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How do you react when a customer yells at you and demoralizes you?

I understand that if you are a representative of a company that you should carry a good image.
I understand why a person might be angry with an issue or a company and sound filled with rage… and that you should do your job and apologize for the company, and try to help them resolve the problem.
But when the line is crossed, and the person is insulting you, yelling at you, and suggesting that you should do something that would require a crystal ball and a wand, and you are feeling demoralized by it, then why apologize? (Unless you did something to maybe deserve it) Isn’t that rewarding them for acting like a baby when you apologize and pretend like you did something wrong?
You may be able to grin and bear it, but when you do, don’t you feel even worse… like part of your soul has been eaten, and like your honor has been stripped away and raped?

15 COMMENTS

  1. ohh my.. I just suck it up.. can’t do anything about it.
    at the end of the day, what matters is professionalism 🙂
    thats how I perceive it. and being aggressive only makes things harder n worse

  2. I worked in a shop and you always get some rude customers, thankfully none were that bad to me but my colleagues often came across some right crackers, some people set out to make trouble and we shouldn’t have to stand there and take it, luckily we had a good manager who would always come to our aid if this ever happened.

  3. You can’t take it personally, then you give all your power away to them!! Just remind yourself that they’re problem has nothing to do w/ you. When the abusive behavior starts, you gotta tell them that you won’t tolerate them speaking to you this way. Then I’d tell them to call my boss and give them the number! Next.

  4. I so understand exactly where you`re coming from! I`ve been a Cashier for most of my life so I`ve heard a lot of shit from people and get blamed for EVERYTHING (from gas prices to the fact that our computers were shit). I was at the last place for six years and was pretty good at not letting things get to me too much, but boy, you don`t want to catch me on a bad day! First I`d tell you to lower your voice, or get the fuck out of my store! It takes a special kind of person to work with the public! Thick skin. I have that up to a point, but when you push me too hard, I push back harder. That`s just how it is. And for all the people who think that staying calm and trying to explain stuff works ALL THE TIME, it doesn`t. I stay calm most of the time (before becoming a down right smart ass) and they do not listen to what you say.
    You know what though, it kinda goes both ways, at some places, Employees are so friggin rude! I was at a Subway and the Bastard told my kid not to touch the glass. I thought I didn`t hear right!

  5. In the past, when I worked with “customers” and these horrible scenes would unfold at the counter, I have just walked away from people like that. Left them “screaming” alone at the counter but before leaving them making a fool out of themselves have told them: “When you’re done, help yourself out please. I am not anybody you know and honestly, I don’t want to know you”.

  6. love this quote remember it always when dealing with awkward people!
    Too often, we lose sight of life’s simple pleasures. Remember, when someone annoys you it takes 42 muscles in your face to frown BUT, it only takes 4 muscles to extend your arm and b itch-slap the motherfecker upside the head…

  7. I smile and say, “I know you’re upset, but do you really think insulting me is going to get you further? If you calm down and handle this with me like an adult, we can get it taken care of”.
    The idea is to put litttle insults in there yourself, like suggesting he is immature…stuff that people don’t get when they’re angry but when they calm down and think about it later, it hits them.

  8. If you don’t hear it, it’ll be better. always prepare earplugs for emergencies. therefore you don’t even have to deal with aggressive / non-aggresive choices.

  9. In the past i have tried this a few times and i dont care ifit solved the problem but it didnt make me feel like you described above(honor has been stripped away and raped)…
    i ignore the hostility and give back exaggerated kindness, almost being sarcastically nice. they dont know how to react, it is the opposite to what they want and need to feed the argument. i usually postpone the problem by getting back to them and i end with a super happy goodbye and they are dumbfounded.
    it makes me go home laughing not agonizing over some idiot that lost their cool at me…

  10. Being the manager of a service oriented business, I understand your feelings exactly. But in actuality, these totally unreasonable people eat their own souls with their anger and rage. Do not let them have yours. Having dealt with this for years, I have come to realize, that once I have done everything I can possibly do for them in a cordial manner, it is their own honor they strip, by exhibiting their immature way of attempting to get what they want, regardless of fairness or reason. They have learned to use this childish method of intimidation, because many times it works for them, and they are used to being given something for nothing. You don’t have to apologize for what you do when you’ve done nothing wrong, but be careful not to return their rage. Remember, they are children, emotionally. They understand nothing about dealing with others, cooperation, or reason. They are selfish, pitiful, and spoiled members of our society who are used to getting their way at your expense. You don’t need to apologize, or take unreasonable crap, but responding in kind will only take you to their level. It takes time and practice to deal with difficult people, but if you keep sight of yourself, it is something you can learn how to do.

  11. I think you are that piece of $hit employee that I had to deal with the other day. You are lazy, incompetent, and hideous. Never again am I staying in your hotel. Next time I see you, I will have a can of mace and brass knuckles ready.

  12. ok…I don’t work at a department store, i work for off-shore drilling. Our rigs rent anywhere from 75K up to 450k PER DAY. And even with that high a day-rate, I have backed down client reps for shouting at our personnel.
    It’s not warranted and worse, it not only affects production, it affects our safety. Since I am the man responsible for the safety systems, I take this very serious. Have even had the corporate home office involved in removing a client rep who thought “we’re paying you 3 million a month, I’m gonna talk how every I want.”
    Customers are going to be angry. But there is a line. And it should not be crossed. What’s needed at that point is strong management to back you up. My people aren’t hired to be treated as dogs, they are hired for the professional expertise they bring to the company. I back them up.

  13. Hi all, oh well I had someone to just kind of laugh bucause he thought I was “generalizing” at some information on lead time of a materials (ranging from 4 wks to 18 wks lead time provided by supplier at several different points in history). This person has been working in operations for more than 20 years and stated never in his all life he has bought it for before than the 4 wk lead time and laughing sarcastically with other of his teammates taking any credit of my credibility…
    When I got out of that conference call I asked purchasing (who has been there with my company for 36 years now haha) and stated many years ago the lead time was 4 wks, but she has only found proof of the six wk lead time (although she keeps looking for it). If she finds it I will send it to this clown.

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