I wrote recently about one of the ways customers try to dominate or demean the wage slaves they interact with. Here’s another one.
One evening, a man we’ll call Joe came in and asked for a pack of cigars.
“OK, I’ll need your ID for a sec,” I said.
He blustered irritably at me, something about how I could get the cigars off the shelf while he was digging his drivers’ license out of his wallet.
I demurred – as part of middle management’s ratcheting paranoia, it’s company policy that I have to have a customer’s ID in hand before reaching for a tobacco product, because reasons.
He called me a liar.
I listened to him calling me a liar and insisted (still politely) on that ID.
He grudgingly gave in.
While he was paying for his cigars, though, he made sure I knew he was memorizing my nametag. “It’s Ray, right? Ray. Ray. R-A-Y, right?”
This is a relatively common power play by asshatted customers. Joe is an extreme case – usually they’ll just say my name with a slight emphasis, because the idea is to threaten me subtly. And the threat is: “If you don’t make me happy – never mind if that’s reasonable or possible – I’ll tell your manager that you’re being Rude, and you might get fired and there’s nothing you can do about it, peon.”
Don’t be like Joe. To anyone.