Etiquette School is in session! > "I'm afraid that won't be possible."

What is a polite response to customers wanting exceptions?

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snugglegirl05:
I work as a contract Visitor parking attendant at a university, & there are times when customers ask me to grant them an exception when I have no authority to do that. What is a polite way to let them know I cannot give anyone an exception?

iridaceae:
"I'm sorry, but I don't have the authority to do that."

LadyL:
"I could lose my job if I did that, even just once. I'm sure you understand."

iridaceae:

--- Quote from: LadyL on March 24, 2012, 09:34:32 AM ---"I could lose my job if I did that, even just once. I'm sure you understand."

--- End quote ---

In my experience people rarely do understand this.   

camlan:

--- Quote from: iridaceae on March 24, 2012, 09:48:14 AM ---
--- Quote from: LadyL on March 24, 2012, 09:34:32 AM ---"I could lose my job if I did that, even just once. I'm sure you understand."

--- End quote ---

In my experience people rarely do understand this.

--- End quote ---

Sadly, I have to agree. There are some people who want what they want and don't really care who gets burned in the process.

I'd stick with something like, "I'm sorry, but that isn't possible."

Not knowing the ins and outs of your work place, I don't know if this is possible, but when I supervised people who dealt with customers or patrons, I encouraged them to include a possible alternative with every "No" they had to give. So, at the library:  "I'm sorry, that book is checked out. But if you go to the Reference Desk right over there, they can help you to find some other books on the topic." Or, "I'm afraid you aren't eligible to check books out of our library. But you can copy the parts you need--there are copiers right over there. Or you can have your own library request this book on interlibrary loan. Would you like me to write down the information for you?"

In other words, right after you tell them you can't do X, you mention Y, which isn't exactly what they want, but might be a reasonable compromise.

If you can't do that, then just keep politely repeating the same line over and over, "I'm sorry, but X just isn't possible."

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