When did it become OK to yell and scream at people?


Seriously. I am asking a sincere question because I must have missed the memo that everyone else got that said:

“You have every right to yell, scream and insult anyone at anytime for any reason.”

I know it’s been a few years since I’ve been in the unbuffered zone of dealing with the pubic. Up until last year, they had to first go through some hoops before landing on my lines. By then they were ready to go and I almost never had a problem with anyone. In fact, it’s rare that anyone really annoys me in business.

Well, that was true up until this last year. That’s when I started two new jobs, without a buffer.


I mean it. Just answering the phone “Good morning. ABC company. How can I…”


“Excuse me? What?”


“But you called us. Just give me your phone number and I’ll…”


OK, so how am I supposed to delete a number if they don’t tell me?

Or how about the guy that won’t let me finish explaining his bill before he goes off on a tangent?

“OK, sir, I didn’t send you the bill. If you’ll just calmly tell me what happened…”



My favorite was the guy that walked into the office and demanded I help him. OK…no problem….but when I explained to him that he wasn’t our client, he blew a gasket.


I waited for him to stop talking and went over it, again, who he needed to call to report a claim. He didn’t understand so I (stupidly) found the number, got them on the line, explained it to them and handed him the phone.

Good Samaritan, right? I figured he was just confused and I’d help him on his way.

Well, two days later, he’s calling the office. I’m not there because my car is in the shop, so the calls are being forwarded to my cell.

I’m all about customer service until you’re a dick. Then all bets are off.

Not only was he pissed that I wasn’t there, he put his daughter on the phone. She proceeded to threaten me and said she was going to report me. (Keep in mind, these aren’t our clients). I told her that was a great idea and to have a nice day.

My hands were shaking when I hung-up and it took me hours to calm down. I do not like being threatened, especially when I’ve done nothing wrong AND tried to help someone.

Then, HE COMES INTO THE OFFICE A WEEK LATER! He acts like nothing is wrong. Eff’n passive-aggressive asshole had met his match.

“Yes?” I ask as sweetly as possible.

“I need help with my claim and…”

“No. Sorry. Call them directly. From your home. With your daughter.”

“But you need…”

“Again, no. Let me go over this, one more time. It’s like you’re a client of Avis Car Rentals and you’ve just walked into Enterprise Rent-a-Car, all pissed off at Avis. Talk to Avis and deal with them.”

He looks at me. “Oh, you’re not my agent.”

“Nope,” I say and get up and walk him to the door. “Don’t come back,” I say and close the door behind him.

Now I know that you’ll always run into a few people who are cranky and rude. That’s life, right?

But when did “a few people” turn into most of them?

When did this change and when did it become acceptable to treat people badly?

I have  a sneaking suspicion I am not cut out for this anymore. The one today was just someone who had a confusion on his bill. Every time I tried to explain it, his voice would rise. He didn’t like the idea that because he bounced a check to the insurance company, they were cancelling his coverage.

I just got quiet and stopped talking and let him yell.

When he was done, I didn’t say anything until he asked if I was still there.

“Yes,” I said.


“As I was saying…”


“Because you’re yelling…”


“Call this 800 number and talk to them. I’m done here.”

Of course he called back 5 minutes later.

God I love called ID. I just let it ring and ring. He, naturally, didn’t leave a message.

If at any point, anyone tells me that it’s my job to be yelled at, that’s the moment I quit.

No amount of money is worth rolling over for it.

That ain’t gonna happen.



  1. This and so much this. I can’t stand how dumb, ignorant, and angry people have gotten. My favorite story (bear with me) from a few years back. Co-worker and I went to Wendy’s, I ordered their amazing spicy chicken sandwich. Manager told me they didn’t have any and it would be several minutes before they were ready. OK, give me the non-spicy one, no big deal. Don’t think he knew my co-worker and I came in together because he went up to the counter after I had walked away and the manager mentioned to him that he was happy because he thought he was about to get screamed at by me. I mean who the hell gets angry over them not having the exact sandwich you want the minute you want it? To this day that story still bothers me that he felt he was about to get berated because he didn’t have any spicy chicken ready that second. How often does that have to happen for him to be happy and surprised it didn’t happen?


    1. See? It’s not just me being super critical or sensitive. That is so sad that he expected to get yelled at. If I ever talked to people like that, my parents would have grounded me for a week!


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