Retail worker being abused for things he cannot control

  • Bennet Heyn is a student, entrepreneur and retail employee. Heyn has seen a slight increase in the number of angry customers this year.
  • Heyn said some customers cursed and screamed, while others got angry at store policies that employees couldn’t change.
  • This is Heyn’s story, told to freelance writer Jamie Killin.

Bennett Heyn is a 21-year-old student, entrepreneur and retail employee. This is Heyn’s story, told to freelance writer Jamie Killin.

I am Bennett Heyn, a 21 year old student from Ohio State, entrepreneur and retail store worker. I have been working in my store since January of this year, and my colleagues and I have seen an increase in the number of angry customers.

I think customers might be more upset with the stress of the pandemic. We saw that there was a lot of panic when the

toilet paper
supply has gone down and customers are still very frustrated with pandemic mandates like our mask policy.

Many customers like to complain when they can’t find things, and some get angry.

Recently a customer was walking through our store and could not find the blankets section. They came up to me and started yelling at me that we weren’t selling blankets. I showed them the section, and they swore we must have moved our display. We hadn’t, but I just agreed with them that they weren’t more angry.

Another time I was working at the checkout and someone was trying to buy soda with an expired coupon. When I told them we wouldn’t accept the expired coupon, they said, “Damn asshole” and I had to call the manager. The manager let them use the voucher and they mumbled something else under their breath as they left.

A lot of people get angry when we try to enforce our store policies. I was helping the locker room area once and a customer tried to come back with 10 pieces of clothing to try on. However, we only let people try a certain number of items at a time.

I told them the policy, but they just walked past like they didn’t hear me. I went over to them before they entered the locker room and repeated the rule to them. They got so angry that they threw clothes on the floor angrily outside the locker room. They ended up trying the number of items allowed, then grabbed the other stuff off the floor and tried them on afterwards. They stared at me as they walked away.

This rude behavior from customers makes me feel bad and I don’t like being yelled at, but I expected it to happen.

My older brother worked in the same store as me and he told me that he sometimes expected rude behavior, but shouldn’t think about it too much. My manager says to be calm and professional, but let management know if things get out of hand or if clients need more help than I can provide, like in situations like these.

But in a perfect world, we wouldn’t have to do any of that. People would just remember that there is one person on the other side of their behavior – one who does not deserve the rude treatment they want to give them that day.

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