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  1. #1
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    Default Schizophrenic customer making me nervous...

    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?
    I-71%, N-80%, F-74%, P-96%

  2. #2
    The Architect Alwar's Avatar
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    I don't think you can do anything but minimize actions that might be perceived as aggressive, but even then she might misinterpret or exaggerate your behavior. It sounds like it is only a matter of time before she is sent to a mental health facility. Can you ban her from the coffee shop?

  3. #3
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    Can you ban someone completely from a public place without going to court and all that jazz?
    I-71%, N-80%, F-74%, P-96%

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jewelchild View Post
    I already know reasoning with her is useless, but is there any tactic I might try to help her stay calm and happy
    If she is schizophrenic then reasoning with her is useless because her thoughts are out of touch with reality.

    However her emotions are in touch with reality, so relating to her on an emotional level will make sense to you and to her.

  5. #5
    S Saiyan God Mace's Avatar
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    Schizophrenics are scary, no doubt about it. We had one visit us a couple of times last year, and he freakishly annoyed the hell out of all my family members. He was diagnosed with the condition in prison where he got done for repeated petty thefts.

    ... It's insane. God knows whether they even know what they're doing, or saying. :confused:

    My best advise is report "Betsy" to the police, and seek to ban her from the coffee shop. You might want to get witnesses involved with that decision, too.

  6. #6
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    The thoughts of schizophrenics are out of touch with reality, while their emotions are in touch with reality.

    On the other hand, the emotions of the Clinically Depressed are out of touch with reality, while their thoughts are in touch with reality.

    So you can relate to a schizophrenic emotionally, and someone Clinically Depressed by thought and reason.

    And how we treat a person with a mental illness is a test of our humanity.

  7. #7
    The Architect Alwar's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jewelchild View Post
    Can you ban someone completely from a public place without going to court and all that jazz?
    I assumed the coffee shop was privately owned.

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jewelchild View Post
    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?
    Put a little note in the bottom of her coffee that says, "They are watching your every move. Meet me at the bus station tonight at 11pm. <Signed>A Friend."
    "Create like a god, command like a king, work like a slave."

  9. #9
    S Saiyan God Mace's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by LostInNerSpace View Post
    ... I read strange things on here. I admit often it is probably a case of 2+2=5
    Care to explain - what strange things on here?

  10. #10
    Senior Member ceecee's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by LostInNerSpace View Post
    I'm finally done with this site. No more for me. Have fun!

    Really? Because this seems to be a reoccurring theme for you.
    I like to rock n' roll all night and *part* of every day. I usually have errands... I can only rock from like 1-3.

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