The one time I really got a customer angry…

§ June 4th, 2008 § Filed under Uncategorized Comments Off on The one time I really got a customer angry…

…was when I asked “Hello, sir…is there anything you’re looking for?”


This was after he’d entered the store, looked around a bit, and began peering into the glass case.

I know I told that story before, but just thought it bore retelling.

By the way: yes, I know that nobody wants to shop at a store where the employees have taken the Kevin Smith and/or High Fidelity model to heart and treat their customers as the audience for their “funny” performances. That’s fine. I fully understand that.

That’s not what this is, but that’s how people are reacting to it. And really, they shouldn’t.

It’s clearly not typical behavior. It’s clearly a situation unusual enough that Kevin thought it might make a humorous story for his website, and wrote it up as such. It’s an example of a customer catching, for a brief moment, Kevin and his pal Heather with their professional guard down. It’s also an example of Kevin stopping the behavior and gettin’ to work. And, by the way, making a sale and establishing a relationship with said customer.

Sometimes I’ve been caught off-guard at the store…it happens. I have been doing this for a long time. And when I had my library job before that…I saw fellow employees get caught off-guard there as well. As I said in Kevin’s comments…people aren’t robots. Shit does indeed happen. And if it does, you go “Whoops, sorry,” get your shit together, and help the customer out, or whatever. Yeah, I know one should probably keep up their professional demeanor all the time, but it slips, sometimes. We’re only human.

No, it shouldn’t happen. But sometimes, it does. Maybe only for a split second. But the point is that this isn’t consistent behavior. Mistakes happen.

And let’s take Kevin’s particular example. I would have found it amusing and a little cute had I been the customer. Had they kept it up instead of actually addressing my questions, then yes, I would have been a bit put out. But they stopped what they were doing almost immediately, and helped the customer.

Doesn’t seem like a big deal to me. But then, I seem to have a surfeit of common sense and a sense of perspective, which almost always puts me in conflict with certain folks on the internet. And, by the way, that store’s owner doesn’t think it’s a big deal, either. If what Kevin and Heather did was really that big of an issue, really that big of a turn-off…well, you must have a remarkably problem-free life, is all I can figure.

So, yes, misbehaving employees can be a problem for a store. Persistent goofing around can be a turn off for the customer.

Kevin’s story isn’t an example of this. Folks need to pick their targets a little more carefully if you’re going to go after comic shops with bad customer service. Like this kind of store…I didn’t make any of that shit up, friends. A little friendly arm-punching ain’t a patch on some of the fuckwittery I’ve experienced in some shops.

But then, maybe this is all just a bunch of “nerd posturing.” After all, I’ve only been doing this for twenty years…what the hell do I know?

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