It's Assholes Like This

Assholes like this guy are one of the main reasons I got out of retail.

This jackass is frustrated with his phone service, so decided to go and yell at some employees at his local verizon retail outlet. When that didn’t satisfy his urge to ‘roidrage he started throwing phones and computers around the store, injuring one of the employees. If he only came down to yell at them, why was he carrying safety glasses?

Listen people. Employees at retail stores are not to blame for your shitty phone service, or your crappy computer software, or the cheap clothes that come apart on the first wash. They just sell the stuff. When you have a complaint, take it to the right person. If you don’t get the response you’re looking for, go up the ladder. Someone will help you. Retail employees don’t get paid enough to take abuse from you. They certainly get paid enough to try and help you with your problems with their products, but not enough to put up with your bad attitude, useless complaining, threats and abuse, either verbal or physical.

When you are planning on going into a store to yell at employees, you’re not looking for a solution to your problems, you’re looking to inflict those problems on other people in as loud and attention-grabbing a manner as possible. I’ve dealt with these situations more times than I would like to admit. The sad reality is that retail employees are often legitimately limited in what they can do to help you. Especially when what you consider help is outrageous demands for new hardware, upgraded service, or unwarranted replacements. Yelling at them will not help, it will just make them resent you and avoid you. Sure they may make a concession to get rid of you, but don’t think you’ll ever get any kind of service from them again.

Here’s a nice quote from the monkey:

“Then I just lost it,” he said. “I just started grabbing computers and phones and throwing them. I just destroyed the place. … I kind of regret that I did it, but I hope my message got across.”

You kind of regret it? Your message? What exactly was your message? Take care of me or I’ll come in an throw hissy fits and possibly harm you? If you can’t deal with frustration and disappointment in ways that are not destructive and harmful to others, you need to be in therapy or in prison. He’s currently in #2. I would have loved to have been the one to make that call to the police

People in retail are just that. People. Treat them as such. Now I’ll be the first to admit, retail can be a trying experience. Retail workers are often young, under-paid and apathetic. But you’re not going to make them care by screaming at them or threatening them or throwing thing at them. If you need help, approach it in an intelligent, plain manner. Be courteous by persistent. Be willing to concede that you may be wrong, and maybe they can correct your mistakes. The flip side to being apathetic is that retail employees also don’t care about ripping you off. They generally don’t get paid enough to try and finagle you into something.

When I left my last job, I was generally dealing with agitated people most of my day. I would get really agitated people at least once a day who often repeated the terms bait and switch, ripped off, false advertising, and the like. About once a week I would get a screamer. Needless to say, there was no chicanery going on, and usually the problems they had were pretty simple, or just policy decisions that were not in my control. I did my best to help people and send them out the door with a smile. But there were quite a few who were not interested in getting help, only yelling and blustering. They didn’t care that I couldn’t help them, or that the solution to the problem was not the solution they were determined to get. I kicked these people out and invited them to return when they were of better mind and wanted to solve their problems.

In a day at a phone store, you’re probably seeing over 100 good customers. But for every 100, you’re going to get at least 2 complete assholes. It only takes one to ruin your day and make you a lot less willing to help the next guy.

I’m glad this guy is in jail. He deserves it. Hopefully he will have to pay restitution for the damages as well as lost revenue for the store. He should also be made to apologize to each of the employees. Were I a judge on the case, I would also make him work at a Verizon store for a couple of weeks in lieu of jail time. Just to give him some perspective.