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  • Have you ever...

    I have a question regarding classification. My application asks:

    "In any job that you've held, have you been involved in any physical or verbal confrontations with workers, supervisors, or customers? Explain:"

    My question to that is the definition of "verbal confrontation". What is considered "verbal confrontation"? Is that in the form of "discussions" where neither side agrees and "argues" the pros/cons or would it be considered an all out war of verbal battery and yelling?

    The reason I am asking is because I have had "discussions" with other employees and customers in past places of employment but they never escalated past what I would consider "overtly aggressive". For anyone that has worked in retail sales should know just what I'm talking about. I've never been one to raise a voice to anyone unless it was necessary - a passive/aggressive reaction versus completely aggressive where it could lead to shouting, cursing, or worse, physical violence.

    I'll give you a couple examples, so please be patient with the length.

    I was a manager at a motorcycle dealership and a new hire had (stupidly) discussed his wage structure with someone, who told someone else. Then, an employee who was a VERY aggressive individual asked me "What the h*** is going on? That's bull****!" and began to argue with me (somewhat loudly) but I kept my voice down because he's been known for his temper. When I tried to explain the situation to him he walked out the door and when he got on the outside of the service window he turns, points, and says, "Mike, you're a f*****' piece of sh**!" I was involved, but on the receiving end.

    I also remember calling another employee a..."female dog" because when I asked her a question about something her response was, "What the f*** you asking me for?" And she wasn't joking, either. So my response was, "Why do you always have to be such a b**** to everyone?" and I walked out of the office where she was. Although their compliments did not vindicate what I said, there were many other employees that came to me and told me that they had been wanting to say that for the longest time, I felt horrible about i because that's not "me". I do not have a bad attitude and I get along with virtually everyone and anyone. I think my "downfall" is that I stand up for what I think is right and just and I don't take anyones crap. So I guess eating a sh** sandwich is actually a good thing sometimes.

    I've never came straight out and cursed at a customer or became physical with them simply based on a disagreement. I pick my battles wisely, if it's not something worth doing or saying, I keep shut about it and sit on my hands. But sometimes...I'm sure most everyone has "lost their cool" at one point or another in their life. That is not saying that what I did wasn't as bad or "ok" because I am in the mindset of when you have crossed the line, the crap you step in smells just as bad as anything else you have crossed that line with.

    I am fully aware of the repercussions this may have involving the process, but I am counting on my references and previous supervisors that know me well to back me up. I was just looking for clarification on what is what.

    Mike
    "Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure..."


    August evenings
    Bring solemn warnings
    To remember to kiss the ones you love goodnight
    You never know what temporal days may bring
    Laugh, love, live free and sing
    When life is in dischord
    Praise ye the lord

  • #2
    The wording of the question is purposefully vague to see if they can get you to fess up to being unable to control your temper.

    While my response would be just as vague, I would word it in such a manner as to turn it into a positive trait. I might say something like:

    As a manager, I am routinely responsible for dealing with unhappy customers and internal personnel problems. On occasion, customers or employees do become loud and confrontational.

    No doubt this will cause the BI to inquire further. Again, your response needs to remain generic:

    When dealing with a confrontational customer or employee I simply do my best to resolve the problem by listening to their concerns, calming them and addressing the issue as necessary. If I can fix things, I do so. If I can't or their request is unreasonable, I explain why I can't help them.

    If asked for a specific incident, your might want to avoid blow by blow descriptions like the ones your posted here and instead, briefly summarize a couple of problems. For example, you might want to talk about how you made an unhappy customer happy, or how you tried, but weren't able to help someone because their demands were unreasonable. (As a cop, your BI is more than familiar with unreasonable demands being made by the public and employees.)

    How your response to this question will affect you in the hiring process depends solely on how you frame (spin) your answer. Best of luck.
    Going too far is half the pleasure of not getting anywhere

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    • #3
      Thank you, again. I tend to view situations as "you take the good with the bad". You learn what to do and what not to do, and everyday is a new learning experience no matter what age you are and/or how well tempered you are. I have seen the coolest of cucumbers lose it. I have a lot of "good" that outweighs the bad beyond a reasonable doubt and I'm proud of that. I have a folder in my file box filled with compliment letters aka "atta-boys" from customers that I keep just for this reason. Thanks L-1, I'm glad to have another set of eyes on matters such as this. The thread hijackers can have this one now.

      Mike
      "Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure..."


      August evenings
      Bring solemn warnings
      To remember to kiss the ones you love goodnight
      You never know what temporal days may bring
      Laugh, love, live free and sing
      When life is in dischord
      Praise ye the lord

      Comment

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