Posted by Robert Bacal on March 13, 2014
There are literally hundreds of videos of angry customers posted on Youtube. Many of them have gone viral, garnering views in the hundreds of thousands, and it's also common for those videos to receive huge numbers of comments numbering in the thousands. Banal comments, perhaps, but comments none the less.
Who knows why. It's different from drivers slowing down when they see an accident, because with these videos, people have to seek them out, and then take the time to tell others how absolutely funny it is to see angry people do things that are threatening, abusive, and even violent.
Next time you tune in to an angry customer video, and want to congratulate the poster of the video, think of this.
In every angry situation you see, there is significant trauma experienced by the customer service representative, AND any other people; bystanders, present. If you've ever witnessed violence, or seen two people arguing where you think violence might occur, recall the feeling of adrenaline pumping through your systems, as the fight or flight response kicks in. Think about the stresses on the body, and the shaking of hands once the event is over, and you experience the aftereffects of the "adrenaline dump." Think about how you talked about the experience, and your horror and fear, even days after the event.
That's what those people in those "funny" videos experience, both the employees, and other customers at the establishment.
In my seminars helping staff deal with angry and abusive customers, I often ask how many attendees have experienced some form of physical assault, or unwanted physical contact. Typically, I'll get a minimum of forty percent of people having experienced those situations, and the trauma and feeling of lack of security that comes with these events.
Even when the contact is "minor", let's say a grabbing of an arm or shoulder, people report significant emotional reactions, stress, and even trauma.
It's not funny.
Who knows why people think it is. But think about how it feels like for the "victims", and for those present. It's no laughing matter. It's not entertaining. It's nasty.
Do you really want to be a person who revels in the misfortunes and pain of others?