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Unknown Parts Counter Guy: Keep Your Retaliation To Yourself

Unknown Parts Counter Guy: Keep Your Retaliation To Yourself

I know you know the feeling. You’ve just wasted at least twenty minutes with the one customer that was sent specifically by whatever deity you believe in specifically to test your patience. You’ve gritted your teeth. You’ve smiled your way through forty miles of pure, unadulterated bullshit, accusations, threats, and every other nerve-striking action a customer can possibly perform without crossing that theoretical line. They’ve finally paid for their goods or the services you’ve rendered, they are almost out of the door and out of your life, and almost instinctively, you can feel it: the muscles in your digitus medius on both hands instinctively flex, extending boldly upwards with a meaning no intelligent human being can mistake. And those two upraised fingers pale in comparison to the venomous thoughts on your mind, the evil paybacks you are scheming up for the hell that customer just put you through.

A tip, if I may? Don’t do it.

Look, it seems counter-intuitive for me to tell you to not flip off a customer who deserves it. But it’s the truth. You go from being the clerk that just got the very wrong end of the stick to being the stereotypical angry worker. You’ve just taken away any sympathy leverage you could have had. Was the outburst worth it? Maybe you didn’t stay silent…maybe you did shoot your mouth off. Most workplaces tend to frown on their workers telling their customers to “not let the door hit them in the ass on the way out”, y’know. Yes, you’re being honest, and yes, you are wishing them as well as you can manage, but that will come back to haunt you sooner or later. Unless you don’t plan on including this place of employment on a résumé in the future, of course. You wouldn’t want to explain to a potential employer about the one time you offered to up-sell a customer a pry-bar so they could extract their head from their chocolate factory, would you?

A case recently came to light where the owner of an Audi R8 found a bunch of writing inside of the back bumper cover of his car after he had some back-and-forth issues with the dealership regarding damages to his car. Here’s the actual messages left behind:

Thought you were being cute after you had to cut and buff the paint for the fourth time? Congratulations…not only did you make international news, you are probably fired. All because you were having a rough afternoon and felt the urge to vent your frustrations via your Sharpie.

Sometimes, it pays to keep your mouth shut and to bottle up your feelings to release at a later time. That few seconds of emotional bliss from going off like a cannon and doing something stupid isn’t worth your paycheck, or your reputation as a human. Need to go take out your anger and frustration? Might I suggest investing in a real-deal punching bag? I personally can attest to their therapeutic qualities! In the meantime, smile, be helpful, be courteous, and don’t do stupid shit at work, okay?

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3 thoughts on “Unknown Parts Counter Guy: Keep Your Retaliation To Yourself

  1. phitter67

    Had that happen when I was a mechanic for a living. I kept my cool through the ordeal, and put the car back to like it was when he came in. Gave it back to him and said ” There it is and don’t ever come back. I will not work on something for someone who has treated me like that.” Then called the man that sent him in an apologized, telling him what he did. That man remained a customer until his death, years later. I felt that I retained my dignity, and he was seen as the idiot that he made himself look like.

  2. Joe Jolly

    Really? I do not believe biting one’s tongue so as not to offend an ignorant, immature customer is a good way to find job satisfaction. Calling names, giving the finger or somehow desecrating the customers property is not appropriate either. Politely insisting I get the respect I give is worth more than the sale of an air freshener or an automobile.

  3. A Parts Professional

    I once had a customer bring in a \”core\” for a power steering gear, telling me all about how my parts weren\’t worth the cardboard they\’re in, how much of a hurry he was in and so on. I was instructed to \”just refund the core charge without the usual process so he can get on with his day\” in far more colorful words. I ignored him and opened the box as I usually do to find a rock. I\’m not going to give you $200 for a rock. As this customer had been rude, in and out, cursed me out many times and now tries this? I politely told him to get out my store. No core refund from us. Don\’t come back. He doesn\’t. Six months later though, he does try to pass someone on a blind corner and kills himself and my coworker in a head on collision.

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