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February 03, 2006

What Should I Have Done?

Tonight, we had about 4 customers in my store after closing. I had 2 sales reps on the floor and I was getting everything ready to close down. I came to the floor where one of my reps was helping an elderly couple and my other rep was helping a man. The woman in line next stared at me as I came to the floor to log off a computer someone had left on when they left for the day. She looked at me and yelled "Do you work here?" I replied with a yes ma'am. She asked if I could take her payment. I apologized and said that we only had 2 computers up but that I could show her how to make her payment at the machine. She yelled something about not knowing how. I told her I could show her or that my rep would be with her in just a second (at that time, my rep was walking her customer out the door since it was locked). She yelled that she had been waiting forever (later I found out that she walked in the door 5 minutes before 7:00 and at the time, it was 7:05.

My other rep then explained that she didn't need her bill to make a payment at the machine. The customer went over there, tried it and said it wouldn't let her use it. So then I walked over there with her where she was almost punching the machine. Well, the touch screen doesn't so much respond to punching as it does gently pressing.

I helped her enter her info when she couldn't do it (all you have to do is enter your phone number and the first 4 letters of your last name). Meanwhile, I'm being overly polite and saying ma'am with each sentence where she then replies sarcastically and continues to swear at the machine. As the receipt is printing, I tell her I am going to go get the keys so I can let her out.

As I start unlocking the door, she asks who I am and I tell her my name and that I'm the manager, she laughs, calls me a few profanities as I open the door for her, she pushes the door into me knocking me into our trashcans. I yelled out "Push me again and I'm calling the police!"

Maybe not the best response, but I was shocked and pissed and she's lucky I didn't chase after her.

So at this point, I'm shaking, my employees witnessed everything and so did the 2 customers in the store. The elderly customers even asked if I was alright and said they were sorry. I asked why, and they said she had asked to cut in front of them because she only had a bill to pay and they had told her no.

I went and put her phone number into the system where I saw notes in her account where she had been rude and profane in the past. I put a note in her account so where as soon as someone opens her account, it says she is not welcome in my stores and she can call customer service for future assistance.

After about 10 minutes, I'm still shaking and pissed. I don't know why. I've had phones thrown at me before and didn't get this mad. My mom happen to call and I told her what happened and she said I should call the police and file a report; that they needed to have that on record just in case she did it again and she needed to know she can't treat people that way. I knew my mom was being protective and tried to keep that in consideration, but part of me did want to call the police.

But instead, I finished closing the store. I called my boss to let her know what happened and that I was going to call the police. I figured she should know. But no answer, so I left her a message.

My assistant happened to call, and I told her what happened, and she said to even call.

I finished closing the store while my 2 reps wanted to know where she lived, where she worked, etc. That's exactly what I DIDN'T want to happen. They didn't need to get all worked up over this! I told him it wasn't a big deal and that if she entered the store again, to let me deal with her.

What pissed me off more is that one of my employees is 7 months pregnant. If I wouldn't have come to the floor, she would have been the one to help that chic and could have really hurt her if she would have pushed the door into her like she did to me.

After getting the store closed, I went back and watched the video tape of what happened. You can see where she pushed with force and where she had no reason to even put her hand out as I had the door all the way open for her.

What's even funnier about the situation is that I looked in her account to see that she worked at Target. Just last night I was at Target at about 9:00 and there were 2 lanes open with about 15 people waiting.

I didn't want to cause any drama but I also didn't want her to get away with what she did. Should I have called the police and filed a report?

Posted by Sissy at February 3, 2006 01:31 AM | TrackBack

I think you should have. In Illinois what she did is considered battery. And she got away with it. What happens if the next time she gets in your store, does something to one of your employees?

Posted by: Contagion at February 3, 2006 08:13 AM

You so should, because if she does come to your store again and the note pops up something is going to be said to her about it and then she will go postal.

Better to be safe then sorry.

Posted by: Machelle at February 3, 2006 08:13 AM

I agree. If that was an isolated incident, if she was having one really bad day, that would be one thing, but she's repeatedly gotten away with that horrible behavior.
And normal people having a bad day don't act like THAT. She sounds like a sociopath.

Posted by: pam at February 3, 2006 08:31 AM

Since you're not legally allowed to crack her in the head with a lead pipe the next time she shows, I'd think you should report it.

Sounds kinda petty, but it's common behaviour for her... like those before me have said: "What about next time?"

Posted by: That 1 Guy at February 3, 2006 10:35 AM

Yes, do it. You may be able to get a restraining order against her. If you think she could have seriously injured one of your employees, I'd say it's your duty to call.

Especially as you have her on tape and witnesses.

If nothing else, the cops will tell her to leave you all alone.

Posted by: caltechgirl at February 3, 2006 01:37 PM

Save the tape

Posted by: spurs at February 3, 2006 01:47 PM

I'm with Spurs.

I wouldn't have called, but I would next time.

Posted by: Bou at February 3, 2006 04:03 PM

I love people.

Wait a I don't.

Posted by: Toluca Nole at February 3, 2006 08:36 PM

Ah, the wonders if being male.

Sorry if that sounded bad, but, well, it's true. I try not to be imposing, but at just over 6 feet tall and over 200 lbs, people don't seem to do such things to me, ever.

But yes, I'm with the group here -- it is battery and the police should be called. I imagine you can still call them since you have the tape.

As for why you were still shaking? It's called adrenaline. Your body simply filled with the stuff and you were supposed to either fight or flight. You did neither, so your body had tons of extra energy, waiting for you to use it. Neat stuff, that adrenaline.

Hope this doesn't happen to you ever again!

Posted by: Ogre at February 4, 2006 10:57 AM

You handled that MUCH better than I would have. No I wouldn't have called the cops. But I also would have probably lost my temper big time.

Save the tape. Putting the notes in the system was a perfect idea - creates a record. And as much as you hate the idea, if she comes in again - it is you , as the manager, who should tell her to leave. Period. If you lose a customer - so what? I don't think that one loss will break the bank.

Arrggghhh - I just hate people like that!

Posted by: Tammi at February 6, 2006 09:19 AM