A discount retail chain has been left red-faced following a very public spat between a “rude” customer and one of its employees, which descended into an in-store screaming match.
My Business was witness to an incident recently at a store operated by The Base Warehouse in Sydney, in which an employee and a customer were loudly arguing and swearing at one another – in full view of other frightened customers.
The staff member took exception to the woman’s children allegedly causing damage to merchandise and displays within the store, and her apparent disinterest in controlling the unruly kids.
Yet, rather than quietly ask the customer to subdue her children or to kindly leave the store, a screaming match ensued between the pair, which lasted for several minutes.
A spokesperson for The Base Warehouse confirmed that the employee lodged an internal complaint about “being abused and personally attacked” by the customer, while no such complaint had been received from the customer.
However, the spokesperson also noted that disciplinary action has also been taken against the employee involved in the altercation.
“Management spoke to the employee in regards to the matter. Our employee has been told this behaviour is unacceptable, even if the customer was 100 per cent in the wrong,” the spokesperson told My Business.
“The incident arose because the customer's children were ruining the store, damaging our stock and being extremely rude to our staff. The customer was asked to control her children's behaviour as it was disrupting other customers which then escalated into this unfortunate event.
“We are a party supply store and are known for being fun and helpful and we find the behaviour of the parent and her children to be completely unacceptable.”
The Base Warehouse did not respond to questions about its internal training procedures.
Of course bad behaviour in the workplace is nothing new. My Business' sister publication REB (Real Estate Business) recently highlighted the case of two real estate agents engaged in an assault and a defamation action following a tense property listing.
Adam Zuchetti is the editor of My Business, and has steered the publication’s editorial direction since early 2016.