For all the people who feel like it's necessary to ruin someone else's day because you feel like it, this is for you.
Two days ago, a guy in a hoodie and sweats comes into our store. I had no idea how this guy would act, and there were no indicators that he would do what he did next.
The guy came back to return a textbook he rented from us at the beginning of the semester. As the manager, I am not typically interacting with customers directly unless a conflict arises. On this particular day, we did not have as many employees on staff.
I was training a new employee when the guy entered. He came in alone. Like usual, he comes to the front counter requesting that I process the return. Of course, I have to follow policy strictly. Part of our evaluation process when customers return rentals is to make sure they brought the book back in sellable condition, meaning the book cannot be torn or have any staining or water damage.
The guy's textbook was alarmingly damaged.
Not only did he have tearing on the front cover, but he also had moderate water damage where it started to cover the text inside the book. The water damage bled into several pages. I could not do anything to make an exception because in his case, the book had too much damage.
The time of reckoning was upon me and I had no idea.
I thought it would be the normal reaction of being upset or frustrated, but this guy flipped - and not it in the way you would expect. He began to debate why he should be able to have the return processed and be free from responsibility for the damages.
No matter what his argument was, I never planned on taking the book back.
I tried to tell him his options, but he was more concerned with reversing the blame onto us and kept cutting me off. I just stopped talking until he was finished.
He used an example of a rental car, saying that when you rent a car, the car is used and so it can show more signs of use and still be returned. He said that he knows to take pictures of any damages to the car if he rents out a car with existing damages, and that is not a policy that goes with books.
However, we have a policy in place that allows a customer to inform us that their rental has existing damages so we can put that in our system. The catch is they would have to tell us before the end of the semester when the deadline to return the rental rolls around.
This guy not only kept his rental the entire semester, but he also never told anyone on staff in the time he had.
His reasoning was that it should not be a requirement to have documentation of damages for used books because they are used.
At the end of it all, he demands our corporate office's phone number and my name. I give him both.
The next day, I was doing something up front when an employee informs me that they have a damaged rental. As soon as I looked at the book, I could tell it was the rude guy again.
I walked right past the customer without looking at his face, not expecting it to be the same guy trying to return the book again. I do not know what he thought was going to happen. I believe he thought a different person would trip up and he could get away with it, except that didn't happen.
I went back to the front knowing what to expect from this guy...until his aggressiveness escalated from the last time he came in.
He went from agitated to disrespectful. I realized he was sexist and misogynistic as he tried to speak down to me and make me feel incompetent.
One of my employees immediately intervened in the interaction and shut him down, demonstrating how intelligent women are.
She deconstructed his argument and countered with actual logic. He would not give up and finally demanded to speak to my supervisor. He spoke to him and an investigation is in progress, but I have been informed the result will be that he gets charged for the damages.
This felt amazing because he made me feel angry right before an exam, which I barely made it to on time because of him.
Something to keep in mind for those of you who are selfish and don't care about other people's feelings is that you may succeed in hurting someone, but karma always comes back around.
You have everything to lose and nothing to gain when you are apathetic.
I hope my story reassures people who read this, things get better. The bad can get worse sometimes, but it doesn't stay that way. When you're down, the only way is up.