In the late 80s, I worked at several different location for a regional dry cleaner chain. At one of the locations where they actually did dry cleaning in the back, the location manager was one of the owners - I didn’t know this at the time, though. Anyway, there was an instance where a customer who was semi-belligerent on a regular basis was making a big stink. $Manager must have been walking by the door to the back and heard the ruckus, because he came into the front counter area while they were bitching at me. My first reaction was along the “oh crap” lines, but I was pleasantly surprised when he defended me and my position… I had been standing by the official policy. He told the customer as much, then (paraphrasing, but pretty close, and in a very measured calm manner) added “if $Customer had been less unpleasant about the whole situation, RR could have walked into the back and requested an exception, but because of the way RR had been treated, he was not surprised that RR had not made such a request, and because of the behavior that $Customer had displayed, maybe $Customer didn’t really deserve an exception. Hmmm?”
I can’t describe how good it felt to be defended like that. I think the customer was mad about a broken button on a dress shirt, and wanted to get their entire order of laundry and dry cleaning for free, like $40 or $50 worth. Because I had worked there for a few years, $Manager later told me that he was ok with me making mini “executive decisions” to resolve potential issues, like to give a few bucks off here or there, but that I was not required to reward bad behavior like I had just experienced.