Social Question

awomanscorned's avatar

What do you do when people you don't like come in to your place of business?

Asked by awomanscorned (11261points) October 23rd, 2010 from iPhone

I work at a pretty busy Starbucks in my town and when people I’ve hoped to never see again come waltzing in, I get flustered. Has this happened to you?

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34 Answers

janbb's avatar

Treat them professionally, coolly and with respect and hope that they don’t stay long!

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boxer3's avatar

mm, I work at Dunkin Donuts, this happens to me as well.
Also, there are the terrifying borderline stalker regulars that
give me this same flustered oh damn, I would be right behind the counter when
you walked through the door feeling as well…

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Foolaholic's avatar

I try to help them as quickly and as curtly as possible. Nothing moves an unwanted customer out the door faster than the question, “Is there anything else you need?”

boxer3's avatar

@noelleptc, heh- truely I empathasize,
I usually do the same to you though and jus act
the same as I would with any other customer,
avoid small talk that deviates from ” its pretty chilly out there today”
and move on with my day haha.
There are some people that come in that happen to have to ” grab something out back”
and wait for the “clear” over the headset from a co worker to give me the
go ahead to come back out, haha…buuutt thats a rarity.

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boxer3's avatar

@noelleptc hahaha, that’s ridiculous:
I went out downtown one night, and a guy approached me talked to me for a bit
and realized he’d seen me at my work before, and was all
AHHH I know you, anyway night went on- he gave me his card?
haha- said some pretty inappropriate unsolicited things, so i obviously didn’t call,
He proceeded to show up at my work for the next week and a half, every single day.
When he asked me why I wouldnt hang out with him i told him,
honestly? if you want the truth judging by some of the things you said to me the other night I sort of think you’re a scum bag….and Im not interested. hahah.
he still comes in from time to time..

working with the public is very ..interesting…. ha.

daytonamisticrip's avatar

Whenever I see someone that I don’t like, pretty much everyone, I just turn my head and treat them like a total stranger.

josie's avatar

Business is business. Personal is personal. Important difference.

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lillycoyote's avatar

Those kind of jobs can be very difficult. I worked in a small, independent bookstore for 3½ years a long time ago and dealing with the public in a retail environment, or a place like Starbuck or Dunkin Donuts can be a lot harder than people who’ve never done that kind of work imagine. I liked the job and I like most of the customers but people can be rude, demanding or just annoying; and sometimes people go on little power trips with cashiers and service people or if they have a beef with something they take out on you because you’re right there and you kind of have to just deal with it because that’s your job. You have to grit your teeth and smile and provide the service you are paid to provide to them. Even if you don’t like someone. And we had a system kind of like @boxer3 described. Sometimes one of us was better at handling a particularly difficult or annoying customer than another and we would hand the person off to someone else. There was one guy my boss didn’t even like and one day he said “Whatever he asks for, I don’t care if it’s the Bible, tell him we don’t carry it.”

But if someone is extremely rude or dangerous then take it up with your boss because there are certain things you shouldn’t have to put up with. If you can’t or don’t feel comfortable doing that see if your coworkers can help.

And I would avoid friending people on facebook that you see in your daily life until you know them a little, like the guy who works next door and turned out to be a “creepy liar.” It’s doesn’t take long to weed those types out. Creepy is like sweat. People just exude it, can’t hide it, like perspiration on their foreheads. Find that out first, before you involve them in any of your life that isn’t a hello nod when you see them on the way into work.

An occasional happy hour with your coworkers spent mocking the really bad customers, and your boss if necessary, can be pretty therapeutic too.

But that kind of work is difficult. There was this guy and in spite of, or maybe because of his earnest desire to save the planet, was a pompous jackass. I dealt with him sometimes just by imagining myself facing off with him: him in his “Save the Whales” t-shirt and me in my “Nuke the Public” t-shirt.

perspicacious's avatar

Their money is green.

josie's avatar

@noelleptc Not to be too hard core, but lots of things are difficult. Changes nothing.

Cruiser's avatar

Take their money…it’s all part of business. Just do your job you are paid to do and don’t hesitate!

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Neizvestnaya's avatar

I do as you do, try to get busy elsewhere, be polite, to the point and look them in the face like I’ve never seen them before.

Coloma's avatar

I can get along with anyone, for a little while. lol

I have great people skills, and not in a phoney, patronizing way in the least.

I can genuinely ‘manage’ to steer things into a good place for all involved.

Good people skills include being able to engage anyone about anything briefly and with sincerity.

CyanoticWasp's avatar

I do the same thing I always do: I greet him warmly and (apparently) sincerely, “Good morning, Boss. How are you today?”

lillycoyote's avatar

@josie Have you ever worked retail, worked behind a counter, been a cashier? I’m sure you have but I was just wondering.

Berserker's avatar

It sucks indeed, but you have a job to do and a rent to pay; fuck em.

Jeffinohio's avatar

I’m a bartender who lived with a stripper. If there is one thing I learned about your scenario, take their money, and if you really don’t like them, take their lunch money too. Best way to deal with folks you just can’t stand. Ever wake up and wonder why you only have $3 left when you left the house with $100? May just mean you had a good time, or, your that ass that we can’t stand, and made you pay for your visit.

josie's avatar

@lillycoyote Sure. And the point is?

lillycoyote's avatar

@josie I had a point? Well, yes, I actually did. I just thought your answers were a little flippant and not tremendously helpful and thought maybe you might not have experience in the kind of work the OP was asking about so maybe you couldn’t provide more pertinent answers. It’s just that the question the OP actually asked was “What do you do when people you don’t like come in to your place of business?” The question you seemed to be answering was “Should I just suck this up and stop whining?” That was kind of my point.

josie's avatar

@lillycoyote Well OK. I suppose the quick and easy way to respond to the OP (and you) is exactly how you phrased it… “Suck it up and stop whining.” I will try to be more polite. But the message is the same.
Let’s say you work in a customer service business.
We will use Starbucks as an example.
Starbucks has only two things to offer
-Customer service
People can get coffee a thousand places, including making it cheap right at home.
Your job is NOT to jerk coffee. You job is to make the customers feel good about coming there, because the truth is, as I said, that there are all sorts of joices they can make.
If you are going to work in the customer service business, then you have to leave behind your little personal concerns about certain people. Except in the most extraordinary circumstances, the customer, as they say , is always right.
If you cannot transcend your little biases and sensitivities, then you should not work in customer service.
No different than the military. It is voluntary to join. If you cannot face the very real possibility that you may be called upon to shoot somebody or blow them up, you should not join.
So I guess my response is, if you have chosen to take a job in customer service, you really should not be asking the OP’s question.
You shoud have answered it before you took the job.

josie's avatar

Typo “Joices” should be choices. In case an explanation or excuse will help, let’s try fatigue.

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josie's avatar

@noelleptc. Sorry to disappoint. You should consider flagging it as not helpful.

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MissA's avatar

Having been an employer for many years…and, an employee before that, in a perfect world, @Josie would be correct. But, @lillycoyote has my vote here.

@josie makes me think of the parental, “If you’re gonna live under MY roof, then . . .” It’s that same terrible commanding diatribe that breaks up relationships for long periods of time.

The customer is not always right. Accepting their money, while giving them product and a green light for their bad behavior is simply GREED. That’s why some people keep showing their asses. That behavior tells them that it’s okay. Sorry @josie. Obviously, we’ve learned differently.

CyanoticWasp's avatar

I’ve been reading more of the responses, and it’s certainly possible to find a middle ground between @josie‘s responses and @lillycoyote.‘s Not everyone can deal with everyone else. It’s why a lot of doctors don’t treat their own family, for example. Why expect a brand-new cashier in a store to have to deal with a recently estranged ex-partner? That would be difficult for most people, I expect, especially if there was some residual bad feeling between the two. So you pass that person off to someone else who can deal with him. You can’t do that with everyone, of course, or you’re not doing the job at all and there’s no place for you.

And with the run-of-the mill rudeness that happens from time to time because of impatience, stress, miscommunication, cultural differences and all of the stuff that happens between people, you just brighten your smile, apologize for your own failings—and apologize yourself sometimes for the customer’s failings, too—and press on. I like the thought of imagining the contrast between people wearing “Save the Whales” and “Nuke the Public” T-shirts.

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amberrae's avatar

Smile, its your job!

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