How to keep your cool with customers during the holidays - NBC Right Now/KNDO/KNDU Tri-Cities, Yakima, WA |

How to keep your cool with customers during the holidays

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KENNEWICK, WA - With the holiday shopping season upon us, patience wears thin and customers can sometimes lash out at employees. Local law enforcement is holding training sessions for businesses and government employees on how to handle the situation and talk those angry customers down off the ledge.

Robin Priddy with the Benton County Clean Air Authority called the Kennewick Police Crime Prevention Specialists to learn how she and her employees can prevent or diffuse something like this from happening.

"You just hear about all of these things happening, you know with intruders and sometimes they're armed," said Priddy. "You think, 'oh my goodness what would I do?' So we called KPD to see if they had some kind of training or something to offer."

From a Starbucks to a governmental agency, a doctor's office, or even a retail store, anyone can find themselves in that kind of situation.

"It's always a little unsettling when someone is really, really angry to know how to deal with that or what to say next," said Priddy.

Enter Mike Blatman, the Kennewick Police Department's Crime Prevention Specialist. He says his presentation on how to handle hostile customers is his most frequently requested program.

"We've become a less civil society over the last several years," said Blatman. "If you do nothing else, you need to improve your situational awareness of where you're at and what you're doing."

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