Full disclosure- I am a postal worker.
I only wish Banshee could know how it feels to be the lone worker in an understaffed office and have someone behave in this way. I work in a small town office and sometimes there's a line and sometimes not. Our budget only allows for one person to work the window at a time. I can't help it if you're the fifth person in line.
I get this soooo much and I have asked a swearing customer to leave if they couldn't stop swearing only to be treated to more swearing. I have had to call the police to have threatening and cursing customers escorted out. I had a customer stand out in front of the door to the PO telling people how much of a female dog I was and how I gave bad customer service for not listening to his cursing. A very nice man come in and warned me what he was doing and he had to be escorted off the property by police because he would. not. leave.
This behavior is NOT the norm and the incidents have been over the course of my 8 year postal career (and there have been many more). But I can't engage in and correct an adults bad behavior without usually making it worse, so unless there are actual threats I stay out of it.
I agree with the last sentence. I have frequently interjected when people have been rude, and received a torrent of abuse (undeserved) back. These days, I try to hold my tongue because it's just not worth it. However, if I saw someone actually be threatened or assaulted, I would not hesitate in saying something, although if real violence was occurring I would try and stay out of it and call the Police rather than risk my own safety.
To me, if someone starts screaming and abusing a worker in a shop, that constitutes harrassment and most stores in the UK have some kind of notice that says "We will not allow our workers to be harrassed or intimidated. Verbal or physical attacks will result in legal action." It's sad that this is what society has to resort to - telling people that threatening someone in public is wrong. We're supposed to be adults, knowing right from wrong, yet some people still need to be told that it's not acceptable to pubicly abuse someone.
I'm confused by this, since by the time I was 6 I knew it is wrong to hurt, threaten or upset another person.
As I have said before, some people are just weird.