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AIBU to email about this cafe manager

(17 Posts)
Silva33 Mon 03-Apr-17 20:49:08

I popped into a cafe at an arts centre for coffee and sandwich today. It was pretty quiet with one bloke in front of me who was being jovial with young chap serving (didn't hear what was being said as eyeing up sandwiches) then guy serving came to me and he headed over to a woman who'd just come over saying 'sorry to bother you' or something - it was clear she was duty manager.

I got on with my order and waiting for coffee started to hear conversation behind me - clearly the man demanding a refund. From her replies and his it became clear he was asking for a refund on an order he claimed to have had as take out that morning. From what I heard he didn't have a receipt and when she explained she couldn't refund he became increasingly aggressive, shouting 'are you calling me a liar darling?'. He said he'd had take out of hot food at a time they weren't even serving it. He started really shouting, 'are you not going to give me my money?' And repeating 'do you think I'm a liar darling'. He was a big bloke, a good foot taller than her. She firmly said 'we can't give you money back' at which point I felt a sharp change and turned to make sure he wasn't becoming physically aggressive. He hurled a bottle of water in her face as I was turning and then stormed out looking pleased with himself.

I went up to her to ask if she was ok. She looked understandably shocked but said yes and went into the staff area to talk to colleagues and get a towel.

I didn't intervene as I felt she was handling it well and didn't want to escalate things further, plus I didn't really know the complaint or circumstances. At the point I would have intervened he stormed off.

WIBU not to intervene sooner? AIBU now to email the centre manager and praise the member of staff for dealing with a situation in such an impressive, calm and confident manner? She stood her ground in a really tricky situation.

Silva33 Mon 03-Apr-17 20:49:36

Sorry for length! Wanted to explain as much as I could.

Shockers Mon 03-Apr-17 20:53:12

I think that however calm and collected she may have seemed, the incident will have really shaken her. An email of praise for her professionalism would not go amiss.

msgrinch Mon 03-Apr-17 20:55:47

Email. Please email. I've been her and it's vile. Ive had grown men threaten to meet me outside for refusing to give their money back over a drink they've spilt/drunk then not liked etc etc. The words "sweetie if you're going to be a manager you have to learn to act like a guy and know when the guys right" have been uttered once. My lovely male junior colleague stood holding in the urge to punch the man. Well done her for keeping her cool.

harderandharder2breathe Mon 03-Apr-17 21:00:14

Yes email, I'm sure she'll appreciate it, it's horrible when customers lose it at staff.

FallenPetalsSummerDew Mon 03-Apr-17 21:03:55

I would have intervened at the same point as you. I am a retail manager and occasionally come across shouty 'customers' such as these. When members of the public intervene it can escalate the situation but there is a line and he crossed it when he became violent and you felt the shift in mood.
I'm sure the manager in question would appreciate the positive feedback, always nice to hear and quite often in these sort of roles most of the feedback is in form of complaint.

RedheadLover Mon 03-Apr-17 21:15:40

An email would be a lovely thing to do.

Welshrainbow Mon 03-Apr-17 21:23:35

Definitely email. Also provide an account of what happened and if you got a good look at the man, he hurled a bottle at her face, surely that is assault worthy of going to the police.

LapinR0se Mon 03-Apr-17 21:26:13

That is assault and I would email the cafe to commend the staff for sure but would also suggest they contact the police and ban this person from their premises.

highinthesky Mon 03-Apr-17 21:34:43

An email will make a positive difference to the manager. She must be v shaken up and will need to know that someone is on her side.

I witnessed an incident bordering on the physical in a major SM chain that was handled well by the manager and security recently. When I got back to my desk I called the HO to make sure they were aware that their staff deserved recognition for how they managed the situation.

Sylvannas Mon 03-Apr-17 21:37:40

Definately email. I've been at the end of a shouty customer. It'll give her faith in humanity again. Goes a long way

How lovely that you're thinking of her. Yes, email with nice things and, if you can/want to, offer to make yourself available if she wants to take this to the police (she should!). I hope she's contacted HO and they're giving her support.

FiveShelties Mon 03-Apr-17 21:57:17

Yes, do email, it will hopefully help her to see that most customers are good people. What a dreadful man.

ScaryMonstersandSuperCreeps Mon 03-Apr-17 22:02:06

I've been there. Had a drunken man pull me over the bar by my hair ! I stupidly didn't go to the police!!

Silva33 Mon 03-Apr-17 22:03:01

Thank you all for the confirmation. Yes, I will email and say I was very impressed in the way she acted calmly and professionally in an unpleasant situation, and in a way that minimised disruption to other customers.

And thanks fallen. I felt me intervening sooner could have escalated things/undermined her and not been helpful in a customer/manager row so that's reassuring.

Silva33 Mon 03-Apr-17 22:06:27

And I'm sorry to hear others have had shitty experiences. This twat was clearly trying to escalate things and intimidate her so she felt giving him money back was the only way out. He should be banned and I will offer to give my view so they can do this.

If you're writing to HO, maybe mention its impact on you as a customer (as well as more generally a decent human being). What kind of establishment do they want to be: the kind that lets bullyboy tactics drive up the price of your cuppa, which you can't even enjoy in peace? Or the kind that supports its staff when they do a brilliant job in difficult circs? I know where I'd like to go. smile

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