Lesson: The Angrier You Are, The More Ridiculous You Look

10 Jan

When you work in retail, you sometimes encounter the rare bird that is the Very Angry Customer. We encountered such a person today.

This woman pitched a fit because we could not give her ten dollars off her purchase. Keep in mind, she had the entire month of December to come in and claim the $10 savings, she just happened to miss the boat. But of course, she reacted as if this was something that the store was doing to her, as if it was some sort of personal attack. This is something I notice a lot, to tell you the truth… people on the defensive for no apparent reason, acting like everyone and everything in the world is out to get them and not accepting any sort of personal responsibility regarding the things that happen in their lives… but that’s an altogether different matter to ponder. I could go on and on about taking a sense of ownership over the events in your life and how powerless it renders you to go around constantly blaming others for your misfortunes. Instead, I’d rather pose one simple question: Do these people not realize how ridiculous they look?

I will admit, I am prone to the odd hissy fit myself. That said… I tend to reserve them for when I’m, y’know, in private. I can understand being frustrated with something… $180 ticket, anyone?… but what do people think they’re achieving by raising their voices or making idle threats of the I-will-never-shop-here-again variety? You know what I did when I freaked out over that ticket? I pitched the biggest fit of my life at home in front of nobody save for my husband, immediately felt embarrassed about pitching a fit in front of my husband, wrote an angry blog post, sent a few bitter tweets out into the universe, and then went to the courthouse and paid the fine. Yeah, I got angry and sure, I vented… but hopefully not in a publicly humiliating way. Hopefully. And life goes on.

Just for the record, you know what happens when customers get unreasonably angry with us for things that are beyond our control? I mean, besides the fact that we are less likely to go the extra mile for them by putting them in touch with a manager and so on and so forth?

We laugh at them when they leave.

Because they look so, so ridiculous.

It’s just something to keep in mind the next time you feel your blood beginning to boil the next time you’re out in public. Nobody thinks you’re particularly intelligent, and everybody thinks you’re a jerk. You’ll affect your own health adversely, and you probably still won’t get what you want.

Oh, and just regarding the I-will-never-shop-here-again threat… odds are good that none of the sales associates care (in fact if you’re that self-important, they’re probably happy to see you go), and they will all take home the same paycheque regardless of whether you shop there again or not. One person does not a boycott make. Especially if it’s a particularly well-established company; for every one customer that stops buying the goods, three more new people become “brand loyal.” Again, when you take the time to think through the words that are coming out of your mouth… I WILL NEVER SHOP HERE AGAIN!… well, it sounds kind of silly, doesn’t it?


2 Responses to “Lesson: The Angrier You Are, The More Ridiculous You Look”

  1. alison January 10, 2010 at 7:09 am #

    i used to work in retail. it is mostly horrible but sometimes is really nice to have those stories of all the crazies that came in. we would always remember the weirdest customers when they came in again so we would call each other and say stuff like “that crazy lady with the chickens is here !!” no joke, this lady with no teeth would come in with chicks in her pockets and show them to people.
    one time a guy shit is pants and changed into new pants (that he stole) while leaving all of his soiled clothing AND wallet WITH his id in the dressing room for ME to find. yay for retail!
    i like your blog, by the way. found from the lgl review.

    • beeks January 10, 2010 at 1:57 pm #

      Hi Alison. You’re right, it’s fun to have retail war stories to share. I kind of want to write a graphic novel based on my job, so much weird/hilarious stuff happens… first I’ll need to learn how to draw though, ha ha! Thanks for taking the time to comment, I’m happy you like my blog!

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