poeticignorance submitted: …Hi.  I was wondering if you or your followers could help me.  I work in a shop with lots of contact with the public.  Some customers stand closer than I’m comfortable with- either while talking to me or while shopping behind/beside me.  Several people have placed a hand on my arm while we were talking.  I feel like my personal space is being invaded every day. It’s very stressful but I don’t feel able to do anything about it without appearing rude (which could get me in trouble with  my managers, as well as potentially upsetting people).  Do you have any advice for discouraging this from customers, or for reducing the stress it causes?  Thanks.

I don’t have a good solution to this, unfortunately.

Sometimes people get the hint if you take a step backwards, but that doesn’t always work.

It can also work to have an object between you and them (eg: a counter, a washer they’re looking at, something like that), but it’s not always possible to do that.

Have any of y’all found something that works more consistently?

I wish I had a solution to this. I find customers quite often either put their arms around me, pat my head, or laugh as their children prod and poke me. I honestly have no idea how anyone can grow up thinking this is an acceptable thing to do to a service worker.

Tbh I just move away and say ‘please don’t touch me’. It will probably get me into trouble someday though. Would love to hear other people’s thoughts.

Have others who have done this found that it gets them into trouble?