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    Body Language Lost In Translation

    | OR, USA | At The Checkout, Bad Behavior, Bigotry, Liars & Scammers, Top

    (One of our new employees is dealing with a customer who is clearly angry, and is being physically aggressive and threatening. We are on the verge of calling security, but we can see that our new employee is still very calm. We hit the button when we see the customer lunge at her, despite the fact that she doesn’t react at all, and just stares at him. I run over to see what’s wrong.)

    Me: “Hi there, I’m the manager. Is there a problem I can help with?”

    Customer: “This white b**** won’t give me the sale price!”

    (The customer waves a sale leaflet from one of our competitors in my face.)

    New Employee: *still very calm* “I tried to tell him that isn’t our flyer, and we don’t even have that item, but he doesn’t seem interested in hearing that.”

    Customer: “Don’t lie to me, you b****! You just don’t want me to get this great price!”

    New Employee: “Sir, I have two things to say. Firstly, that flyer is from last year—”

    Customer: “How the f*** do you know?!”

    New Employee: “Because, it’s for a summer sale, and it is currently February. Second, if we had that item at a great price and you wanted it but could not find it, I would do my best to track it down in-store for you. If we didn’t have it here, I would call other stores for you. The simple truth is that we don’t carry that particular item.”

    Customer: “How the f*** do you know?”

    New Employee: “Because, sir, it’s an adult novelty, and this is a children’s clothing store.”

    (Security arrives and escorts the customer out of the store.)

    Me: “I don’t know how you were able to stay so calm! You almost sounded bored! I don’t think your expression changed the entire time!”

    New Employee: “Oh, I have a lot of trouble with body language. I figured out a long time ago that when I get confused, it’s better not to respond at all, because usually I laugh and it makes them angry.”

    (She’s now one of our area supervisors, and is actually better at handling the rare aggressive customer we get than our security team. This is because, apparently, a person who can’t be intimidated makes people uncomfortable.)