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Customer is always right…Not!

Have you ever had one of those days when it is rainbows and confetti?  And then someone comes along and disrupts your unicorn and sunshine day?  No?  Well, it happened to me.

Had a pleasant day on the full-time job, got a stack files off my desk so I was feeling quite accomplished.  As you know, I have a second job that I have had over 20 years.  We were pretty steady and I was able to do some paperwork and the next week schedule and still help them get orders out.  Everyone was in a good mood and working on task.  When things started to slow for a moment, I finished setting up the last order and headed back to the office to partake in my carrots and hummus.  So delicious.  As I am finishing, the cashier says there is someone to see me on the front.  I thought it was a friend of mine, because they know they can find me on the 2nd job.  When I get to the front, I see a young lady with smoke coming out of body.  Okay, not really smoke but I could feel the angry seething within her.

I say, “Yes, how can I help you?”  She says in an indignant tone, “Are you the manager?”  I replied I was and again asked what I could help her with.  She begins her story by being condescending, loud and antagonistic.  I stop her, which she didn’t like, but I didn’t care.  I told her I wanted to help her, but we needed to have a professional discussion without the aggression and antagonism.  Never once did I raise my voice or react negatively to her aggression.  She begins to tell me what happened.  She stated the cashier cut her off three times on the drive thru while she was giving her order and when she got to the window she didn’t have her drink order.  The cashier explained she kept asking her on the speaker what was that part of the order.  The customer asked the cashier if she had an attitude and she replied, “Nope.”  She said the cashier didn’t acknowledge her or say thank you.  She told me she has a business degree and she assumes I know what is required when handling customers and I should want to keep a long time customer.  Then she says she didn’t even know if the food was fresh.  I stopped her right then and said, “Ma’am, I fixed your order and the food was cooked to order and fresh.  I can vouch for that.”  She proceeded to say that is fine, but my cashier was rude.  She asked for someone else to talk to other than myself so of course I gave her the number to the store and the owners name as well as mine and the cashier’s name and apologized.  I told her she could call in an hour or so and he would be in and she responded quite nasty, “I will be with my family.”  I stated I was just giving you a good time to contact him when I knew he was going to be in the store.  And she stated, “I will not allow a child to disrespect me.”  As she was leaving, the male cashier apologized again and she says, “Thank you, because you are the only one who seems to care.”  As she was leaving, the cashier told her to have a good evening.  Mind you, they are trained to say that upon anyone leaving.  The customer got mad.  She was already in rare form and she says, “Oh, so now you greeting me.  I tell you what you get a new attitude and better damn weave, that’s what you do.”  Then she stood in the vestibule to see if the cashier or someone was going to do something.  We were first in shock and then they laughed and I was walking back to the office saying that wasn’t called for.

What I didn’t witness was prior to me going to the front counter she said to the cashier, “You better not bring your ass from around the counter.”  Now if I had known that, she would not have heard anything from me I would have asked her to leave and just given her the owner’s number.  As a customer, you will not threaten my workers or vice versa.  This young lady who was mid-twenties was so aggressive and that was concerning for me.  Even before I knew about the threat, I felt something within me which pointed to her being too angry to listen or be satisfied with anything I did to try to rectify the problem.  Further, I hate when folks throw around their degrees as a means to act unprofessional.  She was being condescending and if I was the type I would have thrown out the three degrees I have and explained don’t get it confused I have worked for business for over 20 years because I want to not because I have to and this is my part-time job.  Finally, I think young folks don’t understand the meaning of respect.  Respect is earned not given.  If you carry yourself in a manner of respect, you will be treated accordingly.  The cashier is actually one of our friendliest and she rarely allows the behavior of customers or co-workers to deter her from doing a good job.  Last night, she said when the customer snatched her food from her she didn’t know what to say at that point she didn’t understand the antagonism, so she said nothing.  (She is one of my magnet school students.)  Sometimes, we are treated the way we act.

There is a notion that the customer is always right, but you do realize that isn’t true?  Normally, this situation would roll off my back, but I was unsettled this time.  To think she threatened a 17 year old is just too much.  That is beyond disrespectful bordering on criminal.  And petty is saying someone needs to get a new weave.  My owner found the encounter to be a teaching moment, but I wonder how he is going to feel if she actually calls and is still aggressive…  I am getting too old for this…LOL!


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