Customer Service Leaves A Nasty Infection.

I think it would be fair to say that I do not currently have my dream job. Fairly certain that will surprise no one, including my employer, as I have mentioned it a few times on these very pages, as well as probably every day I’m actually at my place of work. However, there is an occupation that makes me glad that I do what I do, and not it, and that is any customer service role in which you have to deal with the thankless, ill educated bastards face to face. Today I was reminded of that whilst trying to enjoy an afternoon cider in a local public house. The chump in question had (I think) ordered some drinks using the table service provided in this establishment, and said beverages had not arrived instantly as there were other people quite selfishly ahead of him in the grand scheme of things. 
This had irritated him. 
In order to get what was due, he approached the bar, politely engaged a member of staff, and enquired as to when he might be able to get what he had asked for. Wait, no, no he didn’t. He stomped up to the bar with a face like chronic diarrhoea, stopped a member of staff rather rudely, and informed her that having to actually wait was a bloody disgrace. There was the standard apology from the employee as well as what I think was a brief description of how queuing works, what with there being other people on the planet. He stood too close, adopting a somewhat aggressive stance, and threw around terms like ‘not my problem’, ‘not good enough’, and ‘I am a self important prick who is used to getting what he wants through acting like a massive twat’. Ok, not that last one, but that’s what was coming across.
I was impressed with the way his spoilt child-like behaviour was handled. She smiled at him throughout, never once appearing angry or totally justifiably insulted. She maintained eye contact and listened to each unreasonable word that pissed out of his stupid face, as if she actually gave a toss. At no point was he told to sod off, or that he’d have to shitting wait just like everyone else in there, and when his drinks were delivered they contained no spit, vinegar or penis residue, despite my offer to dip the tip in and swirl it around. It’s probably best, they were mostly sugary liquids and I’d have developed a nasty infection. Point is that even though the inbuilt, human response would be to treat his rude, selfish, arrogant, aggressive behaviour as just that, responding like for like, he was offered instead, manners. A mask of common decency and basic civility that he was either never given, or had grown too fat and misshapen to wear. I happen to know the staff as my brother is one of them – I don’t offer to teabag the glass of a wanker wherever I may be –  and so after the exchange I asked the girl involved how she did it, how she hadn’t stabbed him in the cock with a steak knife. There were loads handy, and he was all cock.
The answer was simple: In being overly polite, smiley and saccharine sweet, she could not be accused of taking the proverbial. He would probably think she was genuine, and if he realised he was being slightly mocked, any accusation would be made to sound very silly indeed – “I’d like to complain about one of your staff. What did she do? Um, she was terribly polite and smiled sweetly from start to finish”. Yeah, what a bitch. It’s a solid approach that allows a professional appearance to be maintained, whilst displaying your contempt and distaste on a sarcastic, bullet proof, fifty foot billboard. She felt cleverer than him, better than him and like she’d done something – all of which was without question – and he felt like he’d done his I’m The Man thing efficiently, accomplishing his goal. Everyones a winner, baby. Thing is, she’s almost certainly right. He probably did think she was being genuine. His slow, trudging brain will have been unable to process the subtlety of being patronised in such a manner, focusing on it’s single aim to be treated like the king among men he definitely wasn’t. So as far as he’s concerned, acting like that works. He’s right too, it does work, and it really, really shouldn’t. By all means complain if you have a valid reason to, but do it like a grown up human being: clearly, concisely and reasonably deliver your grievances and then fuck off. Leave a message, contact a standards agency, write a letter outlining every foible. If you can write. Just don’t act the big man, shouting it up like some sort of Mafia Don of whom we live in fear. You’re not. You’re just another tool.
If I were to be consulted by the government on how to handle such things (and it’s bound to happen eventually), I would suggest more of a Detest and Deter approach. It seems to me that the more we treat this behaviour as not just acceptable, but as viable, the more it will be adopted.  If everyone were to tell a rude sod to flipping well pull those socks up or no dice, people would have to give it a go.  Eventually.  After the probable, violent clashing.   As such I would expect that the following examples offer a socially beneficial outcome:
- A customer feels they have had to wait too long to be served/to have their order delivered to their table.  Threatening or aggressive mannerisms are being used, presumably in order to tame me into obeying them.  What should I do?
This is a situation you will often find yourself in, over time this will not phase you.  You should let them finish blathering on and then return with the following – “Do you think that this approach will result in anything other than all of your consumables being tarnished.  Please feel free to reconsider your arguments packaging, remarketing the contents, and try again, otherwise please return to your table where I will soon bring you the glass of effervescent smegma you have requested”
- I have made a mistake on an order and the customer has become abusive, using powerful and offensive language he probably doesn’t know how to spell.  Despite my apologies he remains agitated, seemingly only accepting my turning back time and not making the mistake as worthy recompense.  What should I do?
Simply place the incorrect order in front of them and use a version of  – “Well if you’re going to be a cunt about it, this is all you get.  I wanted base level humans to frequent this eatery, and I get pricks like you, but we have to make do.  If you don’t want it you can always fuck off”.  Should your language cause offence, laugh and point out they started it.
- A customer has asked for something we don’t stock, I have stated that unfortunately we don’t have that, and listed the products we do.  They have asked for something else not on that list, so I have listed what we have again.  They have become indignant, impatient and annoyed.  Say what?
Pretty much go nuts here.  You could ask them if they’re gonna pay for a pint of piss, and when they’re all like, no, of course I’m not, you can be all, brilliant I’ll take the cash now then and they’ll be all, no you moron I’m not paying for piss, and you can ask if they’d prefer card or cash or cheque, and they’ll be like, none of those, and you’ll go, great that you’re so flexible, card’s fine, and they’ll see what you’re doing and probably just leave and stuff.  But that’s just an example, feel free to improvise.
- Throughout the day I have been accused of short changing when I bloody well didn’t, shouted at for serving the bloke who was there first, had various things thrown at me, been spat at, threatened, treated like a lesser mortal, been grabbed, groped, propositioned and had my sexuality questioned.  I have just opened my payslip.  Really?
Go and grab one of those little plastic crates and pop it down in front of the bar/front desk.  Now climb up onto the bar/front desk and address the building as an entity – “I have climbed up here to visually represent my superiority to this shit.  I shall be leaving now and never coming back because nobody needs this.  I’d rather sell my body, it’s less demeaning, and before any of you ask, no, not to you, you make me physically sick.  Good day”.  Leave smartish, mind.
I understand the desire to just give them what they want, but the customer is so often wrong it’s astounding.  The only time they’re always right is when they’re quietly paying the full amount for something they have politely asked for.  Still, kudos for handling it as it was.  I’d have told him he’d get it in a minute, and for every word he spoke after that I would’ve added another minute, updating him live, as it happened.

I’m no longer allowed to work with the public.

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