Author Topic: If You're That Unhappy - Go Somewhere Else  (Read 3945 times)

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BeagleMommy

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If You're That Unhappy - Go Somewhere Else
« on: October 22, 2012, 01:16:03 PM »
The title of this post is what I wanted to say to this customer.  Most Sundays, DH, my parents and I meet at a bakery chain for coffee.  They also offer sandwiches, salads and soup.  The way they set up is you order, if you just want regular coffee or tea they give you a cup and you serve yourself from the dispensers, if you want something fancier like a latte, they make it and call your name.  If you order food they give you a pager that buzzes when it is ready.  They also offer a rewards card that allows you to earn points to get free items (it is not a discount card).

While we were enjoying our coffee a very elderly woman came in with a younger woman.  I don't know if they younger woman was related or her caregiver.  Elderly woman ordered iced coffee and was given a cup of ice and told where the dispenser was located (normal procedure).  The cashier scanned her reward card and she paid.

For the next half hour this woman spewed vitriol about the bakery and its staff.  She was so loud that most of the people seated in the bakery turned around to glare at her.  It was a non-stop torrent of things like:

"They are SUPPOSED to offer me an item for $1.00 since I have a card!"
"I don't know why we keep coming here.  All the cashiers are STUPID!"

One of the cashiers came over to their table and offered a free beverage since she seemed so unhappy.  The woman spit "I don't want THAT!  Haven't you learned ANYTHING?!".

Finally, a manager came over and returned her money even though she had consumed the drinks and food.  Throughout the entire time they were there the younger woman said....nothing.

When she got up and finally left DH and my parents and I looked at each other incredulously.  All I could manage was "Wow!".  You could see the entire room relax once they left.

All I could think was "There are other places in town to eat.  Go somewhere else if you're so unhappy."

siamesecat2965

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Re: If You're That Unhappy - Go Somewhere Else
« Reply #1 on: October 22, 2012, 01:24:56 PM »
I know exactly which chain you're talking about, and the staff in any I've been in, has never been anything but friendly and helpful.  Some people just like to complain.  And I'm also guess that the younger woman didn't say anything as she'd either get an earful later on, or she knew that it wouldn't do any good.

I'm with you; if there is a legitimate issue with your order, then politely say something.  But you DO NOT get freebies and discounts every time you go in, they are sporadic, and you never know when or what you might get.  To me, that's part fo the fun!  its right next door to my second job so I'm there a lot :)

I work PT in a clothing store and we have one customer who will discuss and nitpick everything about our merchandise, yet she still continues to come in and buy.  It isn't enough for her to simply come in to return something and say "it didn't fit right or the cut was off" Oh no, she will go on forever about how the stitching in the waistband is a 1/16th of a millimeter off from the rest, and so on.  and will SHOW you the perceived imperfections too.  She is a PITA and we all try and scatter when she comes in. 

FoxPaws

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Re: If You're That Unhappy - Go Somewhere Else
« Reply #2 on: October 22, 2012, 01:25:33 PM »
She was unspeakably rude. Given her age, I wonder if this was a dementia issue and the non-speaking companion either a) was too drained to deal with her any longer, or b) had learned the hard way that any attempt to placate her was going to make it worse.

I'm not sure what anyone else could have said or done. Leaving or politely ignoring are all I can come up with. Personally, I think it was a mistake for the bakery staff to offer freebies and discounts - this type of behavior should not be rewarded no matter what the circumstances.
I am so a lady. And if you say I'm not, I'll slug you. - Cindy Brady

GratefulMaria

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Re: If You're That Unhappy - Go Somewhere Else
« Reply #3 on: October 22, 2012, 01:41:09 PM »
Wow.  This woman doesn't just sound unhappy with the restaurant.  I'm guessing she's unhappy, period.   :(

ETA:  In no way excusing her behavior.  More an observation that she could well be that way about many things in her life.  How exhausting it must be for those who spend time with her.
« Last Edit: October 22, 2012, 01:43:33 PM by GratefulMaria »

snowdragon

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Re: If You're That Unhappy - Go Somewhere Else
« Reply #4 on: October 22, 2012, 01:46:27 PM »
I'd be wondering what the problem with the woman, it sounds like some sort of dementia or something like congestive heart failure which has some mental side effects to it. And I think adults with the possibility of mental issues deserve the same benefit of the doubt that children exhibiting possible mental/neurological issues are given.
  The lack of volume control,, the being stuck on "what they are supposed to do" and the silence of the person with her make me wonder if there was not some sort of diagnosis that makes this "normal" for her.                                                 

Judah

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Re: If You're That Unhappy - Go Somewhere Else
« Reply #5 on: October 22, 2012, 01:49:00 PM »
I don't think it has anything to do with the woman's health or age. Some people are only happy when they are unhappy and they go through life determined to be unhappy and to make those around them unhappy.  These people are best avoided.
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GSNW

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Re: If You're That Unhappy - Go Somewhere Else
« Reply #6 on: October 22, 2012, 01:52:43 PM »
You know, there's a lot to be said for pleasing the customer, and it seems like the employees certainly tried.  At what point should the manager have said, "Ma'am, I'm sorry you are upset, but I cannot permit you to verbally abuse my employees." ?  When someone's ill behavior affects the other customers that are present, I think it needs to be dealt with.

sourwolf

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Re: If You're That Unhappy - Go Somewhere Else
« Reply #7 on: October 22, 2012, 02:15:20 PM »
I don't think it has anything to do with the woman's health or age. Some people are only happy when they are unhappy and they go through life determined to be unhappy and to make those around them unhappy.  These people are best avoided.


Pod! Unfortunately by giving the woman her money back the chain is both rewarding her bad behavior and giving her an incentive to comeback and repeat the same poor behavior.

Emmy

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Re: If You're That Unhappy - Go Somewhere Else
« Reply #8 on: October 22, 2012, 02:24:14 PM »
Wow, I feel bad for her caregiver.  It seems strange that the store would go out of their way to try to give her freebies when she wasn't asking for them directly.  My guess would be they were doing it to shut her up because her complaining was probably very unpleasant to those around her.   It sounds like this woman is nasty and unhappy, but she wasn't trying to scam for freebies.  The restaurant was trying to do their best, but I don't think throwing freebies at somebody who is loud, obnoxious, and rude is the way to go, especially since she was throwing around insults.  It just rewards her behavior.  If she wasn't too distracting, they should have just ignored her.  Personally, I think the restaurant should have asked her what the problem was and if she decided to continue throwing insults, they should have asked her to leave.

RobinJ

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Re: If You're That Unhappy - Go Somewhere Else
« Reply #9 on: October 22, 2012, 02:29:05 PM »
I guess that I am cynical enough to wonder if she has learned that if she complains enough and is loud enough - she gets free food!

Twik

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Re: If You're That Unhappy - Go Somewhere Else
« Reply #10 on: October 22, 2012, 02:46:37 PM »
I guess that I am cynical enough to wonder if she has learned that if she complains enough and is loud enough - she gets free food!

Yep, that was what I was thinking. She's learned that the squeaky wheel gets her palm greased by embarrassed restaurant owners.

She probably was happy as a clam after they left.
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Calypso

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Re: If You're That Unhappy - Go Somewhere Else
« Reply #11 on: October 22, 2012, 03:17:27 PM »
I don't think it has anything to do with the woman's health or age. Some people are only happy when they are unhappy and they go through life determined to be unhappy and to make those around them unhappy.  These people are best avoided.

Of course there's no way to know in this particular instance, but this woman's behavior is all too familiar to me as I'm watching the people I've known for decades age. Usually not that bad, but the same loss of inhibition, tendency to go on and on and ability to get overexcited and stressed about little (or non-existent) issues.
It makes me dread getting older, to be honest  :-[  I don't want to become a PITA, but what if one loses control over it?

Sharnita

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Re: If You're That Unhappy - Go Somewhere Else
« Reply #12 on: October 22, 2012, 03:20:59 PM »
I absolutely think it could be dementia.  I have seen some of the sweetest people in the world become accusing, suspicious, combative, etc. as a result of dementia or other age related health issues.

While it might not seem worth it to give in to her, other customers likely noticed the act of compassion and will make it a point to give the establishment their business in the future because of it.  If I see you treat a difficult old lady kindly and patiently in the face of provocation, I will suggest your establishment the next time my friends want to meet somewhere.

JeanFromBNA

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Re: If You're That Unhappy - Go Somewhere Else
« Reply #13 on: October 22, 2012, 03:21:27 PM »
Manager should have refunded her money, and asked her to leave and not return.  She was disturbing the other customers.

Maybe the other woman was her caretaker and felt she couldn't say anything or she'd risk her job.

PeterM

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Re: If You're That Unhappy - Go Somewhere Else
« Reply #14 on: October 22, 2012, 03:27:39 PM »
While it might not seem worth it to give in to her, other customers likely noticed the act of compassion and will make it a point to give the establishment their business in the future because of it.

If I saw a restaurant manager go out of his way to give special treatment to someone who was being loud and disruptive and having a bad effect on all the people around her, if it had any effect at all on my future actions it would be to make me avoid the bakery.

"Oh, yeah, that's the place where the woman ruined my experience and got free food because of it. No thanks."