Plus nowadays, there's surveys on just about every store receipt for customers to fill out. I'm actually a little surprised that employees aren't on their better behavior since they know about all these receipt surveys that can many times be tracked back to them.
     
  19. TeacherNY

    TeacherNY Phenom

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    I work on the weekends in retail too and some customers are horrible. They come into the store 10 mintues before we close and expect you to wait on them hand and foot as they dilly dally through the aisles. We dim the lights and that doesn't hurry them up at all. I had one guy get mad at me that we were closing at 9pm. He thought that was too early. Do you think I made up the store hours Mister? Seriously??? It's not too early for me since I've been on my feet for 7 hours. I find it funny that the customers who complain the most always show up over and over again. We call them "repeat offenders". In my area there are TONS of stores that sell the same exact products so they DO have a choice of where to go. If they are so unsatisfied why do they come back to MY store?? That's why I don't take it personally. I think maybe they are having a bad day or are just unhappy people in general. Then again, there are customers who are so pleansant and grateful for your help. There was one customers who told the manager that I was soooo helpful and friendly. I think I just found an item for her in a place she overlooked. Just remember those customers when you are having a hard time with others.
     
  20. Aliceacc

    Aliceacc Multitudinous

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    Jul 25, 2011

    How wise of you to fill in your boss. That way he's prepared to handle any possible backlash.

    Don't sweat one cranky customer. She was having a bad day, and took it out on you.
     
  21. cutNglue

    cutNglue Magnifico

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    Well.... even though you didn't mean anything by it and even though your voice was upbeat, I can see how this could have resulted this way.

    Before the woman came in, she likely noted the time. She knows already that she doesn't have much time. There is a pressure there even if she knows what she wants. If she walks in and hears that, even if it was not directed at her, she doesn't know that. I might have been annoyed too especially since the intention on her part seemed to be purposeful to complete her purchase before time ran out.

    It wasn't your intention but the word choices had unfortunate timing. I can see why the lady was upset. She doesn't know your purpose in saying it. She only knows how it is perceived by her own set of circumstances.

    Don't sweat it too much. Just talk to your boss and move on. I doubt it will be a big deal.
     
  22. scienceteach82

    scienceteach82 Cohort

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    I'm sorry that happened to you. Hope you quickly forget about it, and have a better day!
     
  23. cutNglue

    cutNglue Magnifico

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    I agree that it is not worth losing sleep over.
     
  24. maya5250

    maya5250 Comrade

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    Don't worry about it. Sometimes, people take things the wrong way even if you didn't mean to.

    As others mentioned, she could have been having a bad day and took it the wrong way. I have been in situations in which I took things the wrong way especially if I was having a bad day.

    Also, to not give her an excuse, she may be used to people sometimes making snide comments under the guise of being in a happy tone- being passive aggressive (no way am I indicating that you were doing this - you are a really nice person based on your posts/profile). It can make a person extra sensitive. Again, I know this from first-hand experience.
     
  25. TamiJ

    TamiJ Virtuoso

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    I worked in hospitality all through college and little beyond. Customer service is not always fun because you get those customers who are just grouchy (in my case it was guests) and it's not you, it's just them.

    Sorry that happened...Hugs....
     
  26. YoungTeacherGuy

    YoungTeacherGuy Phenom

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    I started working for a bank when I was 18 and spent all five of my college years there. During that time, I definitely had my share of rude customers.

    One customer, in particular, used to make me so nervous. She was a local business owner and would come in with huge amounts of unrolled coins and dollar bills. Anyway, one day she came in with her daugher and mumbled to her, "Gosh, this guy is always soooooo slow." They both proceeded to laugh. I am sure my face turned red and my hands started shaking as I was counting her deposit.

    Anyway, the next day, she was walking toward my teller window and I immediately closed my window and said, "Sorry...I'm closed right now." I told my boss what happened and she said I didn't have to wait on this lady anymore (provided other tellers were available).

    I will never forget that awful lady. She was so unruly that whenenever we (tellers) saw her walk in, we'd all try to take our 10-minute break!
     
  27. Boopers

    Boopers Rookie

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    There was a time when I worked as a retail cashier for a Sporting Goods store. I was checking out a customer who was buying a lot of stuff. This lady came next in line after the customer I was busy checking out and started putting all of her stuff on my checkout lane. I told her "ma'am if you would like to checkout with less wait the next cashier over will be happy to help you." I was polite and trying to save her time from waiting in a long line. She got really snippy with me and said "I just think it's really rude that you don't want to help me!!"

    All I could think of was uhh isn't that what I'm doing?!
     
  28. Jem

    Jem Aficionado

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    I'm working customer support right now and honestly love my job more than I can say. It's fantastic. We have feedback surveys that get sent out after we work with clients, and I've held a solid 95% since starting. This past week, I really wanted to hit 96%. I surprised and delighted the heck out of my customers. I went the extra mile. And this morning, I hit 96%!!! I wrote dh and celebrated-for a whole five minutes. Almost immediately after getting that wonderful golden 96%, I got 1 bad feedback that put me back down to 95%. The client had asked I re-send them their order receipt, which I did gladly. I even wrote and said if they had any issues at all open or printing the receipt to let me know and I would re-send in a different format. Their feedback? 'Bad and unsatisfied. Where's the fax machine and how do I copy this?'

    Whaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa? It didn't even make any SENSE! I could see if I screwed up or didn't send the right file. But 'Where's the fax machine?'?!?!? We don't even deal in faxes!

    Now I have to get a whopping 17 more positive feedbacks to make up for this one bad feedback before I can get to 96% again. And most people don't fill out their surveys, so that will take a long time.

    So I know how you feel, DP. It's a day for cranky, confusing people.
     
  29. tracykaliski

    tracykaliski Connoisseur

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    Some people are just cranky no matter what and no matter what you do, they'll never be satisfied.
     
  30. chebrutta

    chebrutta Enthusiast

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    Ugh. I was a teller for a little while in college. I hated, hated, hated that job. On my second day, my trainer left me alone for 5 minutes to go test her blood sugar. In those 5 minutes, I had a customer come in with a large deposit. When I explained that it would have a hold placed on it, he went ballistic on me - literally yelling - that HE didn't have holds put on his account (well, he was right - but I didn't know at the time that there were different levels or where to find them in the computer) and that I was incompetent, stupid, needed to learn how to read, yadda yadda. He had me in tears. My manager came over and tried to explain that I was new and still in training and didn't know all of the codes yet... and he just kept yelling at her that I shouldn't be working there if I was so stupid I couldn't read a computer screen.

    Surprisingly, I had the sudden urge to use the restroom every time he walked in after that.
     
  31. Irishdave

    Irishdave Enthusiast

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    During HS and part of college I worked in a Pizzeria (one of the top ten on Long Island at that time as per Newsday).
    We had this little old lady who would come in for a slice
    As you know by the slice usually has to be reheated. Well. this little old lady had to have her slice reheated to the max. "Make sure it is HOT" she would say to the point of being a pain. All the guys would talk about her and how she just had to have a HOT slice. Well, one day I had just taken a pizza out of the oven cut it up and put it on the warming shelf a split second before she came in, I told her that it was fresh and very hot. I then went about doing other "Pizza boy" work and as the lady started to leave she told me with a hurt smile "I didn't believe you when you said it was hot and I burnt the roof of my mouth" I kind of had an inner glow that I was right but knowing she had a "Pizza Palate" did not let me celebrate.
     
  32. Irishdave

    Irishdave Enthusiast

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    I hate surveys because as a teacher I fill them out just like I taught I "grade" them and I was a hard "A" but I feel most people are a "B" to "B+" an "A" is reserved the "extra mile" service. A lot of times Good service is all I wanted BUT with some companies anything less than an "A" is failure.
    We have "grade inflation" everywhere.
     
  33. Emily Bronte

    Emily Bronte Groupie

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    I hated retail! The best thing I ever did was QUIT! I worked at a party store for the longest time. And, even in the happiest environments, people were rude. I don't miss it.
     
  34. TeacherShelly

    TeacherShelly Aficionado

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    Aww, sorry that happened. There's one in every crowd, though!

    Webmistress, I still have nightmares where I am in the stock room of the shoe store and can't find the shoe I need. Sometimes the room turns labyrinthine and I get lost for so long in there I'm just terrified to come out because the customer will be furious. Good golly.
     
  35. TeacherShelly

    TeacherShelly Aficionado

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    Aww, sorry that happened. There's one in every crowd, though!

    Webmistress, I still have nightmares where I am in the stock room of the shoe store and can't find the shoe I need. Sometimes the room turns labyrinthine and I get lost for so long in there I'm just terrified to come out because the customer will be furious. Good golly.
     
  36. Jem

    Jem Aficionado

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    The funny thing is, I still don't always fill out the surveys I get for other companies, even now that I know how important they are! I'm trying to get better at that. The problem with most surveys is that the customer isn't always 'grading' on the actual service-a lot of my feedback is on the product, of which I have no control. So I get to read about their disappointment that we don't have the feature they want. But I still love it! It's just a good challenge!
     
  37. terptoteacher

    terptoteacher Connoisseur

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    When we bought our Jetta we were pressured into giving them a 5 on a survey. They talked for a long time about how if I gave them a 4 then they would get in trouble. He was putting some serious pressure on me to give them a 5.

    I was going to because they were fine but then the finance guy talked with us and he ****** me off by pressuring us to get an extended warranty. We said no 4 times and he wouldn't stop, so I gave them a 3.
     
  38. TeachingHistory

    TeachingHistory Companion

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    I work in retail and had a woman chew out my manager (saying we don't know what we are doing and how we are causing all sorts of problems, bad customer service, etc.) yesterday over her order, because we had a problem with the company. When she came in to pick it up later I was there and she couldn't stop staying how wonderful we all are and just how appreciated all the work we did. Her husband showed up at the counter about 2 minutes after her, looked me in the eye, and gave me a very meaningful thank you while using my first name. I got the feeling he told his wife she was acting crazy on the phone....
     

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