Saturday, January 29, 2011

Get the fuck out!

Recently I had an encounter with a customer that ended with me asking him to leave. After he angrily stormed out, grumbling about what an unfair bitch I was, I began reflecting on all the times I have asked people to leave the store.

About two years ago we put up a "We reserve the right to refuse service to anyone" sign due to employees requests for a more comfortable service policy. For some of the employees it is difficult to ask a person to leave, especially if they seem unstable or possibly dangerous. Just because we work in a sex shop doesn't mean that we are aggressive and comfortable around everyone. For the first year I worked here employees were expected to handle customers in all situations. Since we were a small business we didn't ask people leave because hell, we needed people to know we were here. After establishing ourselves as a business we began to have more confidence,and therefore began to deal with the creepers and the potential bad customers more firmly.

The first time I ever asked someone to leave was at our stores Sexy Halloween party in 2009. A gentleman began walking around asking intimate and personal questions about all of our female customers. At first it was just annoying and we kept our eyes on him, but when he started becoming more aggressive I took action. Dressed as a french maid, I walked over to him, placed my hand on his shoulder and said "Sir, it's time for you to leave." And he did. Very quickly.

Street people are probably the people that we ask to leave the most. Since the store is located next to the public library, we get a lot of traffic coming through from people who sleep outside of the building. Sometimes they will come in to get away from the cold, which for me is fine, as long as they don't bug any customers. My boss doesn't like it, she asks them to leave right away to preserve our "high class" environment. When someone comes in with a satchel and a load of their belongings we are instructed to ask them to leave their things at the counter, or leave. On a few occasions I have had to call the police on a street person, mainly for them yelling at pedestrians outside the shop. There is a guy who has come in a few times (we told him if he comes in again we will call the police) and yells at us for being sinners and whores and terrible people. Honestly it scares the crap out of me. But luckily I have the police alarm below the counter if needed.

There comes a time when an individual (usually male) will come in and sit in our book corner for much longer than needed. Whether they are perving or just reading, after about twenty minutes I need to go up to them and tell them to either buy something or leave, we are not a library.

My recent encounter was actually a first for me. As I was talking to a female customer, a sketchy looking male came in and loudly asked to use our stores phone. My boss was out, which means I can't really make those kind of decisions without her permission. So I told him no, which angered him. He then asked if he could use my personal cellphone. Again, I said no. He then started asking customers in the store for their phone, and as I was about to ask him to leave the lady I was helping let him borrow hers and went outside with him. She came back in after a little bit, telling me that she regretted letting him use her phone. And of course, he came back in to bug her to get her contacts so that they could "hang out later". This is when I stepped in and asked him to leave, as she looked really uncomfortable. He didn't like this, but left, upset that I cock-blocked him. She stayed in the store for a little bit to make sure he was gone.

Working in a sex shop, you come across the strangest people, and some need to be dealt with harsher than others.

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