Entitled people


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Entitled people drive me crazy. It happens a lot when I’m traveling. It seems there are invariably one or two people who keep checking their email after the flight attendants tells them to turn off all electronics.

I’ll be honest. I’m probably more upset because I’m following the rules and someone else isn’t. I’d like to check my email one last time before we’re airborne but I don’t.

If I have 13 items I don’t use the express lane. I don’t drive in the breakdown lane unless it is allowed. And it is, in fact, allowed here in New England during morning and afternoon rush hours. Not sure if you’re supposed to use the regular lanes if you break down at those times.

And I definitely don’t try to return a product past the return period, nor do I buy something with the intent of returning it after I use it.

I can see some nodding heads out there. Okay, I can’t really see if your head is nodding, but I’m sure Constant Contact is working on that feature.

I did, though, just have an experience that reminds me not everyone I think is acting like the rules don’t apply to them really does think they’re more special than everybody else.

Last year I actually said something to someone who was using his phone long after the pre-takeoff announcement. I couldn’t help myself. But then the guy looked at me and said, “I’m sorry. One of my kids is sick and I was seeing if there was an update from my wife before we took off.”

He at least could have just told me to mind my own business! But nooooo, now I feel bad for saying something. One could debate if it was still right of him to be using his phone then, but I know I would be doing the same thing.

It was a great reminder of how my own perceptions influence how I see others.

Maybe the person in the express lane with fourteen items is in a hurry because of an elderly parent in the car.

Maybe the person who drives in the breakdown lane is late to an interview for a job she desperately needs.

And just because a customer is asking for something out of the norm doesn’t mean he/she is entitled. Maybe the person has an excellent reason he/she couldn’t return the product within the 30 days. Maybe the person really didn’t know you don’t accept returns after something has been used.

I always say that when coaching employees we need to separate the person from the behavior. The same is true for customers. Getting defensive and/or labeling a customer is not going to help any situation.

We can always choose to do or not do what the customer is asking for. We can choose whether to accept or not accept a customer’s behavior. Putting a label on someone is only going to make it harder to make the right choice.

Of course there are plenty of entitled people out there, but I’m learning I don’t have to let their character defects bring out mine.

– Doug

By the way, I’m starting the next Four Weeks to Becoming an Extraordinary Coach and Developing a Winning Retail Team program next week. This will be the last or next to last group I run before the holidays. Don’t miss this opportunity to take your coaching and leadership skills to the next level before the season begins. Details and sign up can be found here.

Republished with author's permission from original post.

Doug Fleener
As the former director of retail for Bose Corporation and an independent retailer himself, Doug has the unique experience and ability to help companies of all sizes. Doug is a retail and customer experience consultant, keynote speaker and a recognized expert worldwide.


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