Tuesday, April 10, 2007

Dilemma Update

Here's an update from my dilemma post from last week.

Today the mentally disabled man who caused us all of the stress last week and problems for the past few weeks came in. He was on good behavior when he first came in, and we let him come in since we had a customer in the store and Craig got a phone call. After the customer left and Craig got off of the phone, which was only a couple of minutes, we both went up to him and I said, "Sorry but I'm going to have to ask you to leave." He was sitting on the floor flipping through a $40 book. He threw the book down and said, "May I ask why?" I said, "your behavior over the last few times has been very disruptive and we can't have you in here anymore."

He got up and said, "You're lucky I don't push this shelf over." Craig was right there with me and stepped between him and the shelf and I said, "If you do that I will call the police." Then he said, "OK. I will just come in and buy Loony Tunes." Craig told him that no, he could not come back into the store again. Then the guy shouted, throwing a fit about how that was just fine and Craig and the whole store could go to hell. Thankfully another customer didn't come in while this was going on!

It wasn't easy, but we are glad we did it. Now we're a little nervous that he's going to try to come back and act up in a violent way, or call us and try to talk us into letting him come back. If he calls, I am going to have to speak to his mom or caretaker and let that person know he can't call here anymore. Hopefully this is the last we will see or hear of him. He sounded so violent when he was leaving that it was a bit worrisome. Thankfully we have an alarm system if we need it.

Updated again at 1 pm today - he just called. First he promised to be sweet as pie and very polite, if I just agreed to let him come back. He agreed that he had been acting up, but promised that he could behave if we just let him come back. I told him to give us some time, a few months, and then call us back, but that he couldn't come in for at least three months - then he started swearing at me. Then he apologized. I told him because of these outbursts he cannot be trusted and that he cannot come back at all. He said he'd just come back once in a while. I said, "No, you can't come back or I will call the police." He shouted back, "That's fine. You go straight to Hell! You are cursed now and you are going out of business just like the Family Video that was across from you who were mean to me! (Family Video was never across the street from us, and the one in our town is still in business) You can go rot!" When he stopped to catch a breath I told him that this kind of behavior is why we can't have him come back into the store. He hung up.

Five minutes later he calls again, this time apologetic, promising never to come in the store or bother us again. I told him to put his mom or dad on the phone. He said it wasn't necessary. I asked him again, and he said "no" and that he wouldn't come back.

Once he was off the phone I did a *69 (we don't' have caller ID) so that I could write his number down. In an hour or so I'll call and talk to one of his parents to ask them to please not let him call us anymore.


James Meeley said...


I know this must have been very hard for you, but I know you did the right thing.

The fact he made violent threats when you told him to leave, is a sure sign he needed to be banned from your store. I think talking to his caretaker when he calls (as I have no doubt he will) is a great idea. And make sure to inform them, due to his violent threats this time, that should he return, the police will be called.

Hearing this story (as well as the previous one), I get the feeling he's gotten used to people letting him do and act however he wants, due to his "disability." He's let people's charity towards his mental problems, allow him to become a huge brat, who thinks they are no to be held to any type of reasonable expectation of behavior and courtesy.

Hopefully, the stand you took today, as well as what you will say when that phone call comes, will help him (and his caretaker) to see that there are expectations expected of him, despite his mental issues and that there are consequences when he fails to meet them. Perhaps you will have helped the next poor retailer who has to deal with him, as what happened at your story will make him think twice before he acts like that with them. Very good show, Lisa. Stay strong! :)

Lisa said...

Thanks for your support, James. It makes me feel a little better. I did really feel bad about having to kick him out, but with his outbursts and threats, I'm glad we did. In the long run it is the safest thing for us, our employee and our customers.

No matter what someone's mental development is, they should not threaten to destroy a store or claim to have cursed the place and tell the owners to go to hell and then expect to be able to come back. He knew he was wrong, but he has a temper that I do not want to have to deal with in my store again. I am sure he will stay away for a while, and if he does come back we will turn him around before he gets past the front counter.

Again, thank you so much for your advice and support in this. We really had to muster up our courage just to kick him out today, and I was shaking when it was done. We're both softies when it comes to this kind of thing, but we knew that it was important for our business and customers that we do it.

Scott King said...


What was the parent/caretaker?

Thom said...

I think you guys made the right choice.

Jeff Sonnentag said...

Yes , It must have been hard,and it's a shame he had a "disability" but even that is no excuse for his actions or the in-actions of the parents/care takers.
But what to do now? In my demented little world you have the opportunitity of a lifetime. Just tell call him back , tell him you're moving the store....say to 716 N Barstow...
BANGO....two issuses solved. Just call me Mr. Fix-it...

Lisa said...

LOL Jeff! You are truly evil. But I won't toss the suggestion asside just yet.