Last week my city had a blizzard and the temperature was -19 degrees. My salon was losing power… like most of the country. She had already rescheduled her appointment twice prior, and her appointment fell on the snow day. When I asked if we could reschedule, she said she couldn’t wait any longer and needed her hair done that day. I got my car cleaned off and shoveled my path… and then she texted and said her street wasn’t plowed so we should reschedule. I feel like she doesn’t have any respect for my well-being or really just me as a person. I know this isn’t personal — she would do this to anyone. My conflict is continuing this client relationship. I feel like I’m compromising my integrity and self-respect to meet her needs. I’m afraid of bringing this up; I’m afraid she’ll publicly attack me. One part of me says, “Just suck it up; she pays you good money” and the other half says, “No money is worth this.” What should I do? — Making the Cut
It’s not that you simply feel that she doesn’t respect you as a person or care about your well-being. She *doesn’t* care about you. And it IS personal. It’s personal because even though she’s an asshole in general, when her asshole behavior directly affects you, that’s personal. And you’re right that no money is worth your well-being and health being put at risk. And, in fact, she may actually be *costing* you money when you are reserving time slots for her that she cancels at the last minute and those slots could have been filled by other clients. I would refrain from mentioning personal differences you have or your discomfort with her gross bigotry and simply tell her that you’re sorry but you can no longer see her as a client. Of course, as entitled as she is, she will push back, she’ll ask why, she’ll accuse you of being unfair and unprofessional, etc. Hold your ground. Tell her that her multiple schedule changes are not a match for your business. That doesn’t give her much to publicly attack about you, but she might still try. Fortunately, people who are assholes generally don’t command much respect for their personal judgment, and the kind of people who might consider her opinion important probably aren’t the kind of clients you’d want anyway. Think of cutting her off as a safety precaution. Doing so not only offers you another layer of protection against Covid, but also offers a protection against the emotional damage she and her ilk are likely to continue creating by their entitlement, selfishness, and complete lack of regard for others.
There is a customer who always gives me candies and chocolate whenever he sees me at work. We don’t talk much — just the basic polite greetings. But he seems really friendly because he gives me the sweet treats. He always looks for me to give me candies, and even from a far distance he calls out my name and waves his hand at me. My coworker told me to be careful with this man because he could follow me home without my knowing (potential stalker?). He had asked me about my working schedule and I told him. Then on my last work day, he didn’t give me candies or chocolate but he instead gave me a HALF-CUT COOKIE! I thought it was weird to give someone half a cookie. And he told me to write down his phone number on the cookie bag. He hasn’t said much more. My coworker told me to throw away the cookie and I did, but my coworker didn’t say anything about the phone number when I asked him. I have not called that customer because I don’t know if I should or not. I mean, I don’t want to have any problem at work because he is our customer and more likely he will continue to shop at our business.
The problem is my mouth speaks faster than I can think. — That’s How the (Half) Cookie Crumbles
Don’t engage with this customer. Stop accepting sweets from him. Simply tell him “No, thank you” if he offers anything again. Keep saying “No, thank you.” Don’t call his phone number. Don’t give him your number or any personal information, including your work schedule. If he asks, say “No, thank you.” Or, “No, thank you, I don’t share personal information with our customers.” The next time he harasses you, report him to your manager. And keep your distance from the coworker who called you a name. That person is not a “friend.” He is not a “trusted coworker.” He’s just another dude who isn’t interested in your well-being or comfort. Any advice he’s given you is likely self-serving, and any help to you that has resulted in said advice is likely coincidental and not purposeful. None of the men in this scenario have your best interests at heart. In the future, go to your real friends – or an unbiased advice columnist – for advice and not to a coworker who has been disrespectful to you.