Announcement

Collapse
No announcement yet.

Dealing with anger

Collapse
X
 
  • Filter
  • Time
  • Show
Clear All
new posts

  • Dealing with anger

    I've worked security on and off for the last 5 years and have thought about trying out for a position in law enforcement. However one area I'm concerned about is dealing with argumentative or combative people. I've had some run ins with this type and can't say I've always been happy with my performance. That's not to say I've followed my first impulse, namely beating the crap out of the person, but I do allow it to affect me more then it should.

    Let me give just one example. At my current site there aren't that many rules we need to enforce. But one very basic rule is customers and employees aren't suppose to use the emergency doors at the site. The doors are clearly marked and security gets an alarm in the control room any time someone leaves through one. But people use them regardless. When I do spot someone using them I'm always polite and explain why we'd prefer they didn't use them. The other day across the courtyard I spotted a well dressed older gentleman leaving through one of the emergency doors. It took me a minute to walk over to him and at that point he'd walked away from the door. I began to explain to him why we'd prefer people not use the door when he shot back that he hadn't used the door. I said that I just saw him walk through the door and his exact words were "well in the future I suggest you OPEN YOUR EYES and pay closer attention IDIOT, I said I didn't use that door!". The last thing I wanted to do was get into a confrontation over something as trivial as using a door. But at the same time this guy had just called me an idiot in front of a number of customers and employees. Now I was beginning to doubt what I saw, maybe I HAD made a mistake and misidentified the person. On top of that I couldn't call a supervisor to mediate as I AM the "SUPERVISOR"..meaning I'm the senior officer at this site, which in this case means I've been there over 4 months. So in this case I bit my tongue, swallowed my pride and told him if there's been a mistake I apologize. Naturally afterwards I was kicking myself thinking of all the things I COULD have said, and remained basically pissed off the rest of the day. I really don't know how LEO's handle this sort of thing day in and day out. But the last thing I want to do is go ballistic and end up in court or on one of those "Skater vs Security guard" videos.


    Some seem to handle this better then others. And I have read one of the verbal judo books, but my usual technique of being polite and respectful while listening intently to his side of the story then attempting to empathize with him while explaining why it's important he comply with the rules, just wasn't working for me.

  • #2
    Let's discuss the door question first: Suggest you install or retrofit the emergency doors with a 10 second delay opening that people have to push on continuously to open. In the meantime, there sounds an audible alarm at the door loud enough to waken the dead. Many times, people will back off and use the normal pedestrian door.
    Security Technology and Design (ST&D) the sponsor of this site along with Security Products Magazine advertize such devices routinely.
    Second question: IACP and National Sheriffs Association have published anger management and conprehensive confrontational training. ST&D, March 2001 has an article entitled "Security and Anger Customer Confrontations: Who Is Going To Win," by J. Branch Walton.
    PM N. A. Corbier for a further inventory of articles written on this subject.
    Enjoy the day,
    Bill

    Comment


    • #3
      "Kill them with kindness."

      Something one of my old supervisors used to say...

      I've personally never had an issue with this, as I'm a very mellow, laid-back person by nature. But we all have those days (you KNOW what I mean) where someone just says or does something that sets you off. Something that's worked well for me, and for coworkers that I've passed it on to, is the above statement. It references the whole 'say what you want, but do what I say' from verbal judo, but with a friendly face. You can call me any name in the book you want to, but you still can't use that door. Heck, when people call me a dirty name, my usual response is: "Thank you sir, I 'ppreciate that. But you still can't __________."

      The biggest, key thing to remember is that they're not mad at YOU, or swearing at YOU... They're mad at the uniform, mad at the badge. You just have to remember not to take it personally.


      On a side note: Do those doors not have audible alarms that THEY can hear? If they're emergency doors, they should. You'd be surprised how much of a deterrant those audible door alarms can be.

      EDIT: Bill beat me to it.
      Last edited by Bridgegate; 09-24-2006, 11:04 PM.
      Corbier's Commandos - "Stickin it to the ninjas!"
      Originally posted by ValleyOne
      BANG, next thing you know Bob's your Uncle and this Sgt is seemingly out on his a$$.
      Shoulda called in sick.
      Be safe!

      Comment


      • #4
        This is a major weak point of mine and I am always prone to go off on someone for doing something stupid. My supervisor routinely reminds me to "kill them with kindness" when I'm turning red and ready to twist off someones head.
        Face it, we deal with people on a regular basis and most of them have no respect for us or the rules we are supposed to enforce.
        Example-
        When we have big signs at the entrance to our plant waying "NO CHILDREN ALLOWED IN PLANT" and an employee shows up and tries to drive through the entrance with his wife and kid lying down across the back seat.
        Example-
        The Union employees' parking lot has big signs saying "EMPLOYEES ONLY". Every week I have to go into the union lot and instruct non employees to park in the visitors' parking area.
        Example-
        I'm sitting in the guard shack with signs on the doors saying "RESTRICTED AREA" and "SECURITY PERSONEL ONLY" and I still have people walk up and yank on the LOCKED doors. I go over to our little slide window, slide it open and lean out and yell "Get the Frack away from my door". Sometimes they will make some dumbass comment like "You afraid of someone walking up on you?" That's when I go off with "If you have a problem with us following MARSEC requirements maybe I'll just call the Coast Guard and they can deal with you. When you are kneeling with a burlap bag over your head in Gitmo while a Marine beats you with his M-16 you can think about how I don't like people walking up on me." JERK!
        And that's when I'm in a good mood. Stupid people piss me off.
        Hospital Security Officer

        Comment


        • #5
          Emergency Doors should indeed have audible alarms. If this was a retail enviornment, think how much stuff the "elderly man" could of stolen from the place.
          Some Kind of Commando Leader

          "Every time I see another crazy Florida post, I'm glad I don't work there." ~ Minneapolis Security on Florida Security Law

          Comment


          • #6
            Thanks all for the responses.

            No the alarm is only audible in the command center, as are ALL the different types of door alarms (and we got a bunch). A high pitched audible alarm that sounds AT THE DOOR would certainly solve the problem, though I imagine the client figures why get THAT when they have us.

            Of course the door was just one incident, there have been some others lately that have also set me off. I need to learn to just let them roll off me instead of getting worked up.

            I would think LEO's must get some training in anger management. Course being JUST a security guard we don't get any to speak of, just occasional briefings on customer service and dealing with the public. I'll see if I can't track down some of those articles that were mentioned.

            Thanks again.

            Comment


            • #7
              Anger Control Tips.....

              This is an area I have to keep on constant guard with all the time with my personnel. I can not hire anyone who will allow their emotions to over ride a situation, as my staff carries less than lethal weapons, and to put these items on a person who has anger issues is a concern. So I have probationary periods after new hires to help identify "at risk" personnel. When I do identify them, the next step is evaluation of this person, as to whether it can be corrected or if the person is not suitable.

              Your issue, is one I would find correctable, in that it isnt violent, nor hostility in a direct form. If what you are saying is accurate, you have good control in not allowing the "subject" the oppertunity to escilate your emotions in a noticable manner. Thats a good thing.

              I had an officer, who is now a supervisor, that has the same issue. Its not really an anger issue you are dealing with, but more frustration and dispare issue. As long as you dont blow your top at the subject, and keep in total control of the situation, you are good to go. Now fixing the frustration from repeated violation enforcement is something that effects your mental health and moral with your job.

              You deal with the same eggheads on a daily basis, violating the same regulations or regulations constantly, and you feel as though that if you allow your tongue to slip, you will be in a more serious situation than before, by either the subject, client or supervisors. Its a perception that you are told to enfoce a rule, but without any autority to do so, by either policy control, or lack of regulations to enforce. Here are my tips which I send out with my people (and sadly as I am not there to demonstrate for you) to help deal with these matters:

              1) Remember, you are in control, and regardless of what vocal response you are given, it is that, just vocal. The subject views you as something to be leary of, which is good. If they respond negatively to you, it is in defense of them being caught doing something they know better.

              2) Make more contacts consistantly. Find more violators and make contact with them. By doing this, you essentially build a tough skin to their negative comments.

              3) Dont be afraid to comment back on their response. By saying this, I am not saying to go out and get into a verbal dispute over the matter, but to persue the issue verbally with them. You will gain two major control aspects in this manner. You will make it clear to the subject that they are violating, and when they wish to use profanity or demean you in any way, call them on the carpet for this. Dont let go of it and bite your tongue, but instead correct this form of abuse on the spot. Eventually subjects will be conditioned to you in that they know if they violate a rule, you call them on it, and if they become abusive, you will either be a nusiance or unpleasant person to deal with, and avoid responding like this in the future........

              Now, before alot of people go off on me about this, let me explain.. You can approach a person and make contact. If they become foul or abusive, you can call them on this as well... BUT, its how we do it that wins the game. An example:
              You "Good evening sir, I need to advise you that the door you just exited from is restricted and can not be used. It triggers alarms in our facility, and can cause safety issues. I need to ask you to refrain from using this door again in the future."
              Subject "I didnt use that door. I was never near it. What the hell are you talking about?!?!"
              You "Sir, unfortunately, I was present to observe you in violation. All I am asking is that you refrain from this in the future."
              Subject "What the hell are you talking about? You are an idiot. You didnt see [email protected]@"
              You "Sir, I am not here to debate the issue with you. But, since I am here I am also going to advise you that using such profanity and demeaning language is not tolerable. I am just doing my job, and your cooperation would be greatly appreciated. But I will ask you to refrain from such behavior."
              Subject "I will use what ever language I want. You cant stop me. I have rights. Freedom of speech, you ever hear of that?!?"
              You "Sir, I am not going to debate your constitutional rights with you, but I will advise you that when your freedom of speech turns to abusive or harrassing behavior, then you have overstepped your rights, and are infringing on the rights of others. I have given you the proper respect and expect the same. If you wish to not do so, then I highly suggest you refrain from violating site rules, in which I wont have a need to contact you."

              Alot of times, by this point the subject has grown old of now having spent all of this time with you "on their case" about their screw ups, and respond with a "fine" or "whatever". In the event they wish to continue this behavior, research what other rules or actions can be taken about this violator. As I do not know your sites policies and procedures I can not speak about what to do any further with out education of your position. What I can say is this..

              Most of the time, the violator gets annoyed more at first, and then worn down with the fact that you are not showing any emotion to their assaultive responses, and they cant get away with calling you names or demeaning you. Hold the higher stand, in that you keep a professional and sterile approach to the subject. As you talk to them, watch their physical responses. Most of the time you can see that you have seriously "messed up" their day, which will also leave you knowing you dont have to be frustrated and you have made your point, and frustrated them. Just remember to keep the same monotone voice when speaking to them through out the entire conversation, dont allow yourself to express any physical signs of emotional response, as they are watching you to, to see if they have pushed a button. If they get into word play or wish to continue to debate the issue, continue to advise them of their violation. It will irritate them that they cant get the subject changed from their stupid behavior, and having to deal with you. Most people after realizing they arent getting away with anything change their tactics to compliance.

              I hope this helps! I can post more tips as well!
              Deputy Sheriff

              Comment


              • #8
                Originally posted by CAR54
                I've worked security on and off for the last 5 years and have thought about trying out for a position in law enforcement. However one area I'm concerned about is dealing with argumentative or combative people. I've had some run ins with this type and can't say I've always been happy with my performance. That's not to say I've followed my first impulse, namely beating the crap out of the person, but I do allow it to affect me more then it should.

                Let me give just one example. At my current site there aren't that many rules we need to enforce. But one very basic rule is customers and employees aren't suppose to use the emergency doors at the site. The doors are clearly marked and security gets an alarm in the control room any time someone leaves through one. But people use them regardless. When I do spot someone using them I'm always polite and explain why we'd prefer they didn't use them. The other day across the courtyard I spotted a well dressed older gentleman leaving through one of the emergency doors. It took me a minute to walk over to him and at that point he'd walked away from the door. I began to explain to him why we'd prefer people not use the door when he shot back that he hadn't used the door. I said that I just saw him walk through the door and his exact words were "well in the future I suggest you OPEN YOUR EYES and pay closer attention IDIOT, I said I didn't use that door!". The last thing I wanted to do was get into a confrontation over something as trivial as using a door. But at the same time this guy had just called me an idiot in front of a number of customers and employees. Now I was beginning to doubt what I saw, maybe I HAD made a mistake and misidentified the person. On top of that I couldn't call a supervisor to mediate as I AM the "SUPERVISOR"..meaning I'm the senior officer at this site, which in this case means I've been there over 4 months. So in this case I bit my tongue, swallowed my pride and told him if there's been a mistake I apologize. Naturally afterwards I was kicking myself thinking of all the things I COULD have said, and remained basically pissed off the rest of the day. I really don't know how LEO's handle this sort of thing day in and day out. But the last thing I want to do is go ballistic and end up in court or on one of those "Skater vs Security guard" videos.


                Some seem to handle this better then others. And I have read one of the verbal judo books, but my usual technique of being polite and respectful while listening intently to his side of the story then attempting to empathize with him while explaining why it's important he comply with the rules, just wasn't working for me.
                IMO, you handled it just fine. You stayed cool, swallowed your pride and let him make an idiot out of HIMSELF. The proper response will vary depending on the site and whom you are speaking to. In your case, you interact with customers. A formal complaint from a good customer could result in disciplinary action against you even if the complaint is baseless. The client isn't about to lose a customer just to defend you.

                Now if you are at a Mall and a visitor/shopper gets belligerent, a firmer response up to and including loss of privileges for Mall access are all on the table.
                Security: Freedom from fear; danger; safe; a feeling of well-being. (Webster's)

                Comment


                • #9
                  Just yesterday I had a run-in with a loud mouth. The guy was making a delivery to the site and got VERY loud making a comment that interupted business.
                  I called him down on it and he responded something like" Keep your day job."
                  POd me off to the max! I actually started after him but the owner stepped in front of me.
                  I ended up calling the guys boss telling him what happened. (Owner told me to as she also felt it was an insult). Don't know what happened to the guy but I will probably find out Friday.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    ^ That's the best way to deal with people representing another company.

                    I had to do that with a pizzaboy who kept cutting through our ambulance-way. I chose not to confront him directly, monitor the situation after a couple weeks and then call his boss.

                    When I explained to his boss how lucky he'll be when one of his employees hits a state trooper or really expensive ambulance the pizza boys stopped cutting through.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      I had the meter reader for the power company cuss me out and call me a [email protected]#$ing idiot because he didn't have immediate access to the boxes and had to get me to open it for him. When I asked for his name he was even kind enough to provide me with his supervisor's name and number. I called it as well as notified the property manager (private resort I was the supervisor and had weekly meetings with him) who said he was going to call as well.

                      The power company supervisor said he would look into it. 4 hours later I got a call back telling me that reader was no longer an employee of that power company. The sup apoligized for giveing me the run around earlier saying he didn't realize who our client was blah blah blah.

                      Our client (the developer/property management company) is a huge company that has been building these little towns and resorts through out florida and have 5 or 6 just in the panhandle. They don't like to be upset

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        We're in charge of lost & found at my downtown hotel. This involves a lot of sending things back to people by courrier. The UPS guy that used to pick up from the hotel was really nasty. Simple solution in this case (unlike a monopoly like a power company) we simply switched to Fed-Ex
                        I enforce rules and regulations, not laws.
                        Security Officers. The 1st First Responders.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          I had a courier who was "miffed" because I was doing morning unlock "when he's supposed to make his delivery." His miffed was obsenities, shouting, and general stupidity. After a, "I should take those keys off your skinny ass and go up there myself," we had a conversation that consisted of, "Leave or I throw you out." and "You can't touch me... Is that pepper spray? Get away from me, I'm leaving!" Talked to the bank manager, who said, "That man doesn't need to be doing that to you. I'll call the courier company." The courier company refused to change the courier.

                          Next week, I called a friend with TPD and he had coffee with me waiting for the courier. The courier was issued a trespass warning and ejected from the property. This ensured that the courier company had to send another courier.

                          As long as they don't say something stupid, they can rant all they want on the way out. Just call their representative company. When they say something stupid, its time to take immediate action - you never know if they'll go through with it or not.
                          Some Kind of Commando Leader

                          "Every time I see another crazy Florida post, I'm glad I don't work there." ~ Minneapolis Security on Florida Security Law

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            All the suggestions are good ones. Here's one that my wife uses at her job when people get nasty: "Look, I know you're having a bad day; but please don't take it out on me." 99.9% of the time they straighten up and fly right.
                            Security: Freedom from fear; danger; safe; a feeling of well-being. (Webster's)

                            Comment

                            Leaderboard

                            Collapse
                            Working...
                            X