Attack of the Neg Man

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?

14 thoughts on “Attack of the Neg Man

  1. Thank you, Smile.

    I dislike getting in people’s faces and acting aggressive/dominant. It completely goes against my nature, which is to simply talk things out and make jokes to relieve tension. Wish I could have done that here…but I couldn’t afford to have a customer thinking he can talk down to me.


  2. there are places that encourage men to do that in an effort to pick up women.. I’d say it’s possible he was trying to do that…. offer the compliment so as to show interest, but make it backhanded so as not to be considered too nice and therefore material for the friend zone.

  3. Oh yeah, Magic is still going strong. It’s the most popular card game in North America, followed by Yugioh. You should play again, M3!

    Like I said in the post, I’m glad he apologized…but found his negs odd to begin with.

  4. Yes, I’ve done some research into this phenomenon since then, and it appears to be a PUA technique put forth by a guy called “Mystery”. The thing is though, Negs are considered something to use when you need to “knock a woman off her pedestal”. As I have no pedestal to speak of, and am already quite sardonic to myself, I’m confused as to why he thought he had to use them?

  5. Absolutely correctly done. I am in the retail racket myself and understand that the general public takes “the customer is always right” WAY WAY too seriously and literally.

    For instance, if someone is berating me on the phone, I warn them, “I’m going to hang up if you don’t change your tone”. Thus warned, do they change it? Rarely. At which point I do, in fact, hang up on them.

  6. That crow’s feet line is one I’ve seen regurgitated all over the pua type websites. So’s the “what’s your natural hair colour one”.

    Sounds like someone is in love with you.

  7. That crow’s feet line is one I’ve seen regurgitated all over the pua type websites. So’s the “what’s your natural hair colour one”.

    I LOVE crow’s feet. They’re signs of a good nature.

    I sometimes would get asked “That’s a beautiful haircolor. Is it really yours?” My standard response: “I sure hope it’s mine: I paid $50 for it”.


  8. @Master Beta

    Yeah, after this incident I started reading PUA sites…they’re a bit odd, in that they treat women like vending mschines: Press C7, get laid. Press A2, get to first base. It’s certainly a different way to look at human interactions! I’ve never been to a bar before, but I’m tempted to go to one just to “people watch” now. 🙂

    (Nice name/play on words, btw. I love it!)

  9. @Sasha

    I love crow’s feet too! My grandmothers always said: “Anyone can smile with their mouth, but it takes a truly happy person to smile with their eyes.”

    Lol at your haircolor comment. 😀

  10. @tarnishedsophia

    Thanks, I thought of the name all by myself.

    I think most of PUA stuff is basically just a placebo effect. Give a guy an awesome technique to pick up girls and watch him strut confidently up to a group of girls that he previously would have assumed he had no chance with. And you’re right, it’s incredibly impersonal, and to me that takes all the fun out of it.

  11. @Master Beta

    So, have you ever *tried* any of these PUA techniques yourself? I don’t want to knock this “system” if it boosts men’s confidence…but I’ve had guys at conventions try to use some of this on me, and it’s a little laughable. Idk if it’s just because I’m wired differently, but I can’t see most of these techniques actually *working*.

  12. @TarnishedSophia

    Some yes, others no. There’s lots of stuff out there, some people have some interesting ideas, others are just silly. I don’t know what you’ve looked at, but obviously what men and women both look for in partners is a hugely complex subject with a great many different variables. No one knows exactly what works. Some people think they do know, because they do something and it works! But that doesn’t mean it will work for everyone else.
    What inevitably happens is the unsuccessful copy the successful, which means you get survivorship bias:

    This basically means that if a bunch of guys go around negging, for example, and get positive results, it must be because of the negging. The truth, however, is that there is very likely some other factors that made these guys successful (tall? confident? interesting? intelligent? nice?). This should be clear because it’s easy to find a whole other load of guys who go around negging and have no success.

    So in summary, I doubt any of it works. What I think does work, however, is learning how to sub communicate using body language (a lost art amongst those who spend too much time on the internet, where there is no body language), and learning general social skills.

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