This is a nonfiction recollection of events as experienced by me; used with permission.
When I first got out of high school, there were a lot of options where I lived when it came to minimum wage work. I got a job pretty easily at a fast food restaurant in a pretty rough area. People there could be tough to deal with but most of the time it wasn't too terrible since I mostly worked in the back making the food.
Once I worked there for a bit they let me start learning the register. It was pretty clear that people didn't respect you a lot of the time behind that register, but I was getting paid so I just dealt with it. In the end, I found out that I had a limit when someone pushed me past it. Every shift seemed like it came with a difficult customer or two, but it never got too hard to deal with.
On this day, I was working during dinner time so the orders were coming in and everything seemed okay. However, an angry customer came up to the register and asked why I messed up his sandwich. I said I was sorry and I would fix it. He had put it on the counter so I was going to throw it away and he smacked my hand away and said he wants it still and another that was made right.
It really didn't phase me when he was rude to me at first. For me, it wasn't worth it to argue over that so I just told him to step aside and I would get it ready. He started eating the offensive sandwich he wanted remade and just stared at me while I took the order of someone else. I just kept working and tried not to pay attention to him standing there.
Once his new sandwich was ready, he opened the wrapper and checked it over. He said it was wrong again and he picked it up and threw it at my head and called me an idiot. In my mind I told myself to remain calm but I started getting so mad that I decided to climb over the counter and I started yelling about disrespect and how he could leave or I would call the cops.
He first looked like he was about to fight me but then he backed off and said he would be back to see me later before he turned around and left. My manager came out and told me that I can't yell at the customers and he doesn't care what that customer did. I explained why I was upset and he said if I can't handle that kind of thing I need a new job.
I asked my manager what the point is of letting people do that and he said that I should just let people do what they will and make them happy so they come back. He explained that I probably lost us a good paying customer and I decided that the job wasn't for me shortly after this chat we had. It was strange to me that my manager really didn't seem to care and would rather have a terrible customer come back than me as an employee.
It's good to work with a customer when they're upset. But if they do something unreasonable, I think that it's okay to tell them their behavior is not okay. Maybe me yelling in his face wasn't the best choice, but at least we didn't start punching each other so I guess it could've been worse.