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AR385
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Thanking People Is Difficult

Fri Dec 12, 2014 12:42 am

Two weeks ago a customer of mine decided to keep a product he bought from me over my website without paying, so he told the credit card company the charge was not his.

Credit Card company asks me for proof of sale. So I look for the mail receipt and I can´t find it. I had to go to the Post Office and tell the problem to a very nice, polite young lady. After three hrs and two days of work, she managed to give me the copy of the mail receipt with the signature of my customer on it when he received it. Contents are described on it.

I sent the document over to the Credit Card company and today everything is solved. They even apologized.

It was a lot of money, so I went and bought a bag of three Hershey bars, grabbed a little, cheap, white card and wrote "thank you" and went over to the Post Office. Boy did I get in trouble. She was happy about it but the manager came over and gave me a stern lecture about not bribing employees and that the women employees were not there for the enjoyment of the customers. I did not make a scene but told him he was getting the wrong idea and to go have fun with himself. Very unpleasant.

Was I out of line? Sure the lady is cute, but I don´t hit on people that I do business with or help me with my business. Nor do I go out with women I double in age.
 
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fr8mech
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RE: Thanking People Is Difficult

Fri Dec 12, 2014 1:20 am

Quoting AR385 (Thread starter):
Was I out of line?

This:

Quoting AR385 (Thread starter):
I did not make a scene but told him he was getting the wrong idea and to go have fun with himself. Very unpleasant.

was out of line.

Other than that, no. I think it is appropriate to thank people who have provided a service. And, if you feel the service was "above and beyond", I don't see an issue with providing a little more than just a "thank you".

Was this in the US?
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AR385
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RE: Thanking People Is Difficult

Fri Dec 12, 2014 1:23 am

Quoting fr8mech (Reply 1):
Was this in the US?

No. Down here in MTY.
 
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zippyjet
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RE: Thanking People Is Difficult

Fri Dec 12, 2014 1:26 am

No, you were not out of line! That was really a nice gesture. It seems the post office whatever country is jacked up. Considering it a bribe. Give me a break. If this is Mexico no offense government drones talking about bribes is the pot calling the kettle black. Arcane rules such is this demonstrate how we've all gone down hill with this new morality PC crud. Sorry if I'm ranting.
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jetblueguy22
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RE: Thanking People Is Difficult

Fri Dec 12, 2014 6:20 am

Part of my job is having a customer counter where people can ship and pick up their packages. If someone did this to my employee I would have no issues with it. There are some difficult customers out there and they put up with a lot of stuff. But you can always tell when there is a customer who made their day. Almost all the things they get the blame for is completely out of their hands. Last year there was a frequent customer who came in and gave us all cookies to thank us. You have no idea how much of a morale booster that is.

Quoting AR385 (Thread starter):
I did not make a scene but told him he was getting the wrong idea and to go have fun with himself. Very unpleasant.

This though I would have issue with. If the person worked for me and I had a concern about it that is my problem. I understand it is a nice gesture, and in this instance there really is no harm. But there may be a policy against such a thing. Many companies don't allow tips or gifts to be accepted. Just because we decline, doesn't mean we are being rude, but it may be against a policy we have to enforce.
Pat
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Airstud
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RE: Thanking People Is Difficult

Fri Dec 12, 2014 6:58 am

Kind of hard to offer worthwhile input since Mexico is a different culture from up here, but from my American perspective:

If this had happened in the U.S. there might have been an issue since civil service employees aren't allowed to accept gifts from members of the public.

In the U.S. (and maybe elsewhere), the presenting of Hershey bars are part of a courtship ritual. If this had happened in the U.S., the Hershey bars could be seen a certain signal; a signal that wouldn't be seen in, say, a fruit basket.

If this had happened in the U.S., the postal workeress would've smacked her manager (or at least wanted to) for trying to "fight her battles" for her. American women aren't very open to the notion of needing protection. I don't know if Mexican machismo is what that manager was practicing, or whether it's even a real thing or just made-up anti-Mexican nonsense.

At the end of it all, the view from up here in Minnesota is that the manager was being a pendejo.
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aloges
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RE: Thanking People Is Difficult

Fri Dec 12, 2014 8:46 am

Perhaps the manager receives bribes on a daily basis and got angry because you turned up with a small inconspicuous box in broad daylight. Could also be that he's angry because he won't be getting his cut of her "bribe" this way... or he had an axe to grind with her anyway and you provided a welcome, though absurd, excuse to go ballistic.
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airportugal310
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RE: Thanking People Is Difficult

Fri Dec 12, 2014 9:14 am

Quoting jetblueguy22 (Reply 4):

Good reply, but is it the customers responsibility to know a companies policies?

I submit that it is not. Nor should it be his problem if anyone takes fault with his actions which were well intentioned
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Severnaya
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RE: Thanking People Is Difficult

Fri Dec 12, 2014 9:22 am

Quoting AR385 (Thread starter):
Was I out of line?

No, certainly not. Thank you for being such a nice person, I still have faith in mankind.

Quoting aloges (Reply 6):
Perhaps the manager receives bribes on a daily basis and got angry because you turned up with a small inconspicuous box in broad daylight.

  
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jetblueguy22
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RE: Thanking People Is Difficult

Fri Dec 12, 2014 8:10 pm

Quoting airportugal310 (Reply 7):
Good reply, but is it the customers responsibility to know a companies policies?

I submit that it is not. Nor should it be his problem if anyone takes fault with his actions which were well intentioned

I don't think it is their responsibility at all. I think the manager handled it completely wrong. He should have just said "I'm sorry we can't accept this, it is against company policy." and moved on.
Pat
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vikkyvik
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RE: Thanking People Is Difficult

Fri Dec 12, 2014 9:52 pm

From CPR training all the way to company ethics training, I've always had it drilled into my head that I am not supposed to accept gifts from customers or vendors.

That's the "official" line.

On a personal level, I will go beyond simply saying "thank you" on occasion. One time I dropped my car off in the morning at the small shop where I get work done. I asked the owner if I could use his phone to call for a cab to take me to work. He asked me how far I was going, and I said about 6 miles. He said, "here, take my van, and return it when you pick up your car tonight". That evening, when I returned the car, I left a 12-pack of beer in the car for them (I told them about it so they wouldn't think I'd forgotten it).

So basically, just don't take it personally. I'm sure the employee appreciated the thought. Some companies simply won't accept gifts, and that's fine.
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AR385
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RE: Thanking People Is Difficult

Sat Dec 13, 2014 3:36 am

First, thanks everyone for your valuable input and replies. Once again, I find a.net a great place for good advice and learning. My main concern was if was being out of line as if it could be perceived as harassing the employee.

Quoting fr8mech (Reply 1):
This:

Quoting AR385 (Thread starter):
I did not make a scene but told him he was getting the wrong idea and to go have fun with himself. Very unpleasant.

was out of line.

I understand. You are probably right. However I was very offended in the implications of what the manager was saying. Then again, I make it a point of never losing my temper in interactions with other people. I perhaps lost it here.

Quoting zippyjet (Reply 3):
It seems the post office whatever country is jacked up.

They do seem to be a certain type of people...

Quoting jetblueguy22 (Reply 4):
Quoting AR385 (Thread starter):
I did not make a scene but told him he was getting the wrong idea and to go have fun with himself. Very unpleasant.

This though I would have issue with. If the person worked for me and I had a concern about it that is my problem. I understand it is a nice gesture, and in this instance there really is no harm. But there may be a policy against such a thing.

I see your point. I don´t know if they have a policy. But I feel that was not the issue. He was being personal. But you are right. I should have been the bigger person and left it at that.

Quoting Airstud (Reply 5):
In the U.S. (and maybe elsewhere), the presenting of Hershey bars are part of a courtship ritual. If this had happened in the U.S., the Hershey bars could be seen a certain signal; a signal that wouldn't be seen in, say, a fruit basket.

I really thought hard about that issue. You have an excellent point. I went out of my way to not imply any of that. I understand if I had given her some fine chocolatiere truffles, I would have conveyed the wrong idea. That´s why I went to Walmart (although any trip to Wal-Mart in mid December implies love by itself) and got cheap, Hershey, milk chocolate bars. But you are right. I was worried it would have been perceived as "courtship".

Quoting Airstud (Reply 5):
I don't know if Mexican machismo is what that manager was practicing, or whether it's even a real thing or just made-up anti-Mexican nonsense. At the end of it all, the view from up here in Minnesota is that the manager was being a pendejo.

Now that I´ve thought of it, that was one 1) of the things that was going on. Although, I sort of not blame him. She is young, pretty and nice. I can see why the need to "protect" her.

Quoting aloges (Reply 6):
Could also be that he's angry because he won't be getting his cut of her "bribe" this way... or he had an axe to grind with her anyway and you provided a welcome, though absurd, excuse to go ballistic.

I can´t say it was a bribe issue. That would be unfair without evidence. But he was pissed that the most junior in his staff was getting some type of recognition. That was the second 2) thing that was going on. An axe to grind with her could have probably been the third 3) thing that was going on. It makes you look bad if everyone thinks you give crappy service but your most junior employee gets chocolates.

Quoting Severnaya (Reply 8):
Thank you for being such a nice person, I still have faith in mankind.

A lot of people think government companies in Mexico are corrupt and its employees useless. Some are, some are not. The Postal Service works particularly well. For the price they charge, they deliver a somewhat competitive service to FEDEX, DHL, etc. They are, however, decades behind in technology and they still do things manually for the most part.

Can you imagine the amount of work she had to go through to get me the document I needed? And if she had not done it, I would have had to return an amount of money that I just don´t have. Those three chocolate bars cost me probably 1% of the money I would have had to return. She could have easily said: "Sorry, come back in January, we are too busy". I´m glad it was her I got and not the manager.

People like her MAKE ME still have faith in mankind (and in beaurocrats)

Quoting jetblueguy22 (Reply 9):
"I'm sorry we can't accept this, it is against company policy." and moved on.

Yeah. I see what you mean. It was not about that. There was something personal going on.

Quoting vikkyvik (Reply 10):
That's the "official" line.

Yes. But it needs to be flexible.

Quoting vikkyvik (Reply 10):
So basically, just don't take it personally. I'm sure the employee appreciated the thought. Some companies simply won't accept gifts, and that's fine.

I did not. I was worried I did something that made her uncomfortable. But the manager pissed me off. I hope we have a lot more people liker her in our government companies. Someday they might make a difference.

Again, thanks all for your responses.

Martin

[Edited 2014-12-12 19:45:31]

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