negative-customer-reviews (640x438)People are all around us. You can find them in the workplace, at the grocery store, in the mall, or on the freeway.

Most of us can remember a time when we met someone who simply had a bad attitude. They seem to find a way to transform a relatively pleasant situation into an active war zone. Don’t you just love these type of people?

I had a recent experience like this while at the mall. As I entered a popular store for men, I asked one of the associates for some assistance. I soon noticed eyes rolling and a serious attitude from the associate.

His lack of customer service and impatient behavior was even noticeable by another customer. When the associate returned to the front desk, a customer walked by and whispered, “They got the wrong guy working here.” The customer and I shared a laugh as I put on my jacket and headed to the register.

Everything that I asked the associate got a “no” answer. Do you carry this in a different size? No. Do you do returns? No. Do you have a bathroom? No. I was tempted to ask, “Are you giving me good customer service?” No.

When dealing with someone like this associate, try not to take it personal. Maybe their having a rough day, or went through a bad break-up, or found out their cat died. Whatever the issue is, life happens to all of us.

More often than not, our first response towards someone who is being difficult is to get defensive. We feel we’re being mistreated so we want to retaliate. You know, “Get them straight!”

Remember the associate from earlier? Well, I had to revisit the store to make an exchange.

As I handed my receipt to the manager, he asked, “How was everything yesterday?” I replied, “Could have been better.” The manager briefly shared with me that this associate went through a recent divorce and lost nearly everything.

The manger also added that the associate has been taking the divorce hard. Interestingly enough, the manager is the associate’s brother-in-law.

I stood at the front desk and listened with a new sense of compassion. This associate was going through a rough time in his life and it was coming out on those he worked with.

You never know what someone is dealing with. Make a conscious effort to keep a good attitude and treat everyone the best you can.