“A sense of humor is the best indicator that you will recover; it is often the best indicator that people will love you. Sustain that and you have hope.” ―
H A N D L I N G A C U S T O M E R D I P L O M A T I C A L L Y
Not all customers favoring the express checkout desk are trying to buck the system and cheat on the number of items they actually are trying to cashier through the line. Other may be totally unaware of the way in which they are generating stress for the attending cashier.
Last Friday morning I was shopping at my favorite grocery store picking up a few things for the weekend. I shop so much at this store for odds and ends that I get to know a number of the staff and they know me.
Rachelle is a long-term employee of the store and is competent, professional and full of stories to tell me. She has a sense of humor that helps her to cope with the many types of folks who park their groceries on her conveyor belts “15 or less item” station.
As I approached her work station there was one male customer ahead of me and so I placed my groceries on the belt and patiently waited my turn. I scanned the nearby magazine rack near her checkout point and noticed her bobbing and weaving away from that male customer like a prize-fighter in the ring.
I noticed that she was chatting and joking with him but she seemed tense during the encounter.
It was my turn to be cashiered out and I noticed her waving a large piece of cardboard in the air. I thought she was swatting at a bee and asked her what was wrong.
“Some of these customers should shower before they come here to make purchases” she said with an agitated tone of voice.
She asked me if I had noticed the customer before me and I admitted that I had noticed him.
She told me that the man was in dire need of a shower and when he tried to stand close to her to chat she felt the oxygen leaving the immediate area. It gave her a heady feeling and she felt herself reeling in the room.
I asked her did this happen often and she said it did almost every day and that it made her wily of such customers.
“What would you like to do about that type of customer?” I asked her.
“I would love to have a gigantic can of aerosol spray and spray them from head to foot” she said honestly.
She stated that in a serious manner and when I asked her if she thought that would solve the problem she honestly answered that no it would not but it would make her feel a whole lot better.
“Well , Rachelle that would be one way to clear the air for sure ” I told her and added ” I don’t think management or the customer would appreciate your kindly gesture.”
I asked her where she could conveniently store such a large spray can of the deodorizer. She admitted she really had no idea where it could be stored near her check out station.
“Probably not” she said and then added “but it would help me breathe a lot easier.”
We both laughed at the absurdity of the idea even though the outcome would clear the air for some time anyways.
Have you ever experienced a situation in which your personal tipping point was reached and that you had to silence yourself from taking action. If so tell us about it. –gc
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