A customer called me 'officious'

He said in ‘The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy’ that "Vogons are one of the most unpleasant races in the galaxy. Not evil, but bad tempered, bureaucratic, officious and callous.’

I took that to mean the meaning of ‘intrusive in a meddling or offensive manner’. Otherwise why would he say they were also bureaucratic.

And, no doubt, provokes some folks to assert that you are officious, which, by your own admission, you are, regardless of what instigates it. You, I should remind you, are in a service profession, meaning that your job is to satisfy, molify, and treat with courtesy all those who come to you for your services, even the jerks. I’d suggest that you learn to take a more civil approach to those customers who offend you with their requests, only for the sake of the business you work for. Customers may or may not complain about you, but they certainly do not appreciate being treated the way you describe, and they may very well complain to others who may take their business elsewhere. Poor service, as defined by your petulant approach to difficult customers, is the bane of businesses everywhere and one reason that some business are losing customers.

No snark here: Are you suggesting that blinkingblinking do something that breaks banking laws, or breaks that banks procedures, just to mollify an upset customer?

That sounds like a great way to get himself fired…

What should I do when some jerk asks me to break the law on his behalf?
What would you do?
Would you like the staff in your bank to be casual and rule breaking and law breakers? Or would you like them to follow bank procedures?

I disagree. It seems to me, anyway, that King means meddlesome, not overly official. After Jack calls the guy interviewing him an “officious little prick” he goes on to grill Jack over whether or not his wife knows what’s involved and is she on-board, can their kid handle being up there alone etc. It fits more with kunilou’s “offering unnecessary and unwanted advice or services; meddlesome” than some attempt to say the guy conducting the interview was acting in an official capacity.

What luck! It appears as though blinkingblinking’s boss is a doper!

Nope - a customer.

Maybe, but probably not in the situation as described that you are specifically responding to.

If a customer is just being a jerk, well, anybody can have a bad day, and part of being in a service industry (especially in retail) is you generally have to grin and bear it at least up to some point, and continue to give good service.

But if a customer is asking someone to violate procedure to the extant that laws are broken, then they deserve to be told “I’m sorry, we can’t do that, it violates the law”. If they insist, ‘Fuck off” is what they deserve, continued service for the legal parts of their transaction with bare toleration is what they get if they’re lucky, and anything beyond that is gravy. (This all assumes that the service person is correct about the procedures and legalities.)

Frankly, as soon as any customer asks to do something that violates the law, my advice is to say ‘I’m sorry, I can’t continue with this transaction, you’ll have to speak to my manager”. However, that’s just my policy to keep people who work under me from having to spend time dealing with crap not in their job description.

And I have told customers to fuck off.

well, of course, I have admittedly hijacked this thread and I apologize. But I refuse to acknowledge that there’s any excuse for treating a customer, or anyone, for that matter, so rudely. The decline of manners in daily exchanges is well documented, and to rationalize telling someone to “fuck off” because their own behavior is rude, or demanding, or because they are insisting that someone else break the law is not justification enough. I realize this opens an enormous philosphical arena, but I don’t believe that one person’s bad behavior excuses another’s. I have spent a lot of time dealing with the public in many different settings, and I have spent a lot of time* being * the public. There are ways to disagree, there are ways to refuse to do something you find repugnant, and there are ways to respond to ugly behavior. None of them includes also being rude.

Maybe he meant “efficient”.

I did not say 'Fuck off ’ to the customer. Did you actually read my post?
I had a guy ask me to break the law on his behalf- commit fraud for him. First I politely said I could not do what he was asking. He asked me about 10 times. Each time I got a bit more formal and bureaucratic. After the 10th time he asked and I refused he called me ‘officious’.

It is amazing how many customers will call the bank or walk into the bank and ask the staff to commit fraud or break the law for them. They obviously do not say ‘Would you mind breaking the law for me?’
What they say is ‘My housemate is in hospital.I just need his credit card number to pay his hospital bill as he is on medication.’

Evidently you don’t work in customer service at present. I deal with around half a dozen people each week for whom the only appropriate response to their problem is “Pull your head out of your ass and then kindly fuck off”, pretty much exactly in those words. If I owned the store, I would in fact use those words on some of them. I don’t, for the simple reason I like being paid, fuckwit customers aside.

Most of the hundreds and hundreds of people I deal with are fine, but the wanker quotient around here is certainly skewed higher in favour towards “Dickheads” than “Nice people”.

I’m glad to hear that people like blinkingblinking are out there doing their jobs, and making sure that anyone who wanders into the bank pretending to be someone’s cousin doesn’t get given their credit card details for any reason; and if they (bank staff) want to tell said unreasonable request making person to fuck off in exactly those words, they have my full blessing. YRMV, of course.

In my retail experience, the worst customers are those who know they are wrong and are trying to get away with something. Most honestly mistaken (actualy lost receipt or whatever) people tend to be very humble about the situation. At a default, I’m far more willing to bend the rules on returns and such for someone who’s humble about it. If a customer comes in the store angry and tells me I *have * to do something outside of policy, I generaly tell them to go away unsatisfied.

I can imagine that there are drama queens out there.

Unfortunately, you can efficiently handle a hundred polite customers in a day, but it only takes one to ruin it.

That’s how I’ve always thought of it. Indeed, I’ve never heard or read “officious” used as a compliment.