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  1. #101
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    Default Proper Procedure for situation

    If someone is a danger to themselves or others CALL THE COPS.

    Then and there. Done, the problem is not yours any longer.

    I promise you, you are doing everyone involved a favor.

    Don't worry about what will happen to the individual.

    The worst thing that could happen would be an untreated individual with symptoms of schizophrenia spending a night in jail instead of on the streets.

    The best case scenario is they receive treatment, medication, and as most cases return as kind, caring, loving individuals who are non-violent.

    Most ppl w/ schizophrenia are awesome ppl when treated, after receiving the proper help they need, and are no longer violent.

  2. #102
    & Badger, Ratty and Toad Mole's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Halla74 View Post
    Have you ever seen this sign:

    "Management reserves the right to refuse service to ANYONE."

    Private ownership is the bomb.
    Such a sign would be illegal in my country.

    Here all businesses are required to serve the public. Discrimination is not allowed.

    This applies to very small businesses as well as huge corporations.

    In fact we have a competition watchdog with teeth.

    And individual discrimination or corporate discrimination is death to competition.

    And the success of our system of economic capitalism depends on competition.

  3. #103
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    Quote Originally Posted by Afkan View Post
    If someone is a danger to themselves or others CALL THE COPS.

    Then and there. Done, the problem is not yours any longer.

    I promise you, you are doing everyone involved a favor.

    Don't worry about what will happen to the individual.

    The worst thing that could happen would be an untreated individual with symptoms of schizophrenia spending a night in jail instead of on the streets.

    The best case scenario is they receive treatment, medication, and as most cases return as kind, caring, loving individuals who are non-violent.

    Most ppl w/ schizophrenia are awesome ppl when treated, after receiving the proper help they need, and are no longer violent.

    If anything looks like it is about to get out of hand, of course I would call the cops. Since I didn't plan to call the cops if the poor woman simply walked through the door, acting normally, I just wondered if there was anything I could do to minimize any excitablity on her part.
    I-71%, N-80%, F-74%, P-96%

  4. #104
    Senior Member amelie's Avatar
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    I wonder if she got excited or confused when you weren't there, because apparently, she looks forward to seeing you. It sounds like you are tremendously patient with her and kind to her - it's no wonder that she feels like you are friends.

    Her aggressive behavior really is concerning. I hope you talk to your manager if you haven't already and try and come up with some solutions. You could call the non-emergency police number and explain the situation and see if they can give you any advice. I agree with you that if she's coming in and acting normally, that should be permissible. However, because she has a history of aggressive behavior in your shop, you have to be at least a little cautious around her. You have a right to be safe at work.

  5. #105
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jewelchild View Post
    If anything looks like it is about to get out of hand, of course I would call the cops. Since I didn't plan to call the cops if the poor woman simply walked through the door, acting normally, I just wondered if there was anything I could do to minimize any excitablity on her part.
    Ah. Well, I admire your desire to minimize her excitability. To do that, just engage her in conversation without challenging any beliefs, especially including those that sound false or out of touch with reality. You sound like a very compassionate person, and I am sure you already are successful w/ such techniques.

    The reason why someone in her position may throw a chair, for example, or any other potential harmful action, would be merely to defend her delusional belief system. I am sure you understand this- so the answer is simple. Just keep doing what you are doing. Listening in a caring, compassionate manner.

    Still I must emphasize that if she does get out of hand I wouldn't feel responsible for calling the police. Only bc its another way of helping her- she will receive the help she needs. That's just my personal bias and getting on my soapbox- wanting to reduce the stigma of mental health treatment. Its not all that bad. I understand what you are saying- you are completely comfortable doing what needs to be done should the situation arise.

  6. #106
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jewelchild View Post
    Is there a certain way you should act toward paranoid schizophrenics (unmedicated, I assume) to help keep them calm, or is it useless to try?

    One of my jobs is Barista Extraordinaire at a little independent coffee shop, and since employees work solo shifts, people come in to hang out and talk with us a lot. "Betsy" is a middle aged woman who comes in and rants to me a lot, and she kind of thinks we're best buddies. She was the cause of all sorts of drama last week while I was away. Apparently there were two different episodes where Betsy verbally attacked and harassed a customer, and after another episode where she screamed and chased the same woman a few doors down the street, Betsy was arrested. Based on what she was yelling and a quick chat with the police, we've learned that Betsy is mentally ill and has a history of similar problems.

    I don't have any qualms about hanging out with mentally ill people, but I am a little concerned about the next time she visits the coffee shop. Betsy mentions things like wanting to break a chair over other customers' heads, so I'm a little nervous about how to act around her if she gets going on one of her rants. Should I continue to act the way I normally do? I already know reasoning with her is useless, but is there any tactic I might try to help her stay calm and happy, or do I need to up my weightlifting and keep the police on speed dial?
    Practical advice - stop being so friendly. I see that you are INFP - :sigh: and - and I repeat - stop being so friendly.

    What this women may end up doing to you is merely an exxageration of what mentally stable people can end up doing to a standard INFP (I don't mean this is an derogatory way, I mean specifically regarding boundaries and assertiveness - and as another example in many ways I am a standard ENFP) - and that is move beyond your comfort levels, breach the walls of your weakly defended boundaries, and get uncomfortably and even hazardously close.

    My (INFP?) friend worked at the cheapest donut shop in town as a teenager. Lots of mentally unstable people (many homeless people, etc.) would stop in. The owner told her if anyone got out of hand to throw the hardened/stale bread at them and he kept a bag of just that under the counter. Along with a baseball bat if things really got out of control. Not a joke.

    Stop being so nice and chummy with this woman. Be civil, but don't be so accessible to her. What would you do if it was a creepy guy who came in every day to hit on you? He would probably justify that you like the attention and that you returned his feelings.

    That's why this woman thinks your are best buds because unlike other people, you pay her a lot of attention (or so she thinks).

    I'm not saying any of this is your fault at all, but there is no underemphasizing the importance of taking up for yourself and presenting strong and clear boundaries to people. Especially in customer service (when I worked retail, a lot of men would incorrectly assume that many of the female staff "liked" them when we were just doing our jobs - we get *paid* to talk to people and be cordial. Some of the scenarios were funny but a lot were NOT.)

    I haven't read through all the thread, just your OP but that's my 2 cents.

    Do not ever show fear or cater to people when you are afraid of how they will react. You will always end up getting bullied and pushed around in these situations if you react like that. People - even and especially the mentally ill ones - can sense fear and "weakness" and will latch on and/or go in for the kill and basically take advantage of the situation.

    Good luck!
    “If you want to tell people the truth, make them laugh, otherwise they'll kill you.” ― Oscar Wilde

    "I'm outtie 5000" ― Romulux

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  7. #107
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    Afkan, thanks for the thoughts. They are helpful.

    CzeCze, thanks for your thoughts too. I can ditch a creepy guy in ten seconds, but the situation with this woman always seems different to me. She's always been strange, but never violent or threatening while I was around. Maybe I am inviting trouble by accommodating her. There are probably ways I could talk to her without inviting more conversation. I'll have to think about it. I realize the concept of respecting my own safety and boundaries, though I also feel bad for this woman, as she must live a very lonely life, and I hate to contribute to it negatively. At this point, I guess it doesn't matter, though, since it's been established that she is dangerous.
    I-71%, N-80%, F-74%, P-96%

  8. #108
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    Ah see! And there's the rub. I'm sure you do have genuine kindness or sympathy for this woman and she can't get enough. If she hadn't shown herself to be dangerous and also a liability for business I would say it's not a problem unless it makes you uncomfortable. But there's more than just warning flags now and it's best I think for you to step it down.

    And I know this is a little off topic and maybe feeding to the side debate that erupted in this thread - but this also reminds me of how my favorite (only) Vietnamese take-out place would allow homeless people to sit in the front patio and just hang out there all day. They basically took over the entire front of his shop. These people never bought anything from the take-out as far as I could see and would even be munching on Fritos or chips from somewhere else. The owner would not only let them sit there all day, but he would encourage them by being very friendly and chatting with them. I thought that was really bad business, it was really sketchy and take-outs are already considered sketchy, no paying customer could really sit there even if they wanted to, etc. That business closed in less than 6 months.

    It also reminds me of a man in DC who was well known for making the rounds to different restaurants almost every day and chatting up the manager for 15 minutes to 30 minutes. People who worked in the restaurant business all knew of him and wondered what his deal was (is he an eccentric rich man? on disability and bored? ex-restaurateur?) He seemed to have physical health issues but it was unclear whether that was it.

    So basically - yeah, in food retail and the restaurant world there are always characters - but some create an unsafe or alarming environment for patrons and workers and some are just characters.

    Sometimes talking to, reciprocating, and encouraging these characters is fine, and sometimes it's a bad idea.
    “If you want to tell people the truth, make them laugh, otherwise they'll kill you.” ― Oscar Wilde

    "I'm outtie 5000" ― Romulux

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  9. #109
    Free-Rangin' Librarian Jae Rae's Avatar
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    This woman has already shown herself to be volatile and scary. Behaviors like loud swearing, paranoid complaining and threatening will get you kicked out of the library where I work. No patron has ever chased someone out of the library and it's hard to even imagine.

    Your concern should be with your own safety and, as a representative of your employer, the safety of the other customers. Protean is right - cut back on the niceness. And know your outs.
    Proud Female Rider in Maverick's Bike Club.

  10. #110
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jewelchild View Post
    ...though I also feel bad for this woman, as she must live a very lonely life, and I hate to contribute to it negatively...
    I hate to be argumentative, but I cannot pass up the opportunity to say:

    Individuals with Schizophrenia usually don't feel alone, when unmedicated. In fact, they typically feel they can't get alone enough. She most likely isolates most of her day, and you are most likely the only social contact she has. But that is out of HER choice. She probably won't even feel loneliness until she is pharmaceudically stabilized.

    You and I may "feel sorry" for her- and I totally can summon your sentiments, trust me-seeing that she is all alone in the world; It is common for family members to struggle, for example, and often end up neglecting the individual. Schizophrenia is difficult for everyone involved.

    My advice is to really put yourself in her shoes. Resist the temptation to put yourself in the shoes you think she wears, seriously tainted by your subjective experience.

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