Do You Have Soup Nazis in Your Print Business?

Remember that Seinfeld episode where the arrogant cook had such addicting soup that people waited in line and put up with his arrogance just to get “the soup?” Everyone called him the Soup Nazi.

I met the Banana Boat Nazi last week while vacationing on Block Island, RI. My son was excited to go on a banana boat ride, which is water tubing on steroids where 10 people hold on for dear life! My son was eager, so I sucked it up.

The Encounter
The Banana Boat Nazi starting barking out orders right from the start.

Banana Boat: “You need to shower before you get on the boat, give me your glasses, hat and anything else you have.” (No smile. Stone cold.)

I started thinking this lady must have had a rough summer and couldn’t wait for it to be over. She acted like the owner and maybe was just having a bad day. I would try to brighten it.

I replied, “I can’t see without my prescription sun glasses so do you think I can wear them as we motor to the tubing area? Also, I am a little light in the hair department so can I wear my hat to avoid sunburn of the head?” All said while chuckling a little to loosen things up and maybe brightening her day.

Banana Boat Nazi: “Well, you are better off leaving your glasses here and being able to see the rest of the day than losing them aren’t you? The hat needs to go. I will do you a favor and put your stuff in my car so nothing happens.”

Again she was stone cold, looking at me like I said something offensive or idiotic! I felt like George Costanza. I starting boiling a bit and thinking, “She didn’t really say that?” I couldn’t go on that boat blind no matter how much she tried to force me. I handed the Banana Nazi my stuff while white knuckling my glasses before she left me blind!

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  • http://GinaDanner Gina Danner

    Customer Service is a skill that can be learned. I’m constantly amazed at the number of businesses who don’t bother to train their customer facing staff. I know when I experience bizarre client facing behavior as a customer I pull a “pattern interrupt”. It sets the offender back a minute and makes him/her realize the error of their ways…

    For example, if someone in client service is rude I am likely to return a very confused look and say something like, “I’m sorry… I didn’t hear you… This morning’s chemo treatment must have affected my hearing.” Yes it’s bold and maybe a bit rude, but it gives the other person cause to pause.