This week, a supermarket worker in Adelaide’s Hindley Street was stabbed for refusing to refund a purchase.
“I was truly traumatised; I didn’t know how to react,” victim Yash Gupta told 9 News. “First she slapped me, the other girl was holding my hand. She removed a knife and she stabbed me twice in my back.”
But why should a supermarket worker have to fear abusive customers? Shouldn’t we all feel safe in our own workplaces?
I work in customer service in the role of Team Leader at a fast food restaurant, and we have our own policies that we need to abide by in regards to returns and replacements.
People forget we are humans too and we need to abide by company return policies in place because, if broken, this can jeopardise our employment.
I think the notion ‘the customer is always right’ needs to change, because this approach does not work.
I have had many situations where I have had felt threatened, such as having chicken thrown at me, as the disgruntled customer shouted, “This chicken is stale! This is yesterday’s chicken”.
Another example is when an abusive customer complained that she did not get a lid for her drink, yet the drink was from McDonald’s, a different restaurant.
This situation got to the point, where security was called.
But should a seventeen-year-old really be exposed to this sort of bad behaviour?
Would you want your own teenager to go to work and deal with this?
I have now reached a stage, where I am so used to it I’m not even phased; it’s just another day at work.
But should this be the norm for our customer service workers?
I think not.
The customer isn’t always right and our safety is at risk.
By Christopher Mikellis