Always be vague. Say I think they’re in today or not until later. If they press say it’s company policy not to give out the schedule. Most companies do have this and even if they don’t how would a stranger know. Don’t give out specifics, they can get people injured or even killed.
At my last job someone came up and asked when “Sarah” was working next. I didn’t tell him and then texted her a description, turns out he was an abusive ex who had been stalking her. Don’t do this shit please.
Do NOT say anything along the lines of “they’re not in today” or “not until later” because you are confirming that this is somewhere the person in question can be found. NEVER confirm anything!
My old boss told us a story of how, years before when she was a fairly new manager (I’m talking decades, she’s 64 right now), there was a man who came in and asked for an employee by name and said he was her uncle. She told him the employee’s shift started in a coule hours. He waited the entire time for her, and when she came in, he assaulted her and bashed her face into the counter. My boss saw everything. She can’t recall what he said, but he kept screaming until someone threatened to call the police.
She told me that story after a man came in and asked for when an employee, who recently quit, would be coming in. I told him she doesn’t work here anymore and he said to me “Okay, well I’m her dad so if you see her tell her I’ll be across the street at the gas station.” He left and my boss IMMEDIATELY came out and scolded me for it, then told me that story.
She gave me some advice on what to say or do in that situation:
- Don’t just deny knowing anything, deny the person asking. Example, “When is ____ coming in?” “You can’t know that information.” or “Can you tell me when ____’s shift is?” “Schedules are only for employees.” Additionally, saying “I don’t know what you’re talking about.” can usually work, it may piss them off but it can work.
- Continue on with the customer service. “I can’t help you with that, do you need help (with clothes, finding a product, ordering)?” or “Can I take your order?/Can I help you find (a product)?”
- If they persist, insist they leave the store. “If you’re not going to order, please leave the building.” or “I can’t help you, have a nice day.” and, if you can, leave. If you can’t leave, call for or help the next customer.
- If they still persist (by now they may be aggressive), threaten to call the police on the basis of them becoming aggressive and refusing to leave the premises. Some people will leave at that point, others stay. When the police get there, explain the situation but still do NOT confirm the existence of the employee they’re looking for to the police until they have been escorted out of the area.
Regardless of if the customer know the employee’s name, description, or daily (not hourly) schedule, even if they look like the same race and claim to be family, you NEVER confirm the employee’s existence.
The only exceptions are if the employee tells you themself they’re expecting someone to come in for them (ASK FOR A DESCRIPTION OF THE PERSON), and if you personally know who they are in relation to the employee. When anyone I know has to come in because I asked them to come in, I describe what they look like and what they usually wear. I go into deep descriptions, even including how they walk.
You could literally save a life, guys. Don’t blindly trust your gut either and think “But they LOOK innocent” or “But they said ______” because that can result in someone getting severely hurt, or killed.
I know I joked on this post before but seriously
If youre in the US it is against federal law to give out anyones personal information (this includes numbers, names, and schedules) without writen and signed permission.
Just say its against federal law and you cant give out that info without risk of termination – this will get 99% off your back the first time