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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
So recently, I miraculously got a job at a really great place called "New Seasons." It's a nice, small, and local market chain that sells really high-end food and home-goods. Even though they're a supermarket they go the extra mile to make sure their employees are treated right and everything, which is super rare in this day of age (I use to work at another grocery store as my first job and I was treated very very badly there).

So all in all I feel really lucky and appreciative for being hired to work there. I was looking for a job for 2 years, and my SA was killing my chances during interviews, but for once I did great and because of that they gave me a chance to work. I have no problems working, and I feel like my SA is nearly gone when I talk to customers. Oh and I work in the deli by the way (specifically I sell the deli meats, but I help out with salad case as well).

But last week I had a not so nice customer come to me in the morning... I was really nice to them, perhaps to nice, and I tried to ask if he needed any help while he was looking through the case of salads we display. As he's looking near the end of the case, he just stops slowly, and then walks towards me and leans over the counter with a stupid smile on his face. He then looks at me straight in the eye and says, "If you don't mind, I'm looking at your food so please don't interrupt me." Of course the way he says it with that sarcastic tone makes me feel just sick... Like I'm being talked down to, and I really, really hate that...

I tried to hold it in as best as I could but after he leaves I start to cry. ._.; I really, REALLY did not want to cry, but it just happened, no matter how hard I fought against the feeling. I was so embarrassed that I pretended that I had a severe migraine and I had to be sent off home early because of it... -_-;

*sigh* It's so embarrassing that I have never admitted this to anyone, not even to my boyfriend who I tell just about everything to. Also, ever since then I've been feeling scared of talking to customers again, like I might offend them or do something wrong. I feel bad because sometimes they want to genuinely hold a conversation with me, and I have trouble with that now. All because of this incident...

So now, I'm just wondering... What is the best way to cope with a rude customer? =/ Is there some sort of trick anyone here does? Like imagine them looking ridiculous in some way, or something like that. p: Also I want to not think about it in the long term, so I won't feel so scared of talking to customers like I am now. Any tips at all?

And also to those out there who are very oversensitive like me, do you have any tips to stop yourself from crying so easily? >_< It's funny because I looked up oversensitivity on google and this site actually came up, so I believe it has to be linked to SAD in a way. I guess we are just really sensitive to other's emotions.

um and sorry this post is really long! Kind of wanted to vent, but I am genuinely interested in how to cope with these problems, since I know they will arise again eventually. ;_; Customer service yay...
 

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What a jerk. I'm one of those people who likes to be left alone to browse, but I have also worked in customer service so I understand that the clerks have to ask if you need help as part of their jobs. When I worked in customer service my motto was, "Kill them with kindness." If a customer said something like that to me, I would have probably said, "I'm sorry to disturb you, but I'll be over here if you need help." You can't control what the customer does, but you can control how you respond to their actions (remain positive and upbeat, even if they are downright mean to you). You can also focus on positive customer interactions to combat the negative self-talk.

In addition, you can also try to frame it like a "game". Sometimes people who come off as mean/rude at first aren't really that way at all. They might just be having a bad day or reacting to something else negative so I try to think if there is something I can do to "win" them over. Some of the time, rude customers just ended up apologizing for their behavior and thanking me for taking the time to help them.
 

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Learn to UNDERreact to their crap. The customer is a FOOL. If you were trying to help, you did good. If he was a fool, that's on him.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Thank you for your responses, everyone. I really do appreciate it. :)

What a jerk. I'm one of those people who likes to be left alone to browse, but I have also worked in customer service so I understand that the clerks have to ask if you need help as part of their jobs. When I worked in customer service my motto was, "Kill them with kindness." If a customer said something like that to me, I would have probably said, "I'm sorry to disturb you, but I'll be over here if you need help." You can't control what the customer does, but you can control how you respond to their actions (remain positive and upbeat, even if they are downright mean to you). You can also focus on positive customer interactions to combat the negative self-talk.

In addition, you can also try to frame it like a "game". Sometimes people who come off as mean/rude at first aren't really that way at all. They might just be having a bad day or reacting to something else negative so I try to think if there is something I can do to "win" them over. Some of the time, rude customers just ended up apologizing for their behavior and thanking me for taking the time to help them.
I really do need to keep my chin up and detach myself from other's emotions. I think my problem is that I build myself up so high in a way, and then when something disrupts my flow of "normalcy" I come crashing down and that's why I just can't control myself even when the smallest thing happens. ._.

I will try to remember this, thanks for your tip... :)

Do not take it personally. You're just doing your job, and the way customers react is not in your control. When I get rude customers, I just think that they must have really miserable lives.
Yeah probably... =( I'm going to work on detaching myself from the emotions of customers. I feel like my oversensitivity has been such a problem lately that I might have to coach myself somehow and/or get some outside help. I have trouble trusting counselors though. ><

Learn to UNDERreact to their crap. The customer is a FOOL. If you were trying to help, you did good. If he was a fool, that's on him.
<3 Thanks a lot
 

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Congratulations on the job!

I worked at a health/specialty food store for a long time, and most customers were great. But I always took the rude ones way too personally.

The best thing to do, and it's a cliche but it's true, is to kill them with kindness. Sometimes I go back to the store I used to work at to fill in. I find my attitude has totally changed, and it makes the rude jerks so much easier to deal with. Especially in specialty/high end shops, you're going to get people who just cannot be pleased. Some people come in looking for a fight. You do learn to spot those people.

Also, I sometimes find it can be a perversely enjoyable game to be extra-nice to jerks.
 

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Let the customers be miserable. It isn't that hard to say, "no thank you, I'm just looking." If they want to be rude and be left alone, that's their problem.

At the end of the day, you're safe in your home and they probably forgot about you as soon as they left the store.
 
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