For the past month or so, I’ve had a new male customer coming in and giving me negs (backhanded compliments). As far as I can tell, he only does it to me…he acts extremely polite to my female staff, and seems normal around my male employees. Today I think he finally got the hint that they don’t faze me.
Some of the random negs he has “casually” thrown out:
-Your hair looks very luxurious today. Did you finally get some conditioner for all those split ends?
-Aww, how cute. You have crow’s feet around your eyes when you smile a lot!
-So, what’s your real hair color? *I tell him I don’t dye my hair* Oh…well, you probably should. It’s pretty boring.
-*Looking over the counter at my ass* Ha! You have a skinny waist, but a plump booty. That’s really freakish for a white girl.
Not only does he say these things to me in front of other customers while I’m working, but after every one he has this odd look on his face, kinda like he is expecting me to deny what he’s saying. Usually I just say “Whatever” and walk away to help my other clients. I *do* get split ends really easily, I do have little wrinkles in the corners of my eyes, I *love* my natural haircolor, and yes, I do have a very nice tuchas. The least he could do is come up with a neg for something NOT obvious to absolutely everyone…But today?
Today, he overstepped himself.
For anyone who doesn’t know, this weekend is the prerelease for Magic 2014, the newest card set for a very popular collectible card game. It is always extremely busy, especially on a Saturday when we already have increased patronage. I was talking to my coworker, John, about where he had stored to excess product so I could get set up for the next event. In the middle of my sentence, Neg-Man taps me on the shoulder and asks me my opinion on two videogames. I give him a brief explanation of each one, and another recommendation. He then looks past me, and jumps into a completely different conversation with my coworker…who I still need information from.
I wait for a pause in his rant, say “Excuse us for a minute”, and start to ask John my question again. Immediately, Neg-Man says “I don’t excuse you. *I* wasn’t done talking. You have to wait your turn, princess.”
THAT WAS IT. I set my jaw, turned to face him full on, stood straight and calmly looked at him. Not mean…not sneering…not like he was beneath me. Just a flat lack of expression. I didn’t speak for a few seconds, then without turning asked John to get me the product we needed. As soon as John left, I spoke.
“Listen. You are customer, and we appreciate your patronage. However, you have been nothing but rude and disrespectful towards me since your first time in here. I’m willing to put up with that…but as soon as you begin to hinder the running of the store and interrupt me while I am talking or running events? You’re done. Do you understand me?”
He blinked at me like I’d grown three heads, but then dropped his gaze and mumbled an apology. I accepted, wished him a good day, then walked away to do my job.
The sad thing is, I didn’t WANT to have to do that. He’s well liked by quite a few of my other customers, and went to school with one of my employees. I kept my voice down as much as I could without losing control of the conversation…keeping quiet but remaining dominant, in other words. I had to nip this over the top behavior before he started thinking he could talk over me in my place of work. Hopefully he truly DOES understand and there won’t be a repeat needed to correct his extreme rudeness. What he hoped to accomplish with these idiotic “compliments” is anyone’s guess…
So, my dear readers, has this ever happened to you? If it has, was it at work/school/in public? How did you handle it…or did you let it slide?