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Words of Comfort?

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  • Words of Comfort?

    Ok guys, I need some help here. There has been a surge of crime at the mall where I work at. We have several robberies, (mugging in the parking lots) vehicle burglaries and vehicle thefts. We are working now to combat these problems, but what can you say to victims of these crimes that might comfort them? I can’t say “ Don’t worry ma’am we will catch them” because it doesn’t seems to work that way, and I can’t make a promise that I can’t keep. The only thing that I have been able to tell them is “in a situation like this I haven’t found the right words to say to you right now.”

    So does anybody have anything that might be good to say to the victims that may reassure them that you are sincere about the incident and convey a real since of empathy?

  • #2
    “in a situation like this I haven’t found the right words to say to you right now.”

    That sounds sincere to me!
    Quote me as saying I was mis-quoted.
    Groucho Marx


    • #3
      Firstly, it is important not to admit liability (such as "it happens all the time") but more along the lines of - "is there someone we can call for you, can you tell me what valuables were in your purse or bag, which bank did you have your account" so you can assist where possible. Secondly, you need to be aware of those around you who MAY made some negative comments on (YOU SHOULD HAVE CAUGHT THEM, ETC) the mall security or management - which is important to fob off and focus on attending to the victim's state of mind.

      Thirdly, work with your LE to get some leads or trends setting up. We knew our bag snatchers hit mainly on a Thursday or Friday because of pay days and people were likely to be less caution in our eateries. If it is become far too often I would suggest speaking with your LE or beef up patrols and a presence.

      Finally, if word gets out that high crime is common in the mall, people still stay away in droves and this then comes back onto the mall management team to rectify and then it is passed onto you to fix. The customers spend $$ with retailers who rent shops from the mall who in turn pay your company from this $$$ so it is important that SOMETHING is done asap.

      1 last thing ......... if your LE has a crime prevention officer or detective get them to come on board and speak with the mall - it could save your backside by and overzealous management team ready to fire people.
      "Keep your friends close and your enemies even closer" Sun Tzu


      • #4
        How about, "tasers are legal now for civilians". And then when the mood is lighter, you can also add, "tasers are also great for parties".


        • #5
          Originally posted by ddog View Post
          How about, "tasers are legal now for civilians". And then when the mood is lighter, you can also add, "tasers are also great for parties".
          Now here's a business opportunity, as long as you first say “in a situation like this I haven’t found the right words to say to you right now.” or "It's truly a shame that bad things like this happen to good people like you".

          Then hand them your business card while saying "if you remember anything else about the suspects you can reach me at this number". When they say "but this is a calling card for a TASER sales person" you can reply "yes Sir/Ma'am it is... And people who carry them don't have this kind of thing happen to them, you may call me anytime"

          See comforting and potentially beneficial for all but the bad guy's.
          I'm the guy you don't want to be around when your doing something wrong, but you can't wait for me to get there when your down, to fix you up...

          If you don't stand behind our troops, feel free to stand in front of them.


          • #6
            Words of Comfort?

            Better you then me. joking

            Offer safety tips .
            Like ie lock you cd / dvd player in the trunk
            Always walk well lite area.
            Have keys in your hand faster get in you car safer you are and can be used as a weapon as last resort.
            When holiday shopping lock your package in trunk never bring more them one arm full out at a time so that way you can defend yourself.
            CAPTAIN KOOLAID 9594

            oh ya


            • #7
              I had to deal with it for 2 years when I worked full time at my airport hotels. At least one car was stolen per week. The guest would be picked up at the airport & driven back to the hotel by our shuttle bus with his young kids, wife & all their luggage at midnight. They'd ask to be taken to where they had left the car 2 weeks earlier to find it gone. Not only was it hard being Security but we were also the shuttle bus drivers at night.

              To make matters worse some lazy cop would come to take the report & say in front of the guest. "not this hotel again"
              I enforce rules and regulations, not laws.
              Security Officers. The 1st First Responders.


              • #8
                Being sincere is good.

                Being sincere is good. Tell them that your sorry for their loss. Try to pay as much attention to them, while your with them, to show your interested in their situation.

                I would also let them know that your company makes rounds in and outside of the mall, that you have camera's located around the mall, and anything else that could ease their feelings about coming back to the mall (but only if what you tell them is true).

                Stay with them constantly until the police arrive, and if they were the actual victim of the crime (ie-they got mugged) assist them with basic first aid, and remind them that the bad guys are gone, and it is everyones primary duty to assist the police in every way to catch the crooks and put them behind bars.

                I have been the first person to contact hundreds of victims of property crimes, and of crimes of violence, and I can understand your feelings of not being sure of what to say or do to help the victim. I will tell you that you need to be strong for the victim, and let them possibly take out some aggressivness (verbal only) on you, without you coming down on them, but you must also understand that you are a very important part of the beggining of that person's recovery from being a victim.

                I'm glad you care enough about the victims of unfortunate acts to ask how to respond to them. That is a sign of a true professional.


                • #9
                  Working in retail, I always made sure that SOMEONE who had an injury or was a victim was given one of my business cards so they had a name, a face and a point of contact for any correspondence or complaints they wished to make regarding the handling of the matter or any further questions.

                  I got into trouble 1 Easter Saturday as a lady was taken on an ambulance stretcher and I tossed a business card on her body as she was being wheeled away. Not a good thing to do in front of the CEO who just laughed it off and said it is more professional to hand it to a customer with a smirk on his dial.

                  Sometimes I have learnt there is nothing much you can say or do if people are ready to rant and rave of a minor issue. 1 snobbish customer accused me of not wanting to serve her and I explained my position and she refused to accept my version of events - so made a huge scene, hoping to get the plum from her mouth so she could get a discount - it did not work.
                  "Keep your friends close and your enemies even closer" Sun Tzu