Customer services is a challenging job at the best of times but a former Sydney airport worker has just delivered a lesson on how to deal with tough customers in a wonderfully unprofessional way.
Patrick Lenton has made himself a minor Twitter star with a tale about how he once faked his own death to convince an angry punter to leave him alone.
“(Sic) when I worked at Sydney International Airport, I once faked my own death to get away from a difficult customer,” he wrote earlier this month.”
It all started when an angry British made confronted Mr Lenton about a parcel which had not arrived on time.
The man had a plane to catch (in six hours) and the 10 minute delay was beyond the pale, he firmly informed Mr Lenton.
A few silent and passive aggressive exchanges later, Mr Lenton investigates the package, discovers it has not yet arrived at the collection point and duly informs the angry mute.
From here, Mr Lenton said, their relationship went down hill.
The man became upset that the hapless Mr Lenton was not making the conveyer belt go any faster.
There were no conveyor belts involved in the conveyance of this particular package, which was to be delivered to the collection desk on foot from elsewhere in the airport.
“I try to say those words to him, but he doesn't listen, and he's repeating 'GET IN THE TUNNEL AND GET MY PARCEL',” Mr Lenton tweeted.
“and at some point, I decide to stop protesting the existence of the tunnel, and start saying 'I'm not getting in the tunnel'
- 'He tweaked my nipple forcefully': Passenger claims Grant Hackett 'sexually assaulted' him
- Drone crashes into passenger plane over Heathrow airport
“and he leans over the desk, jabs his hairy knuckle into my collar-bone and says 'if you want to keep your job, get in the sodding tunnel'
“so, I say in a scared voice 'but sir... it's too dangerous to go in on my own, I'm too tall...'”
From here, Patrick Lenton embraced the weirdness of the situation, left his desk, pretended to “get in the tunnel” and hid behind a cupboard.
Some time passes and the man, who has meanwhile acquired his “crap” from the runner begins to question if he may have been too cavalier in insisting Mr Lenton embark on the dangerous journey into the tunnel.
A perfume seller from a different company arrives about half an hour later to discover Mr Lenton hiding in the cupboard.
“and she's calling out 'hello - hello, there's a man who is worried that someone is... stuck in a tunnel',” Mr Lenton wrote.
Mr Lenton said he gestured to her to remain quiet. She duly obliged and informed ‘Lord Haughtypants’ there was no one in the tunnel.
With few options remaining, the man accepted the hopelessness of Mr Lenton’s situation and left.
By the next day, the HR department had become aware of Mr Lenton’s greatly exaggerated demise and was, unsurprisingly, unimpressed.
“Next day, we received a memo from HR that we are 'not to go into the tunnel and leave the desk unattended due to customer complaints',” Mr Lenton tweeted.
His tale of his time in the tunnel brought plenty of acclaim and questions but despite the textbook demonstration of how not to do things, he said he kept his job at the airport until about a year later when he resigned of his own accord.