July 1, 2016 by phicks2012
I’ve worked in numerous jobs during my lifetime where customer service was involved, and where I’ve run into some very angry, aggressive, and rude customers. However, these people have generally been angry at the company that employed me, and sometimes for very good reasons. I can understand that. I can even sympathize!! What I cannot understand is people who are aggressively rude to fellow customers (or drivers for that matter) for no reason at all except that they want to be.
The other day the local news ran a story about a road rage incident where a man with anger issues was trying to run a woman driver off the road, and wound up shooting another person who intervened. Fortunately, I’ve never dealt with anything that extreme myself, but angry, rude people looking for an excuse to unload? Yep.
These are my TOP TWO:
Number Two happened about five years ago when I went into my favorite Chinese restaurant to pick up take-out. I was waiting patiently behind two other customers already in line at the counter, when the man right in front of me (and about twice my size) turned around, glowered down at at me, and asked in a belligerent tone if I’d looked in the mirror recently. Having no earthly idea why he would ask such a thing, and in such a hostile tone of voice, I said “I beg your pardon?” and he snapped “Well, then you’d DEFINITELY see one!” It took me a second or two (and I wished afterwards that I’d managed to come up with a snappy rejoinder) to realize that I had on a tee-shirt reading (in small print, like a whisper) “I see dumb people” — an allusion to the movie “The Sixth Sense” and the “I see dead people” line. Everyone else who’d ever commented on that t-shirt had thought it was mildly-funny-to-hilarious, but apparently this guy didn’t, and felt called upon and entitled to be verbally abusive. The other customers around us looked dumbstruck by his behavior, and when he stalked out of the restaurant the woman behind me asked “What crawled up HIS ass?” When I said I thought it was my t-shirt, she looked and started laughing, so apparently SHE thought it was funny. Oh well.
Then, in May of 2016, I encountered another one of those at Kroger, and was forced to rank him as Number One on my Top Two Aggressively Rude Fellow Customer List. I’d gotten in line at Customer Service in Kroger, this time wearing a regular and totally inoffensive tunic, and was waiting patiently while another customer asked the clerk when he could expect to hear something about his job application. I hadn’t said a word or done a thing when he suddenly turned on me and demanded I “back off” and “get out of (his) face”. I said “Excuse me, but I’m not in your face. I’m over three feet away from you” (actually, I was further away myself; the front of my BUGGY was over three feet away from him), at which point he snapped that I’d gotten in line from the wrong direction and should have come in from the other side, and that I had no business being where I was. “Look, I don’t have any interest in arguing with you” I said, “I’m just waiting in line”, whereupon he angrily and cockily assured me that he could stand there ALL DAY if he wanted to, and MAKE SURE that I NEVER got waited on. The poor clerk looked flabbergasted, so I edged my buggy back another foot, and the man puffed up in triumph and proceeded to prolong his conversation for another two minutes or so before finally swaggering out. When I stepped up to the counter, the clerk’s eyes were literally like saucers as he apologized to me, shaking his head and seeming mostly at a loss for words. “Did I do anything at all to provoke that?” I asked him, and he assured me that I hadn’t. I concluded my own business, and he apologized again, and I said “If that guy was actually applying for a job here, PLEASE tell me it had nothing to do with customer service!!” He probably wasn’t supposed to say anything, but the clerk did tell me that this wasn’t the man’s first visit to the store, that he’d behaved the same way previously, and that as a result he was on the radar. Thank GOD! His outburst had been totally unprovoked — not even a goofy t-shirt –and he obviously thought he’d scored points of some kind with his bullying. When he left he looked proud of himself, so I couldn’t help feeling unsurprised that he wasn’t employed — and I left the store thinking “now THERE’S road rage waiting for a place to happen”.
Folks, choosing to be offended — looking for REASONS to be offended — is really no excuse for being aggressively and publicly rude and verbally abusive yourself — and less (for those of you looking for an excuse to lash out physically) for THAT. If your mother didn’t teach you any manners, or you refused to learn any, or if you are simply a bully, then stay at home. *Sighs*