Tuesday, December 01, 2009

Anger and People Reading Skills

When I get annoyed, angry, or irritated with customers at work I normally put on a blank face and give pretty short answers to questions. Sometimes I wonder how transparent that is. I mean, I'm polite, but there are only so many ways people hide anger, and it seems pretty obvious to me. At best it should be interpreted as unfriendly. On the other hand, most of the customers who make me angry aren't all that bright, people-wise. Sometimes I think I could start yelling and swearing and I'd only get a, "Huh? Are you mad or something?" Or, more likely, since this does seem to happen occasionally with the blank-faced treatment, they'd just find it amusing for some reason. "Aww, look at the cute little retail worker, she doesn't like us." Either way, I wonder what the odds of detection are. And how far do the odds drop when the customer in question is drunk?

Yes, working retail has made me more cynical. Maybe it's a good thing -- I was pretty idealistic before, this has just injected a dash of realism. That could be good. Maybe.

3 comments :

Anonymous said...

perhaps cynicism is realism but so many people refuse to face reality they have to come up with a derogatory term to describe that person. I mean really... the world is in reality full of scorn and negativity... so if people agree with you...you are a realist! if they disagree with you...you are labeled a cynic!! so funny but kinda true...
having worked in retail... i can relate... lol...

jj :-)!

Anonymous said...

that post says i left it at 10:01pm so i guess you are in CA...cuz its 1:02 am here :-)!
jj

Abigail said...

Wow! I don't think I ever had to deal with drunk customers when I worked retail. You should try Vance's trick and lean sideways when talking to them. He says you can confuse drunk people that way, maybe even make them fall over!
Hmmm, I'm guessing that working as a bouncer can make one cynical too...