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To think my manager is spineless and in the wrong?

(18 Posts)
NameChangeChange Fri 25-May-18 21:09:18

I just typed the whole story out but got palpitations of her printing it and hauling me into her office Monday so you'll have to make do for vagueness grin

Today I followed company policy for charging somebody for something (around £20, not for ketchup or something). The man thought he should have got it for free.

He was incandescent with rage, shaking and screaming/ shouting at me. I remained polite and helpful, and gave him a free alternative that would have probably been fine. He carried on shouting, so my manager came down. She listened to his horrible words about me, apologised to him and gave him the thing for free. He gave me a lovely smirk all the way out the door.

AIBU? I'm so annoyed.

Bravouniformmike Fri 25-May-18 21:11:31

Quickest way to shut him up I suppose.
Your manager obviously doesn’t do confrontation.
I wana know what it was 😂

FeckTheMagicDragon Fri 25-May-18 21:17:53

Can you email her confirming that you were followed company policy as you understand it, and ask if it has changed?

mirime Fri 25-May-18 21:22:56

I hated this when I worked in retail. Having to enforce company policy in the face of rude customers who insist on seeing a manager - in my case the manager wouldn't even come down, he'd just tell us to give them what they wanted.

angry

Yanbu

50shadesofgreyismylaundry Fri 25-May-18 21:25:08

Ask her what she would like you do do in future. It isn't within your power to change policy without her permission so it puts you in an awkward position and isn't fair.

I think it depends what she apologised for. If she apologised for your (completely correct and in the right) behaviour then she also owes you one. If it was a vague apology on behalf of the company policies in an attempt to get shot of an awkward and loud pita then she still should have explained that to you after but it wasn't personal so let it go.

We have rules where we work, but we also have a policy of playing nice with customers so sometimes I have to grit my teeth and be pleasant when I'd rather be not. However if I have to go over the head of someone in my team I always take them to one side and let them know they did the right thing and it was no reflection on them.

NameChangeChange Fri 25-May-18 21:32:39

I could email her. Seems a bit PA though?

I don't actually like the policy as a whole, and wish it could be changed for people who can't afford it. Sometimes it breaks my heart asking people for the money who are in dire circumstances, which the thing could improve. But there are solid reasons behind it, and you can't really have a rule for one and not the other. However, as a manager, even if you hate confrontation, surely you should back your staff if they've been shouted at - not apologise for them and give in to the horrible person's request?!

She certainly doesn't have the power to change this policy. Complicated set up, but everywhere in the UK charges, unless the top of the top quietly do it free of charge using discretion. This is v rare though, and if granted would usually be granted at the beginning of the process by the head ponchos, not by me asking. Not that I would anyway for anyone screaming in my face.

Maybe I'll just ask her what she wants me to do next time? Awkward though. There's no way she could say do anything but exactly what I did.

Nichelette Fri 25-May-18 21:35:06

I'm a manager. Sometimes I get overruled by my managers. It's hard to take when someone is particularly obnoxious but at least it's by phone so I don't have to see their face! Just try to forget it and move on else it will drive you mad!

NameChangeChange Fri 25-May-18 21:36:17

*I think it depends what she apologised for. If she apologised for your (completely correct and in the right) behaviour then she also owes you one. If it was a vague apology on behalf of the company policies in an attempt to get shot of an awkward and loud pita then she still should have explained that to you after but it wasn't personal so let it go.

We have rules where we work, but we also have a policy of playing nice with customers so sometimes I have to grit my teeth and be pleasant when I'd rather be not. However if I have to go over the head of someone in my team I* always* take them to one side and let them know they did the right thing and it was no reflection on them.*

I couldn't hear the exact words. But it followed him slating me. It could have been a general apology, but it was her giving him the thing for free that pissed me off. If she had took me to one side and said what you suggested, I would have been somewhat placated. But she didn't say a word to me. I know it wasn't personal. But he was being personal, and I just feel like you should stick up for the people who work for you, who do their best for the customers in a hostile environment, whilst adhering to policies.

FatherMacKenzie Fri 25-May-18 21:37:28

Ugh retail is awful for this reason. So many aggressive pigs, stamping their trotters till they get their free swill. I think by remaining unflustered, you’ve had the last laugh. He’s the one with sky high blood pressure no doubt and if he’s any sort of human will be feeling mortified about it.

If you wanted to, you could mention to the manager and explain that you felt threatened.

JockMcGraw Fri 25-May-18 21:43:24

Argh I had a situation like this once when I worked in retail. A woman came in adamant I had shortchanged her several days beforehand and demanded money from the till - no receipts, no proof or specifics, she just felt she had less money than she should have. I refused to hand her money from the till, manager came and bloody gave it to her!

It's so frustrating to be undermined like that. No advice about what to do about it I'm afraid, but I feel you're pain!

RideOn Fri 25-May-18 21:47:51

Yes that is awful she watched you being spoken to like that, and then completely undermined you.

IlikemyTeahot Fri 25-May-18 21:51:36

I'm thinking pharmacy?

Ethylred Fri 25-May-18 21:55:22

Say "would you like to speak to my manager?" straight away,
right at the start. Then you are not invested in the insanity
conversation.

ChickenVindaloo2 Fri 25-May-18 21:57:17

I can understand why your manager did what she did. No-one wants to deal with a complaint.
But she should have reassured you afterwards.
Smirking guy is still a prick.
Don't let it ruin your weekend.
Don't take work personally, it's just a job.

I like the idea of Head Ponchos by the way, lol!

NameChangeChange Fri 25-May-18 22:07:35

*Say "would you like to speak to my manager?" straight away,
right at the start. Then you are not invested in the* insanity*
conversation.*

We are absolutely trained to only bother our superiors when absolutely necessary (which is a few times a day in my role, but you spend your day making that judgement call and it's not approved to do it unless really needed). It wasn't even me that called her, it was my colleague. He purposely went to somebody other than me, as I was firm, polite, explained how to complain if he wasn't happy, explained he was better off complaining to the UK body rather than us, but he was welcome to and gave him the forms he needed. Explained the premise behind it. Explained it would happen in every place he went. Helped him as much as he could with an alternative if he could not afford to pay. He came back and my colleague gave him the item to 'check'. He asked what would happen if he ran out with it. That's when she called the manager down.

I won't let it ruin my weekend. Luckily I graduate in two weeks, so can hopefully move on from there. The whole culture is so toxic, and soon they'll be no staff left. Shame as we really do care for the customers (not the right term but <vague>) and go above and beyond. This isn't an isolated occurrence.

Peterrabbitscarrots Fri 25-May-18 22:11:08

Next time - ring her in front of the irate customer and ask what she would like you to do. Put her on the spot instead

OnlyaMan Sat 26-May-18 01:30:28

In my long career (In sort of "customer services") I became familiar with this kind of thing. I soon learned that I might be contradicted by my boss (for good or bad reasons).
I always said "Of course you may speak to my manager, but I don't think he/she will say any different. It is up to him/her".
I took care not to put myself on the line-my boss might say anything. I was never in the position of being humiliated-I actually did not care.
If my/your boss became fed up with being constantly referred to, that was not my/your problem. The boss would/will have to do something about that-not me.

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