Over the last week, I have come into contact with a lot of rude, bad-tempered and obnoxious people.
It all started last Friday, when it seemed like every other person who came into my workplace had a firework stuck up their backside. You try to help them, and they’re immediately off with you. No please, no thank you. You are respectful and polite, they look at you as if they’ve just scraped you off their shoe.
Usually, I can cope with people’s bad attitudes, even if it does annoy me that I have to continue being polite to someone even when they’re shouting obscenities. But last week I found myself nearly losing it altogether, thanks to some thoroughly pleasant individual threatening me down the phone.
This person was annoyed that we could only supply her with half of her prescription, despite us telling her carer that the other part hadn’t come over from the surgery yet (he refused to listen to us). She was aggressive and intimidating from the moment I picked up the phone. I wasn’t even involved in the first instance, but she didn’t care. She was looking for someone to bully and I was the perfect person. This charming individual had a history of being rude to us – I’d dealt with her before and had been able to hold my own, but on this occasion, she got to me. I passed the phone over to a colleague – I didn’t want to give the customer the satisfaction of knowing that she had upset me. Eventually, my colleague managed to reach a compromise with the customer – but not before the customer slipped in another threat of blackmail.
The whole experience was worse because it was all done down the phone. I know the woman’s voice and name, but I have never actually met her. As horrible as it is to be confronted by people like that in the workplace, it is to an extent, easier to do something about the situation. The fact that you wouldn’t really know them if you walked past them in the street makes the situation scarier and harder to deal with. To cut a long story short, she didn’t totally get away with her behaviour. In the meantime, I personally don’t want to have to deal with her ever again – although her prescriptions will probably keep on coming over to us. All we can hope for is that she takes her business elsewhere.