So I work at a bank. And at this bank there are well, rules and regulations and policies etc. And obviously one rule is be courteous to the customers. Easy enough for me I'm a nice person. Well I helped a lady today and after I finished her transaction she commented on my hair. I style my hair in a faux-hawk. She had said "I'm glad my children never did anything crazy like that. They read their bible everyday and don't have any tattoos either," and pointed at my hair "they follow the teachings in the bible. If you read the bible it says that your body belongs to god and you shouldn't damage it in any way, read your bible everyday ok?" Now what I wanted to say was "look lady, I dont read the bible, never have never will, and contrary to your single-minded beliefs about how non-believers are 'inhuman-beasts,' Im not a drug addict, I've never tried drugs and I've never been in trouble with the law. All that was accomplished without your bible." But of course I like my job and didnt say that and well I didnt really know what to say back except have a nice day. Just love those days. Anyone else been in that position and it just kills you that you cant respond with what your thinking? Any other day I would have spoke up but alas, I need my job.

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Comment by Unseen on August 31, 2011 at 11:00pm

Even if she did it out on the street, it's a good time to emulate the Buddhist and show a pleasant side. If you hassle her back, which is what she really wants, you'd just prove the stereotype she has of you. Better to blow her mind with kindness.

Comment by kris feenstra on August 31, 2011 at 11:00pm
Work is work. There are certainly times when lines get crossed and you need to speak up for yourself, but in this situation it sounds like you made the right call. Not worth the hassle.
Comment by matt.clerke on August 31, 2011 at 11:07pm

My girl friend and I were working at pizza hut as delivery drivers. While we are not out driving we are usually folding boxes or cutting pizzas and occasionally we serve customers at the front counter. My girlfriend was developing a sore wrist from folding so many boxes (think RSI) and so she had her wrist bound in a compression bandage to help it heal. She served a Christian of some description and he ended up physically grabbing her arm and holding her at the counter while he prayed for her arm to heal.

 

Needless to say, her arm is now healed although I doubt the prayer did anything but frighten her for a couple of hours afterwards.

 

Story is somewhat related...thought I would share. In answer to your question, no. I think Christian's look at me and just assume I am also Christian because they generally just leave me alone... Did have a conversation with a wacko at the bus station once though...

Comment by Michael on August 31, 2011 at 11:13pm

I agree with killing her with kindness, but the way she worded it was well not completely offensive but rude. If she wanted to talk about it I wouldn't mind but I was nothing but nice to her in the beginning. And of course they gotta believe their right cause they got the faith and its the only way. And I think the prayer guy grabbing your girlfriends arm is just coincidence. If it was just sore it'll get better in no time if shes healthy. Sprained an ankle one day, I took care of it with ice, stretching, warm pads etc. next day I was running just fine. Know how the body works and you can do anything. Although I gotta say I would have been freaked out too if someone grabbed me and my wrist was better in a few hours.

Comment by Gaytor on September 1, 2011 at 12:11am

Your response was generally the right one. Taking the high road is cool. She seems to know that her ways are headed for the trash heap. You have to love the perspective of age in knowing that they way you and everyone that you knew lived is going by the wayside. Well doesn't that beat all, I'm irrelevant. 

 

But if you really don't give a fuck, and the job is temp until... the response that would help you keep the job and allow you to say fuck off is, "Is there anything else banking related that I could help you with?" It's professional and you'd have to have your head way up your ass to not recognize it as "Kick rocks lady." 

Comment by Derek on September 1, 2011 at 12:24am

I think firm but fair is the proper approach in this kind of situation. In hindsight it's easy, but you could have said something like "with respect, my appearance is none of your business."

 

If it was your business, in a hypothetical - you could have retorted with: " Well you read your bible, yet you're a deluded, not to mention bigoted old bitch, now get outta my shop you crazy dingbat."

Comment by Unseen on September 1, 2011 at 12:28am

I think firm but fair might get one fired or at least a few uncomfortable moments in the supervisor's office. You're hired to do your job not spar with unpleasant customers. Most companies expect employees to always present a pleasant demeanor to clients and customers. Anything less means you don't understand your role in the company.

Comment by Michael on September 1, 2011 at 1:35am

Well see I could probably get by with some of the above mentioned responses, like what derek said. My managers are while professional pretty laid back. Don't get me wrong they do discipline for policy violations and such but they would probably just tell me "your response was acceptable but maybe next time go easy" or something like that. That's usually a  typical day though. This just irked me more than usual.

Comment by BryanPaul on September 1, 2011 at 9:08am

I most likely would have told her "well, lets just pray your kids get a job as good as mine. Have a nice day now." After that there's not much she can do unless she wanted to get openly ugly with it. If she did I would just play dumb and be offended, lol.

Comment by Rick on September 1, 2011 at 10:05am

I rather like Gaytor’s response. Personally, I would have ignored her and shot her a “fuck you” look as I asked for the next customer in line to step forward. Sometimes a subtle snub goes a long way.

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