This Time, It’s Personal

, , , | Right | May 30, 2019

(I work at a watch repair shop in a shopping mall. We change batteries, do minor jewellery repairs, and send out repairs. A couple of weeks back, we had a meeting about employee safety, specifically about not identifying an employee who works there if a customer states that they know them personally. A customer comes in asking to get his battery changed on his watch. My assistant manager is working with me at the time and, as I go to my desk to get to work, the customer asks me if a certain coworker still works there. I politely state that I am not obligated to say, as it is a privacy and safety matter. His forehead immediately wrinkles and he starts raising his voice at me.)

Customer: “It’s a simple yes or no question. How hard is it for you to answer that?!”

Me: “I’m sorry, but we do not state whether an employee works here or not for safety and privacy matters. You can personally call the employee if you wanted to catch up with her.”

(My manager is still in training and I don’t want her to deal with this customer as she is still new to the job.)

Customer: “What’s your name?”

(I tell him.)

Customer: “How is it any different from asking for an employee’s name? With your name, I could search you up on social media on my phone.”

(I am creeped out, but as I finish up his watch and head to the register, he asks me:)

Customer: “How long have you been working here? You seem young; maybe you should look in your employee’s manual and retrain yourself. If you continue to do that you’ll lose customers.”

Me: “I’ve never lost a single customer during my entire time working here, but if you are the first I’d be fine with that.” *smiles*

Customer: *shocked* “How long have you been working here and who is your manager?!”

(He’s getting a little red in the face.)

Me: “You don’t need to know that, and I’ll be happy to give you my manager’s card… after you tried to ask for employee information that I cannot give you because you wanted to search me up on social media.”

Customer: *silent*

(He then paid, I handed him his receipt, and he left quickly. I gave a quick message to my manager and he told me I followed the right procedures. I ended up asking my coworker — the one the customer said he knew — about him and she didn’t know him, either.)

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