When it comes to business, sometimes taking a risk for a customer can have terrible consequences. When you confront a customer, they might be able to get you fired because in most cases, “the customer is always right.” Would you have let this behavior continue in order to keep your job for another day, or would you have said something like THIS in order to protect someone else? This story is amazing.
(I am working the cash register at a fast food restaurant when a girl no older than 15 comes up to order.)
Girl #1: “I’ll have a number three with a soda, please.”
Me: “Sure. Will that be everything?”
Girl #1: “Umm… no, actually. I think I was followed here. If you see some girls come in and bother me, can you ask them to leave?”
Me: “I’ll see what I can do.”
(The girl takes her food over to the only table where she can be easily seen by all of the front counter staff, and she takes out some homework. Less than five minutes later, three girls come in, go straight to Girl #1’s table, and start talking to her. In the 30 seconds it takes to ask my manager for permission to kick the group out, Girl #1 has started crying.)
Me: *to the group* “You guys are harassing this girl. I’m going to have to ask you to leave.”
Girl #2: “It’s okay. We know her.”
Me: “No, it’s not okay. You can’t be harassing paying customers.”
Girl #2: “We can buy something. We’ll be paying customers, too.”
Me: “Too late. I won’t just stand back and watch while you harass this girl. If you don’t leave right now, security will be called and you’ll be banned from the property.”
(As our restaurant was located in a mall parking lot, being banned from the property also meant being banned from the mall, so they left pretty quickly with no more argument. Since Girl #1 was still extremely upset, my manager let me give her a free milkshake and sat with her for a bit until she calmed down.)
Me: “So, what was that all about? Do you know those girls?”
Girl #1: “They go to school with me. I live in a group home. Ever since they found out, they’ve been following me around and making fun of me for it. I’ve been looking for a quiet place to do my homework for weeks. I can’t do it at the home; it’s too noisy, and I get no privacy there. And I’ve been to a few different coffee shops, and restaurants, and even the library, but they follow me everywhere, and no one has ever kicked them out, because they’re never loud or disruptive. This is the first place to help me.”
(I let Girl #1 get back to her homework. After that, she came in a few times a week to do homework. I let the managers and other staff know of her situation, so there was always someone there for Girl #1 to talk to or someone to threaten the bullies with banishment from the mall if they ever came back, which they didn’t.)
The reason I love this story so much is that the cashier put a lot on the line to defend this customer. The manager could have changed her mind and decided to fire the cashier. The bullies could have ignored the threat and called the corporate office to have the cashier fired. So many things could have gone wrong and the cashier would have lost her job, but she risked it all to help this one struggling student get back on her feet. Hopefully these bullies will realize that their behavior is wrong. Hopefully they can take this experience and change before they ever get into any real trouble.
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