Unbelievably rude walk-in customer...what would you do?
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  1. #1
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    Default Unbelievably rude walk-in customer...what would you do?

    Good morning All:
    So yesterday I'm busily working getting a prototype ready for a trade show.
    My customer is desperate for it...there have been many problems with SLA parts that don't fit etc etc, so I'm up against the wall working like a fiend getting it ready for the powder coaters.
    So I'm on the Bridgeport concentrating on my work and this guy in overalls I've never seen before, comes in.

    He walks up to me, opens his fist to reveal a pile of grubby beat up washers and says "You have to fix these" in a heavy eastern European accent.
    No introduction, no "excuse me for interrupting" no nothing.

    So I say, "I'm sorry, I'm extremely busy right now so unfortunately I cannot help you".
    His response: "But I need them and it'll only take a few minutes"
    I come back with" I'm sorry, but I have a rush job to complete this afternoon...I can't help you."

    He comes back with" Well I'll just leave them here and come back for them in an hour"
    I think to myself...what is wrong with this guy...can't he take a hint?
    I'm starting to get a bit testy by now too, but I'm still polite through clenched teeth: "No, sir, I cannot even look at these for at least a week"

    "But I need them this afternoon"

    (So now the steam is beginning to rise gently) "No, I'm sorry, now I do have to get back to work", and I turn my back.

    OK, get this: he walks toward the surface grinder and says, "OK I'll just grind them myself"
    I fucking LOSE it..."Get the fuck out of my shop right now"

    You know what he comes back with..."Why are you being such an asshole...I'm your customer"
    I'm floored...I'm temporarily utterly speechless.
    Once I recover, I threaten to have the cops here and I invite him never to darken my door again (along with a lot of indecent words).
    While the yelling is going on my co-tenant peeks in through the door, my landlords from downstairs are staring round-eyed from the other door and I'm purple with rage.
    Normally it takes a lot to push my buttons, but I'm fucking FURIOUS...about ready to pick up the nearest steel bar and start swinging.

    Dickweed finally leaves, and I have to take a long walk to cool down enough to try to get my head back into my job.
    I get home at about 10:00 last night after finally finishing up, and I'm still a bit steamed.

    So now, somewhere in my neighbourhood I have a new enemy.
    I din't ask for this guy to become my enemy, but there it is.
    The neighbourhood is not quite the same now because I'm always looking over my shoulder expecting another confrontation.
    I LIKE this neighbourhood: in the year since I moved in here, I've met lots of really nice folks.
    Shit piss and fucking damn...this is not what I wanted.

    So how could I have handled it differently?

    Cheers

    Marcus
    Implant Mechanix • Design & Innovation > HOME
    Vancouver Wire EDM -- Wire EDM Machining

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  3. #2
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    I'm not so sure I would have handled it differently. Pissed me off just reading it lol. Some people have no respect and can't take a hint.

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    I don't know if handling it any differently was even an option!

    Guy sounds like a real entitled ahole!

    If anyone handled anything incorrectly, it certainly is not you.

    Hopefully you ran him off for good.

    Sent from my SM-G930V using Tapatalk

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    Thats why I keep the front door locked and have dogs.

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    I get a lot of walk-ins. I also lock the door when I don't want to be interrupted, and always at night.

    Had a guy wander in one day and ask me to break into "his" car for him. Yeah, right...

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    Marcus, there is no justification for what the "customer" did. He's lucky you didn't take a swing at him.

    I tend to dream up things I wish I had done after I did something else ... so maybe this is in that category: At some point (maybe when he walks to the grinder), say "okay, hang on a moment while I get a PO so that we can get this taken care of." Then call the police and ask them to come and escort him off the premises. Return and say, "Okay, I have asked you to leave, and you have not done so, so I've called the PO - that's the police office - and they will be here shortly."

    Whether that would actually work ... I have no idea. Did I mention that I tend to dream up scenarios after it is too late? But there is a germ of an idea in there. By losing your cool and threatening to call the police, you gave him a basis for feeling aggrieved. If you had kept your cool - not sure that I could, but if you could have done so - and just go ahead and call the police, you put him squarely in the wrong, with less wiggle room to blame you. OTOH, someone like that would blame you regardless ...

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    I just tell walk-ins that I have a $10K minimum. That usually gets rid of them for good.

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    I had a guy come in once and interrupt me that way.

    10 minute job, I said "sure, but before I stop what I'm doing, be aware I have a $60 minimum".

    Brit. Called me a wanker and stomped out, lol.

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    There is no way for someone to let themselves in to my building without being let in in. Not only would that be annoying when working, but also a liability issue.
    I don't think I have ever done anything very worthwhile by walk in. Sorry you had to deal with that guy.

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    Wow, I would of lost my cool as well. My shop is like my home. If you come inside and pass the will call area you better be a good friend or invited. If not your gonna get an earfull at the least. Respect someones business. Thats all that I ask.

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    No point in wondering how you could have handled the situation better, anyone with even the merest understanding of social etiquette and situational awareness would have immediately understood they were not wanted and left politely and quickly.

    I've been in the same situation before and handled it just as poorly, if not worse. It took me a while to calm down but it (and he) was soon forgotten.

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    In my experience, eastern europeans can come across as aggresive and pushy. Even so, no reason for this guy to go on the way he did. Sorry I'm busy is a pretty understandable statement to most folks

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    I'm on the edge of a gang area of La Habra, before I kept the place locked down I used to get walk-ins, but you could tell they were more interested in what they could steal than what I could make for them.

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    I agree with everyone else here: doesn't sound like there was any way for this to have gone smoothly. Guy walked in with a very entitled attitude and unrealistic expectations based on zero prior interactions, and it pretty much went the only way it could have from there...

    It actually could have been worse: You could have been having a quiet day and actually had time to do the work! Then he probably would have shown up with similar demands every couple of days. Nothing wrong with helping out a neighbour, but someone like that is going to strain the relationship real quick regardless of how you handle things...

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    My reaction to this story made it clear my wife is right: I would not last one day at her job. (public library)

    If this had happened to me it would have ended with somebody calling for an ambulance and the police.

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    Depending on where the eastern European came from he was probably talking and acting the same way most do, their English is not very sophisticated, and the nuances of a pleasant approach is lost on them. And depending on where they come from, maybe Albania, Bulgaria etc, walking in and demanding you to drop everything and jump on his parts would be SOP for these characters.

    I've dealt enough with these characters to know that it's largely 'just the way they are' on the other hand I would have lost it if they had decided they were going to help themselves and use one of my machines.

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    The guy probably walked out thinking

    "what the f***'s his problem!"

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    A friend of mine used to work for a German company. He said their favorite thing was to come into the tool room and say "I will need this now". Sounds similar to what you dealt with only as a non employee. I'd lose my cool too in short order.

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    Quote Originally Posted by implmex View Post

    So how could I have handled it differently?
    You could ask him to leave the washers and come back. When he comes back, he finds your locked door and his washers with a note "Sorry, I didn't have time..."

    On a serious note, it's a purely cultural problem on top of a language barrier. The guy, probably, got used to a simple, seemingly rude, but brotherly relationship between factory workers in his country. When your peer comes to you, you find a way to help him out. And the root of it is socialism, when many people don't really care about their production. Pleasing a fellow worker is more valuable than working for "the people" and getting no appreciation.

    And I can assure you that the majority of the "rude Eastern Europeans" will share their last shirt with you and never sell you down the river unlike many well polished aborigines with wide smiles on their faces.

    Nevertheless, you handled it just fine........although you could've returned home half an hour later if you helped the guy.

    OK, just pulling your leg.
    Last edited by MichaelP; 02-22-2020 at 04:04 PM.

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    I guy I worked with would have said "Yes, DICK".

    I remember one of the members here mentioned that he keeps a 45 in the column of his BP (behind access door). It's too much of a temptation for me.

    A better way than using a 20 cent solution to the head is have a sign that says "Employees only beyond this point" and paint a red line on the ground.

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