Thu 1 Jul, 2004 11:43 am
When is it time to lose your cool?
The men in my family have a history of confrontation with clerks, people who provide a good or service for the public and deal with the public. That is, when the men in my family seem to be legitimately getting f***** over. It's just the way my dad and my grandpa handled things. And I feel I have a reputation to live up to, and also I sometimes feel like a pussy, or that I just don't care about anything enough to complain.
Two weeks ago my car broke down. I had it towed to a local business. They originally said they'd have my transmission fixed a week ago. Then they said last Monday. I called Monday and they said Wednesday. They hadn't even received the used transmission they were to install. Yesterday I called and they said it wouldn't be ready until goddamn Monday!
Politely I said it was no big deal because everything's in walking distance and I'm going to be out of town this weekend (girlfriend is driving) so it didn't matter. I'm off of work, drinking a beer, I just don't want to deal with it.
My grandpa almost punched out a clerk at "The Diplomat" hotel in Elkhart, Indiana for overcharging him. My dad argued his way into a free hotel room in Iowa City (the air-conditioning was broke and no one slept). Maybe we only have this initiative in hotels.
My question is...when is pacifism counterproductive? Is it ever productive to bitch at your waiter (I used to be one, don't do it, actually, it will work against you)? My experience dealing with the public at work, is that generally it is old people who complain the most. Who won't tolerate anything less than quality, at all. Is this a generational thing?
Should I firebomb the Firestone shop?
have another beer and forget about it.(til monday)
Guess that's the only thing to be done at this point.
You got to realize when the problem is something the other person can control or not...your dad had every right to bitch at the hotel for not being able to sleep on a hot night with no a/c. They can easily comp you for that.
The guy at the car shop hasn't received the transmission yet...probably not his fault, unless he delayed ordering it for you, which wouldn't make sense on his end. Plus you have to expect delays on pretty much anything complicated. Car repairs, contract work at your house, ect. Just always happens. You could bitch with him, but it's probably not going to get you anywhere...he hears that stuff all the time.
Me? I usually have a good temper. For instance, I ordered a Bud the other day at the bar. After the bud light was put in front of me, I jumped behind the bar and mercilessly kicked the crap out of the server, then walked outside and kicked the first puppy I saw. But they lived.
It is fine to "complain" if your service is not correct or up to your standards. If you want positive results from your complaint, it is best to voice it in a calm manner with your facts to support your complaint. Punching out a clerk or screaming and making a scene is not the correct way to handle an error. Remember these are people and everyone does make mistakes.
When I go out to a restaurant or hotel or anything service related and I have an issue, I will usually ask for a manager. I then explain what happened or why the service was unacceptable-I rarely yell, make a scene and never resort to violence. Depending on the situation, some one just apologizing is enough. If it is worse, then some sort of compensation is appropriate. If I do not feel I received proper compensation, again depending on the situation, I either take the complaint higher until it is solved or do not use their services any further.
Finally, never bitch at your waitstaff. They have lots of power. Remember they are bringing you your food.
Actually, when I see customers act like babies yelling and complaining loudly, they're usually making themselves look like jackasses....you get much further when you do it calmly, even if you have to be stern and to the point.
That's what I think. I've nonverbally told too many customers to f*** off because they've complained about things like the butter being too cold, I mean really getting pissed that it won't melt on pancakes. It does look stupid.
I figure I'm getting screwed anyway paying for repairs with money I don't have (thanks Visa!), so if you're getting screwed you might as well get totally screwed, so I'll take it all out on Visa when they forward my account to a collections agency, and then an attorney, and then I will get drunk and drive the wrong way down an exit ramp.
I feel bad, Gargamel, that just because you're a guy, you might sometimes feel like a pussy if you don't get angry and scream about stuff like this. I can see that there are many of you here who are comfortable with that, and I admire that in a guy. It's good to be mellow and deal with most stuff placidly if you can. If I were a guy, I'd have to wear the T-shirt that says: "Don't Assume I fix things". As it is, I may have to get the one that says "Don't Assume I cook". You guys already know that it's better to be true to yourself than to uphold a stereotype. Good on ya
But what do I know, I'm a broad.
I don't think it's as much of a gender thing for me as it is past experiences in which being passive has worked against me. I don't at all mean resorting to violence, but being assertive and not clutching to the good habit of being nice and understanding all the time. I guess that's more relative to relationships, something totally apart from car mechanics.
Yeah, I do the same too often, even though I've seen that, often, nice guys do finish last.
I'd like to be more of a biatch, believe me!
It just don't come easy to some people. Keep workin' on it!
Okay...you damned dirty slut.
There's definately a difference between being bitchy and righteous anger. If you can deal with the situation calmly, that is best, but sometimes people won't respond effectively without a threat (transfer me to your manager, please) or some kind of understanding that they are not doing their job correctly.
You should never take it out on the poor I.T. desk worker that your brand new $$$ computer crashed. However, if you had a warranty for said computer, and they are trying to weasel their way out of fixing it, you would have a case for righteous consumer anger.
Gargamel- I think that there are more than two ways to handle a troubling situation. Instead of being passive or agressive, a person often can accomplish what he wants through appropriate assertiveness.
It is not necessary for someone to behave like a Neanderthal in order to get what he wants. It is also important to determine which situations are worth addressing, and which are just not that important to even bother about.
When I am at a restaurant, and the food is not they way that I ordered it, I will firmly but politely say, "I ordered medium rare. This steak is medium." I don't attack the waiter, I address the problem. More often than not, I get the steak I want, the waiter is not embarrassed, and the manager is falling all over himself trying to make things "right" with me.
Okay...you damned dirty slut.
What gave me away?
Try to insult me, will ya?
Now let's talk about misplaced