Abusive Behaviour; How To Stop Verbal Abuse From An Angry Customer Who Won't Calm Down!

Difficult Abusive Customers, Anger & Lessons Learned

Under the red five-pointed star of the pentagram, encased with a circle, there was a lesson to learn. Through an abusive customer, I had learned more about anti social behaviour in those 20 minutes than any television documentary. I was surprised in how well I did in dealing with the conflict at the local petrol station. Handling difficult customers, despite the fact that I was a customer myself, is an incredible to skill to have. It is a shame that the guys at Texaco Garage didn't learn their lesson - the reasons how will be revealed later in my article.

Verbal abuse from customers are becoming more widespread. In understanding anger, starting with the self, we might be able to find ways in solving anti social behaviour and learn methodology in dealing with conflict.

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Something terrible happened to me the other day in this thing called society. I was completing some chores after taking someone to hospital as a volunteer.

I went to the car wash. The corner into it was tight. There is a single track, curved roadway, around the back of a building. This is similar to the one demonstrated in the above picture. There was nowhere to park in the courtyard, so I drove my car in behind the entrance of the car wash. There was no queue so thought it all right.

It was a tight corner into the entrance. There was a huge stack of over hanging nets of firewood. This made for manoeuvre difficult. I felt a bump and thought it a kerb. I couldn't see under my car, so continued. I got out at the petrol station's machine and made my way around to the front entrance of the Garage store to get a ticket.

A man came out saying he cleared up the wood on the floor. I thought he was complaining about the over hanging wood. I said that I was about to mention that to the shop assistant because it made it hard to manoeuvre around.

Stop Verbal Abuse by Keeping Calm - even when you don't feel like it!

He left, I told the assistant, got my ticket and went back to the car.

There standing was a woman. She started shouting at me, threatening me... wanting to kill me because I was selfish - so she thought - leaving the car at the machine to get a ticket and going over a bag of wood. She went on and on - I sat on the bonnet, not a word I uttered.

In my head I said 'the sparks of anger will dissipate soon', keep quiet, be calm. My heart raced as she poked me. She was swearing at me, shouting why you aren't speaking? Her husband pulled her away. All the time I kept saying to myself .. be still keep calm. She ordered me to leave and go around again so as they could have my number 1 slot in the machine.

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Dealing with Conflict - Don't React Even When There is an Attempt to Intimidate (e.g. Revving Car)

As she went I coded in my number, got in the car, locked the doors and let the machine wash my car. I was incredibly scared. My pulse was racing. I just wanted to go.

The woman, man and kids in the car behind, revved their car, moved as if to give the impression of banging into me. Another car turned up - this was a red car. It blocked the exit to the car wash. I thought it was going to be my lot - that I was going to be slashed with a knife or something; but they must have seen the CCTV camera and moved at the end of the washing cycle. I parked the car and thought that I had better let the shop assistant log details just in case they followed me home. I wasn't sure whether I needed Police assistance. I didn't know whether there was going to be more rage.

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Dealing with Difficult Customers Means Waiting For Anger to Subside

The woman was at the counter... shouting and swearing, pointing to me. She told them to get a sign saying for people to get their ticket first before entering the car wash facility. Totally freaking out! I stood there and said nothing. After a couple of 'f@cking bitch' at me, she left.

A person in the queue turned to me and said 'Was it you she was talking about?' - I must have looked so calm - I said 'Yes'. She said, 'Why didn't you defend yourself and answer back?' I said... 'I was waiting for the anger to subside, then I could have talked to her... there is nothing much you can do when someone is in that state now is there?' I don't think they could understand how anyone could take that level of abuse without flinching.

Dealing with Conflict - Stop Verbal Abuse! Is It Worth Getting Angry?

  • Anger makes us unhappy – it is an unpeaceful mind
  • It makes other people unhappy – our actions become destructive, negative and hurtful, Makes people lose all sense of reason.
  • It destroys positivity in our mind – our good karma
  • Anger makes us ugly – emitting hostile energy, creating a cause for more ugliness in others
  • Anger is futile
  • Anger is a response to unhappiness. The unhappier he is, the angrier he becomes, leading to an ever-decreasing cycle.
  • The affects of anger live with us, even when the angry moment has gone. An example: I have written this article! The affects of anger has lived on and driven this article. Lets make my experience positive and learn the lesson of anger!


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Abusive Customers - Make Sure You Log The Incident

I then gave the counter assistant some details and said that it is best to log these things, just in case something very serious happened on the way home. I also advised them that the overhanging firewood has caused lots of trouble, it could have escalated into something terrible.

The woman watched me as I left, intimidating and spitting, as I kept my eyes focused on getting to the car and home. My heart was still racing as I left the petrol station and when I went home I sobbed... yes, the world is indeed crazy.

I went past the petrol station yesterday. There in the crowded courtyard, where there was still nowhere to park. I noticed there is another load of overhanging wooden blocks, netted and ready for spilling over the entrance to the car wash. I breathed a deep sigh - some things never change in a world that really doesn't give a hoot. I survived, though.

So was this the best way to stop the verbal abuse from an angry customer? Perhaps you care to comment?

© This work is covered under Creative Commons License

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How to Solve Our Human Problems: The Four Noble Truths

How to Solve Our Human Problems: The Four Noble Truths By Gesha Kelsang Gyatso

‘Anger is a deluded mind that focus on an animate or inanimate object, feels it to be unattractive, and then we exaggerate its bad qualities thereby wishing to harm it’

These are the words of Geshe Kelsang Gyatso – a Tibetan-born teacher of Buddhism in How To Solve Our Human Problems: The Four Nobel Truths.

It is what we do with that situation is that matters.  When people are angry, they zoom in and exaggerate the situation.  Our angry customer demonstrated this with me.  I was as an object of her unhappiness. 

My response was not what she expected – there was no reaction.  She wanted an emotional punch-bag because she was unhappy.  Without a reaction, she had nothing to react to.  This inaction, defused an escalation.  Who knows what might have happened with a reaction.

Anger is inflexible and minimises choice in actions.  What were the choices available to her once she had taken the pathway to anger?

The woman’s anger choices were to remove ‘either herself or by pushing the object away, thereby… discrediting the object by harming in some way’  I was the object and this object responded without a response – awaiting an opportunity to talk when the anger dies out – all sparks die out in the end.

Gesha Kelsang Gyatso: ‘Anger never works on a realistic mind' Quoted From How to Solve Our Human Problems: The Four Noble Truths

In the words of Gesha Kelsang Gyatso: ‘Anger never works on a realistic mind… because it is based on an exaggeration. Anger is an unrealistic mind. The intrinsically faulty person or thing that it focuses on, does not exist.’

It is, therefore, an illusion of perception. For example, I was not this awful person that the abusive customer had created in her mind. Actually, far from it, I was attempting to be mindful of others. Her anger made her unhappy and the more unhappy she became, the more she was angry.

If you want to read more from Gesha Kelsang Gyatso's How to Solve Our Human Problems: The Four Noble Truths, you can order a copy from Amazon. It comes highly recommended and is a good price, but don't take my word for it, check out the reviews!

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Comments 64 comments

artrush73 profile image

artrush73 6 years ago

Cool hub, I rated it up. Great work :)


shazwellyn profile image

shazwellyn 6 years ago from Great Britain Author

Thank you arthrush ... Watch out for the dreaded revenge of the car wash! lol


MordechaiZoltan profile image

MordechaiZoltan 6 years ago

Shaz,life is indeed crazy. Cheers to you for remaining a bastion of zen calmness in a storm of complete nonsense. And the kids there to watch such horrid behaviour!! In Ohio we do not have bags of firewood hanging from our car washes. This makes me sad as I think we are missing out. We do have however armed citizenry which in situations as you endured make for a heightened sense of calamity.

I believe these lunatics are put in front of us as visual aids for how not to behave!!!

Awesome hubage!


brianzen profile image

brianzen 6 years ago

It was wonderful self control, and a story about two samurai parallels it wonderfully, The master stood and listened as the young upstart ridiculed him, but he didn't budge and when the upstart left the crowd asked him master why did you not thrash him for his word's the master replied "when someone brings you a gift and you do not receive it to whom does it belong?" well done shaz


Lyria profile image

Lyria 6 years ago

Great advice...I always try to remember, do I want to be right or do I want to be happy? Fortunately, I always want to be happy :)


shazwellyn profile image

shazwellyn 6 years ago from Great Britain Author

Dear Pooh - Thank you for reading. I recon that she would have shot me if she had a gun - really!

I thought about the children too! See how mummy behaves - that is how you treat people!! Great mentor for them... not!

I hope that publishing this, people might remember that it is better allow the time for anger to die out and then talk, than allow their fear to lead to their anger.

Unfortunately, experiences like this can live with you and can damage your inner peace. The book that I have recommended - even if you are not a buddhist, taoist or mystic, can have a great impact in changing your life.

Thanks sweet Moch x


shazwellyn profile image

shazwellyn 6 years ago from Great Britain Author

Brienzen - I didn't think of it in that way. Well, what a wonderful parallel! It is, indeed, a challenge to live a life with such forces that surround us.

It just goes to show that human behaviour has not changed over the ages, just the environment.

Thanks for sharing that with me x


shazwellyn profile image

shazwellyn 6 years ago from Great Britain Author

Lyria - That is a great philosophy.

‘Anger never works on a realistic mind… because it is based on an exaggeration. Anger is an unrealistic mind. The intrinsically faulty person or thing that it focuses on, does not exist.’

With every action there is a reaction - if we can short cut this with inaction, then peace can be restored.

Thanks for reading x


missmaudie profile image

missmaudie 6 years ago from Brittany, France

Great hub shazwellyn, you did exactly the right thing. It's never a good idea to lose you temper with someone: as far as I'm concerned you've 'lost' the argument straightaway because you have nowhere to go from there and you've handed the other person the upper hand. In this case though you must have been very scared, I know I would have been. What a sad world we live in when just trying to get your car washed can lead to a scene like that though. Well done you!


TattoGuy 6 years ago

I find a good headbutt works !


Pamela99 profile image

Pamela99 6 years ago from United States

What an interesting hub. I would like to commend you for taking the high road and not stooping down to that lady's level. The confrontation may have become physical if you had responded. Now, can you forgive her so it is an experienced you can look back at without feeling any emotion? That's hard to do sometimes.

I kept thinking, look at the example she is setting for her children! Will they grow up to be like her? You would think that it would have been humiliating for her husband as well, but he apparently didn't try to get her under control so she is probably abusive to her family.

But, back to you. We have a choice about response and we live with the consequences of our actions. You did the safest thing. A good cry was warranted. Maybe you can find somewhere else to get your car washed! Excellent hub.


shazwellyn profile image

shazwellyn 6 years ago from Great Britain Author

Missmaudie - I was petrified but just kept saying to myself 'all sparks die out in the end'... waiting and waiting until I could talk to the woman - but she didn't calm. It was odd.

Thanks for reading x


shazwellyn profile image

shazwellyn 6 years ago from Great Britain Author

Doh Tattoguy! lol My nut isn't quite that hard-a-one to crack!

She didn't crack at all!

Nah... Im a peaceful, gentle, person - try to handle the situation the best I can.

Thanks for reading and keep on nut cracking! hehehe xxxxx


shazwellyn profile image

shazwellyn 6 years ago from Great Britain Author

Pamela.. There are lots of positives that have come out of the experience. I have produced a hub that might help others, should they be in a similar situation. I have recommended a book, which I found by chance which has helped me become a better person. And finally, I have grown from the experience.

I was considering sending this link to Texaco and maybe, they might do something about overhanging wood blocks - the staff at the petrol station, certainly didn't do anything! Also, they did nothing to defuse the situation.

Can you see that with equal amounts of positivity comes out of negativity? I see this experience as a good thing, borne from suffering comes great things.

Thanks for reading my friend x


Sage Williams profile image

Sage Williams 6 years ago

Shaz, You did the right thing. I know how hard it is when someone is in your face like that. But by not engaging and remaining calm, you managed to not let the situation escalate any further. If you can even imagine that. You followed your instincts and stayed in control. Congratulations! I admire your courage and strength in doing so.

Based on my own experiences, by remaining calm you take the anger from the other person it tends to dissipate when they realize that they are not are not penetrating the surface. I was always scared stiff in situations like this and froze up so there was no speech. For me, once again, my defenses came to my rescue, by my lack or inability to react. I learned the art of disengaging an angry person. It was a blessing in disguise.

Great Job, I really enjoyed this hub,

Sage


Green Lotus profile image

Green Lotus 6 years ago from Atlanta, GA

Thanks for putting out this valuable hub shaz! Definitely change car washes :) but don't change your attitude when it comes to de-fusing angry intimidators.


shazwellyn profile image

shazwellyn 6 years ago from Great Britain Author

Thanks Bad Company - I proud to know you and thanks for congratulations xx


shazwellyn profile image

shazwellyn 6 years ago from Great Britain Author

Sage - You wouldn't believe how people prefer to get stewed up and angry to maintaining a peaceful life. Why get into that state? Her health will suffer if she continues in that vein.

I thank you for your endearing comment x


Chief Apathetic 6 years ago

Been more years ago than I care to remember but their "Theme Jingle" in their commercials in this land was, "You can trust your car to the man who wears the Star." Since I don't think about them as a company, and don't even know if they are still around I didn't think in terms of their Logo/Trademark/Symbol being a Pentagram or Idolatry of a Pentagram.

For myself personally the Mark of the Beast has to do with Buying & Selling that they will not be able to Buy or Sell without the Mark that falls into the numbers category of Corporations/Businesses that have to have Govt. numbers to buy & sell, in this land all products have a UPC code of Numbers that use three 6's, and businesses usually have a logo or trademark so I wondered if this is the Trademark of the Beast or Mark of the Beast?

For this old Indian I term businesses in animal symbology as Spider Parlors or Cash Registers as all life on earth is pretty much enslaved by cash registers now. Goes back to the thought of the Israelites asking God for a King so they could be like the other Nations, and God telling them a King would enslave them, but God gave them a King as they envied the other Nations & did not want what he wanted for them.

Interesting to me that God already considered the Nations of the earth to be nothing more than Slave Nations. They call themselves Free, but they are slaves to their insanity & the insanity of others.

Life on a planet called earth. It is all very strange.


shazwellyn profile image

shazwellyn 6 years ago from Great Britain Author

Dear Green... I could have lost it.. I felt a stirring - what use is that? Losing it only leads to a loss of dignity - it felt like a public rape of my integrity however.

There is lots to learn from this and we can only start with our own behaviours x


shazwellyn profile image

shazwellyn 6 years ago from Great Britain Author

Chief... I wondered if anyone would pick up the symbology of the corporate design - respect to you! Funny how the RED 5 pointed star with a circle has been adopted by the powerful organises of OIL! This magickal symbol is protecting corporate giants. Arhh, but that is another hub!

Hitler did something similar... he took the magick cross and reversed it. I cant understand why people didn't see the big ole clue! I always say... look for the clues.

I know where you are coming from with the barcoding issue. I have also wondered this too. Just wait until we are all tagged - like the dogs. We can have the joy of being scanned then!

I diversify...

Chief... all we need is lub lub lub x *wink*


wavegirl22 profile image

wavegirl22 6 years ago from New York, NY

Intersting post and it comes at the perfect time, as I just got home from work and I had one of those days where no matter who called today - everyone had an attitude! Funny how someone yelled out in my office. . what is it a full moon?? And so I laughed and took a few deep breaths before I answered any call. Yes it was one of those days. And to not react to them is actually kind of fun. . the more you don't get riled the more they try!

Great Hub shazwellyn - thanks for confirming and validating my day;)

Thumbs up and going to Tweet this one right now!


shazwellyn profile image

shazwellyn 6 years ago from Great Britain Author

Thanks wavegirl... so another positive has come out of a negative experience... this is great! x


Jai Warren profile image

Jai Warren 6 years ago from Dallas, Deep Ellum, Texas

You absolutely did the right thing by not responding to her anger. My personal response would have been a deep breath followed by a BIG toothy smile. Thanks for sharing this great advice, shazwellyn.


Tammy Lochmann profile image

Tammy Lochmann 6 years ago

Hi kindred!...You are so much like me. I am so sorry you were the object of someone's anger the other day. You did right I never provoke or answer in anger when someone loses it. Great story and thanks for a very valuable lesson to be shared.


hypnodude profile image

hypnodude 6 years ago from Italy

Sometimes people is really too much uptight. When these things happen the best thing to do, if possible, is to remain calm. But since having nothing to grasp sometimes makes those crazy ones even more angry, being ready for a good headbutt as Captain Jack said is a good advice.

Alternatively you could have said her either "Sorry, I wasn't listening" or "Well, that's just like, your opinion, woman". :)

Thumbs up. :)


shazwellyn profile image

shazwellyn 6 years ago from Great Britain Author

Jai Warren - Thanks, my friend. I was just imagining a bubble around me - like an invisible wall. I was conscious of my thumping heart and that I didn't want her to see me shaking - I was shaking inside. I must have hidden it well - I couldn't smile - I was blank.

She was waiting for a reaction - any reaction! If I had smiled she would have taken it as smugness - a reaction. I wanted to wait for the anger to subside.

I am sure she would have been a fairly nice person in a different circumstance.

It was weird because I remember thinking 'One day I will probably help you - you might strike ill and I will be there for you to guide you through a troubled time... will you remember me?' - I am volunteer for the ambulance service and the red cross. I take and support sick people to their appointments and radiotherapy. I am an ear and guide to help them through a tough time. I don't know why I was thinking those thoughts?

Well, time will tell no lies and no doubt the cycle will be completed at some point. I will remember her and she wont remember me or the incident, she will just think that my face is familiar and I will say nothing.

You know, actions do come back to haunt people, I believe!

Thanks for reading my friend x


shazwellyn profile image

shazwellyn 6 years ago from Great Britain Author

Hi Tammy - my punk prototype! How are you peaceful punkette?

The experience is a positive one now. We have managed to turn it around and demonstrate a way of living and dealing with anger. As you are a kindred, I need not say anymore because you will just know!

X


shazwellyn profile image

shazwellyn 6 years ago from Great Britain Author

You made me smile hypnodude. Head butting is not my style! lol That's not to say you don't feel like retaliating in this way, but as I calmly carried on and completed the task, I managed to maintain my dignity despite her discrediting me.

I believe in 'first do no harm', just because I was the focus of her unhappiness, doesn't mean that I should follow on with this.

People deal with things in different ways and, no doubt, she will ponder on my reaction as odd or something she would not have predicted. This will play on her mind and she will ask herself, eventually, 'how could that woman be unreactive?'. The question will live with her and she might just eventually 'get it'!

If that happens, that has to be a good thing.


brandyBachmann profile image

brandyBachmann 6 years ago

fighting fire with fire only makes things worse, kinda like fighting terrorism, you can't defeat it if you yourself become a terrorist. Sometimes people just can't control themselves and what I do when I'm in a situation like yours is that I tell myself that the person verbally abusing me is a good person going through a tough time and that he/she is the one who needs to be understood most


shazwellyn profile image

shazwellyn 6 years ago from Great Britain Author

brandyBachmann - This is it. I just hope that one day the abusive customer will become a better person from this experience. I know that the test for me, made me a better person in myself.

I see this as a test which I passed. This is a good thing.

Thanks for reading and spreading the loooove! x


Mike Lickteig profile image

Mike Lickteig 6 years ago from Lawrence KS USA

Shaz, I will join the chorus of others who commended you for doing exactly the right thing. Feelings aren't rational but they are valid--we can't ignore it when someone is as angry as this person was.

I was in a retail position where I had to address the angry customers. I never disagreed with them, even if they were flat-out wrong. I listened, I said "I understand" (which didn't mean I agreed), and I let the customer vent. There is no resolution to any situation when dealing with that kind of anger.

I will say that there is a difference between someone being genuinely angry (whether it is justified or not) and someone who is consciously using anger as a means to intimidate. If I think someone is just yelling at me to get their way and is not as angry as they are trying to appear, I will usually say something suggesting that screaming at me is not the way to get me to agree with them. That is a completely different situation than the one you experienced, however.

Again--you did EXACTLY the right thing.

Mike


shazwellyn profile image

shazwellyn 6 years ago from Great Britain Author

That is exactly how you should behave if you are dealing with difficult and abusive customers. But being a customer having verbal abuse spude at me - a customer myself - was a dangerous situation. I handled the situation well, but where were the staff when I needed them? Why didn't they help diffuse the situation? Why stack the wood so high and wide so as the bundles spilled over? It was this that was the trigger to her anger which just escalated.

What is of real concern is, I went past the petrol station the other day and there stacked to falling, there were more netted wooden kindle. They didn't learn, did they? This is why I sigh!

Thanks Mike x


Mamelody profile image

Mamelody 6 years ago

I wish I read this when I used to work as a customer service agent. Usually I was polite and took all the crap that they shoot at you until one day one customer called me a "cunt" and that was it.. I lost it and gave him a piece of my mind! That was my last day working as a customer service agent- five years ago- and I decided never to work in that field again. Nice hub hun and very informative xx


shazwellyn profile image

shazwellyn 6 years ago from Great Britain Author

Mamelody - I am sorry that you had this happen to you and it ruined your view on that line of work. You obviously, were doing a good job.

Bottling up isn't a good thing either because sooner or later you do explode. Verbal abuse - like any abuse - has an impact on people's psychie and it does have an affect. For me, it was a good cry after the event.

Management should have been there for you - supervision sessions. It inspires a team spirit and an outlet for the effects of the anger. The key here, therefore, is about knowing yourself - your limitations and stress levels.

Once you have identified you are not managing, this is where referring to management is advisable - easy said than done, granted. But a good team, ideally, is a supportive team. The company that you worked for obviously weren't supportive enough!

Thank you for reading x


Rascal Russ Miles profile image

Rascal Russ Miles 6 years ago from Show Low, AZ USA

AWESOME story and great Hub. You did the sane thing. Also your response to comments are excellent.


shazwellyn profile image

shazwellyn 6 years ago from Great Britain Author

Rascal... thank you for commenting and Im glad you found it fruitful. x


ladyjane1 profile image

ladyjane1 6 years ago from Texas

Wow this hub reminds me of my experience at the supermarket with the jerk that was yelling at the older lady. I don't know what is happening to people these days but there are so many people that are just so angry out there. More and more people are killing each other over nothing. Just the other day in my town, a man shot at another car on the express way just because he passed him. People are losing their minds and it is just the sign of the times I guess. But you did the right thing sometimes you just have to let others calm down and not respond to not add fuel to the fire. Sorry that you had such a terrorfying experience and I am glad that nothing seriously physically happened to you. Keep the faith or at least try because I know its hard in these times.


ladyjane1 profile image

ladyjane1 6 years ago from Texas

I think I might have had to slap her though LOL


shazwellyn profile image

shazwellyn 6 years ago from Great Britain Author

Ladyjane - I read you hub on that story. I was just brewing this one at the same time. I think this is becoming more and more common these days, like you said, and many people can identify with this because they have experienced something similar.

Thanks for reading and,no, slapping wouldn't have done any good! lol


Rafini profile image

Rafini 6 years ago from Somewhere I can't get away from

Remaining calm while being verbally abused is a very difficult thing to do and the immediate aftermath isn't pretty. But in the long run, after you have determined the anti-social person wasn't worth the effort of becoming angry yourself, you realize you did exactly what should have been done. Remain calm.

Nice hub, by the way. :)


shazwellyn profile image

shazwellyn 6 years ago from Great Britain Author

That is kind of you Rafini. And look how all of us have helped to turn the negative experience around by learning the lessons from this! Thank you for commenting:)


James Alfoy 6 years ago

Confused.Com.

If this is the customer giving you abuse, how is the site responsible?


shazwellyn profile image

shazwellyn 6 years ago from Great Britain Author

James - because if the netted wooden firelighters were not over loaded and spilling over, then it wouldn't have sparked the argument in the first place.

Also, the 'site' should have a guide to customers as to what the queuing arrangments for the car wash should be.

Furthermore, the design of the roadway makes it difficult to swing a car into the car wash. With a mountain of wood stock overhanging, this made it movement difficult.

When the threats were being made, the Police should have been called. Furthermore, staff members have a duty of care to the customers on their premises - the abuse happened on private property. The woman was out of control and needed police intervention.

It saddens me that the staff had no concern, even to document the incident, they really didn't care whether blood was spilt or not.

Hope you are no longer confused.com!


James Alfoy 6 years ago

Shaz,

Ok, the way I read this was the arguement stated because you blocked the car wash and not to do with the wood. The fact you have added the whole paragraph on the wood really confuses me.

You have mentioned you were driving someone to the hospital when you went to this site, where was they during the incident?

You mentioned the staff should have called the police, but I do not understand what had stopped you from calling the police? Had I felt my life was in grave danger I would of rung them in the first instance and not created a very one sided article on the whole subject.

I agree the woman in question does need intervention but have you done anything yourself to ensure this incident does not happen again yourself?

Have the police been informed as of yet?

A queue is a queue, you wait in line for your turn. There really is no science to this. The fact you parked your car in front of the car wash though was what it comes across to me as the disagreement started over. If I was driving down the motorway and because there was no one behind or in front of me does it make it acceptable to park there?

Sale's staff in all sorts of places to the best of my knowledge are told not to get involved for the simple fact it disrupts their work, Can bring more aggravation to the situation at hand, and in some circumstances even put the staff's lives at risks.

Kind Regards,


Shlomo SL Abrin profile image

Shlomo SL Abrin 6 years ago from Redford, MI

My thoughts and feelings are fleeting. Should I attach myself to anger any more than I would to love or pleasure? My anger is never 'caused' by any event. For me to truly be angry, I have to already be in bio-chemical state where such anger is possible. I catch myself reacting to perfectly horrible circumstances with perfect equanimity and, at other times, even the best of days elicit a melancholy or emotionally aggressive response.

So, when I have to deal with someone who is enraged, I am fairly certain that I am more of a symptom than a cause and can relate better to their anger, because there exists no internal imperative to mount any defense. As one realizes that anger solves very little and could very well make matters worse, rage becomes a foolish endeavor. I laugh at myself a lot these days.

Self-awareness happens when you finally discover things about yourself that everyone else already knew about you long ago.


shazwellyn profile image

shazwellyn 6 years ago from Great Britain Author

Ok, the way I read this was the argument stated because you blocked the car wash and not to do with the wood. The fact you have added the whole paragraph on the wood really confuses me. Reply: 1. There was nowhere to park on the forecourt. 2. The Car wash was 'free' - no one was parked there. 3. The wood at the front of the carwash entrance was over spilling - this was situated to the left (on approach) of the entrance (roadway). Unbeknown to me (I cant see under my car - I have an estate) bundles of 'kindling' wood had fallen onto the entrance. I went over this wood (thinking the 'bump' action was a kerb - it is a very tight turn). The point is the wood shouldn't have been positioned in this spot in the first place and be speuing over. On my approach to the shop, I could see this problem and the intention was to report it. It is interesting to note, that even as I pass the garage on 26th march at 10.30am - there still has been no change - the wood is still overloaded and falling onto the roadside. This is a hazard.

You have mentioned you were driving someone to the hospital when you went to this site, where was they during the incident? Reply: This is irrelevant - the patient had already been dropped home

You mentioned the staff should have called the police, but I do not understand what had stopped you from calling the police? Had I felt my life was in grave danger I would of rung them in the first instance and not created a very one sided article on the whole subject. Reply: I was trapped by the abusive customer and a red car within the mechanism of the car wash. I had no working phone, or else I would have done. This was unfortunate.

I agree the woman in question does need intervention but have you done anything yourself to ensure this incident does not happen again yourself? Reply: Yes, Firstly, I did inform the shop assistants of my name and telephone number (btw,they were reluctant to log the details of the incident)and secondly, I don't go to that garage anymore. I go to Sainsburys where the organisation is better - where I can park, get a car wash ticket and where there are no obstructions on route to the wash machine. Plus the staff are friendly and helpful. I feel confident that if an incident did occur, they wouldn't have any hesitation but to contact the police.

Have the police been informed as of yet? No.. I don't want revenge tactics. I live in a small town.

A queue is a queue, you wait in line for your turn. There really is no science to this. The fact you parked your car in front of the car wash though was what it comes across to me as the disagreement started over. Reply: There was no queue - I was the first in.

If I was driving down the motorway and because there was no one behind or in front of me does it make it acceptable to park there? Reply: 1. It does when there are no 'rules' in place to inform proper procedures. 2. It does when there are no others parked. 3.It does when there is nowhere to park on the forecourt. 4. It does when you have to use common sense to deal with a situation that is impossible in the first place.

In summary, whatever action that I had performed at that given time would have lead to failure. If policies are in place in the first instance, this would have avoided a very bad situation. The garage had seriously failed me - they have a duty of care to all customers on their private property and failed the abusive customer.

Sale's staff in all sorts of places to the best of my knowledge are told not to get involved for the simple fact it disrupts their work, Can bring more aggravation to the situation at hand, and in some circumstances even put the staff's lives at risks. -

Reply: Well, I am sure that many customers will seek other more organised stations. I am sorry that you feel that it more of an 'aggravation' than it is worth - I will tell the next customer who could potentially be left in a pool of blood, that staff intervention is more hassle that it is worth!

The good thing about the internet is that it is viral:)

Kind Regards

p.s. I checked your ip address and this says it all!

Hostname: 62.172.42.126

ISP: British Telecommunications

Organization: FTIP003104484 Pace Petroleum

Proxy: None detected

Type: Broadband

Assignment: Static IP


shazwellyn profile image

shazwellyn 6 years ago from Great Britain Author

@ Shlomo - I agree. I must admit that I have amazed myself - I have learned something about me! This experience has highlighted something... I have found that I tend to react in the same way in lots of other experiences and this stems back from when I was a child.

Thanks for your comment:)


angela_michelle profile image

angela_michelle 6 years ago from United States

I think this is really good you put together this hub, as it pertains to so many of us. It took me years to discover the best way to deal with angry customers. I'm now pretty good at it, but no longer deal with customers. Irony for ya!


shazwellyn profile image

shazwellyn 6 years ago from Great Britain Author

angela... it looks like this is a life lesson for you! lol.. it is ironic how this tends to happen, you learn coping mechanisms and, the problem disappears! Thanks for reading:)


FCEtier 6 years ago

My position as manager makes it easy to diffuse anger. I often begin with, "The buck stops with me. I'm the one that can make sure you walk away happy." It lets them know in a subtle way that they shouldn't attack me and that working with me they've got a good chance at resolving their problem.


shazwellyn profile image

shazwellyn 6 years ago from Great Britain Author

FCEtier - what a great philosophy. Well done:)


moncrieff profile image

moncrieff 6 years ago from New York, NY

Ahh, abusive customers, I hate 'em, it shows their low emotional organization. A bunch of emos. Working for the customer service industry, I know that by screaming and intimidating you achieve less. Like a surgeon you have to treat such customers very skillfully. Thanks for sharing.


shazwellyn profile image

shazwellyn 6 years ago from Great Britain Author

moncrief - I couldn't help chuckle when you called abusive customers 'emos', but I know what you mean. Good you popped by:)


Denise Handlon profile image

Denise Handlon 6 years ago from North Carolina

What a horrific situation to endure. And, to have it go on and on, without any assistance from mngt or employees, is a double assault. You, my dear, were in a traumatizing situation, and it makes me sad that this was allowed to continue for the length of time it did.

As a psychiatric nurse, I have the (unfortunate)honor to receive this 'rage' from many people. We call them 'patients', but the unleashed, public rage is alarming. It is rising, it is made more popular through the media: caught on tape, placed on Youtube, viewed on reality or entertainment shows. It sickens me. Nietchze said, "man is a sick animal" and it is so true.

Handling the assault, because that is what it was-verbal assault, the way you did was one way. But, other ways, to protect yourself, you could have asked the worker to step in or call the police. When it is not a simple: F You, comment or flip of the bird, and you are feeling THAT ENDANGERED, call the police. Esp, when you have to worry if this lunatic is following you.

She has grave problems. This wasn't a simple display of anger. This was an out of control rage that simply is a psychopathic. Perhaps, if she had a weapon, she would have senselessly used it. She is a dangerous woman and a danger/menace to the public. Shame on her husband for not driving her home (or to the nearest psych dept.)

Another way that it could have been handled, and one I have used when I have sensed immediate danger to myself on the psych unit, is to stand still, raise your hand and yell loudly, "STOP" then attempt (in your case) to let the woman know she is assaulting you,again in a loud voice: "LEAVE ME ALONE" or "BACKOFF" or "YOU ARE OUT OF LINE" . you get the picture. In addition, by turning to the (meek) husband and letting him know that you will not tolerate this verbal abuse, and will call the police if he does not remove her from the area, it makes him responsible for the outcome of any followup you do. And, along with yelling STOP, etc, I would have yelled, "HELP. SOMEONE HELP ME."

Part of the 'power' that ragers use is they bet on the passivity of the victim. By receiving the ongoing abuse, you do not empower yourself, and that is part of the PTSD-the shaking, the crying, etc. By making a choice to repel the assault in some way, it honors yourself-your Being, and removes the helpless, childlike, 'no one is here for me' feeling that is often at a deeper level. But, YOU are here for you. That is EMPOWERMENT.

I hope this incident has not scarred your faith in mankind. You have alot of interesting hubs and I feel you are a warm,caring soul. Take care.


shazwellyn profile image

shazwellyn 6 years ago from Great Britain Author

Phew... just reading this makes me feel better Denise. I have had a hard year and, thinking back, this situation seemed to help a terrible decline in me - like steps deepening a further decline in the null state of feeling that I have suffered. I no longer feel excited, happy, sad... I save every reserve of energy to the fight for my son's future education.

Despite that I have a background in psychology... I am surprised that I didn't see this myself. Thanks:)


Denise Handlon profile image

Denise Handlon 6 years ago from North Carolina

You are most welcome. Glad to extend a helping word. Sometimes, in the midst of our trauma, we become closed off from the reality of the situation. Like a horse wearing blinders. Sending you waves of love, peace, comfort and joy.

I encourage you to look within to nurture that place that was so frightened. Like a block of ice, stay with the experience until your 'feelings' begin to thaw and you 'reconnect' with your deeper self, and your outer world. Be wary. There are alot of horrible people out there that try to rob us of our joy. You have experienced a major breach in the security of your world and in the trust of mankind behaving properly. Face it, you were attacked. It is not easy to recover. I am so sad that your year has been so difficult while you went into 'shut down' to protect yourself. Best wishes to you. You will be in my thoughts.


shazwellyn profile image

shazwellyn 6 years ago from Great Britain Author

I don't want to admit this Denise, but you are absolutely correct. It is only now that I am starting to feel better. All the fighting (funding issues with my aspie son) that I have had to commit lots of energies to has paid off now and the sun is shining. I am actually going out now and I have hope for the future when there was none.

Thank you for a valuable contribution :)


xixi12 profile image

xixi12 6 years ago from Everywhere but here. In the truest sense, freedom cannot be bestowed; it must be achieved. You can never be truly free till you have the discipline to manage it.

This is a truly wonderful hub. I have worked in a customer service environment and a lot of the time the customers just frustrate you and all you can think about is hit them. It is not easy to control anger in this situation but if you can learn to see things from the other persons point of view, you may understand why they are so angry and look for a way to work around it. The best thing is to always remain calm, it will give the angry person enough time to reflect and even apologise to you for screaming at you


shazwellyn profile image

shazwellyn 6 years ago from Great Britain Author

Thank you xixi - do you think that anger disapaits naturally? I found that this occasion the anger just kept on coming. I guess, there are always exceptions to disprove the rule.


hubpageswriter 5 years ago

This is such a perfect hub. Well done shazwellyn. I find that verbal abuse seems to be happening everywhere nowadays. The one thing which I find pretty amusing is that whenever the one being hurled the verbal abuse doesn't retaliate, the abuser laughs and makes fun of the situation, thinking that they have managed to crumble down the Great Wall of China or something and gloating unnecessarily. Sorry for the metaphor, but that was what I pictured in my mind. I find that totally childish and utter rubbish.

Anyway back to this hub, you've got some really great points. I think I refer to this point of yours when I talked of great length here: "Dealing with Conflict - Don't React Even When There is an Attempt to Intimidate (e.g. Revving Car)" - That's really a good advice there. Anger is easy, but being silent and taking it all in is entirely a different thing altogether, which I think these verbal abusers don't have the guts to. Hub up. Sorry to take up much of your comment space.=)


shazwellyn profile image

shazwellyn 5 years ago from Great Britain Author

Hubpageswriter - and what a valuable comment you made! You don't have to take it in, you can visualise yourself with fingers in ears, thinking.. la de la de la la. When they are finished you can begin to resolve the issues that caused the conflict.

Wishing you well and thank you.


rachelle 4 years ago

i work in a store as a manager , i add a customer came in the day before with a paire of shoes to be refund but we have a policy on worn marchindise for refund but her shoes was worn and she told the cleck the day before and told me the same bside that i had spok to my boss and told her about this ladies she does that all the time ,, well now after i told her i be able to exchange them only her mom toke a hairy fit in th store calling me name she was so bad there was customer in the store one of them went to her to stop been nasty to me and she say im going to post it on face book and call your head office omg she did she put on face book i don't want people like her in the store and th customer who told her to stop said he hit her then bye saying it was my employee who to stop some one like that i stay in a town of 14000 and she live near me small town i see her every day


shazwellyn profile image

shazwellyn 4 years ago from Great Britain Author

rachelle... that sounds awful. You do have rights and her abusing you is criminal. Have you thought of getting the police to have a little word in her ear? Maybe you need to have practical support from your line manager first?

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