When I was fifteen, I worked for a full-service gas station and auto repair shop. I know what you're thinking (unless you're in New Jersey or Oregon), "what is a full-service gas station?" Yes, there was a time when a smiling gas jockey would greet your car and fill up your gas. You didn't even need to step out of your vehicle.
Most customers were nice, many even tipped me. One day, a guy in his early 30s pulled up in a Porche with more attitude than his car. He rudely told me to fill it up, check the tires, check the oil and levels, and "clean my windows, kid". I did all of the above and returned to his window when the gas stopped filling.
I politely asked him for the total amount due. He glanced at his window shield and grunted, "You missed a spot." I sighed and grabbed the squeegee to do his entire window again. When I returned to the customer he told me to clean his headlights. It was obvious he was on a power trip, and I could do nothing but oblige him. I grabbed the squeegee and wiped down his headlights.
He didn't say a word as he paid me for the gas. He didn't thank me, he didn't even look at me. Then he screeched off the lot into the night.
I returned to the office and was clearly angry. My boss, Ed, noticed my sudden mood change. When he asked me what happened, I explained the guy was a jerk. He just smiled and sat me down.
Ed gave me some of the best customer service advice I have ever received. This is something I've used in many jobs over the years. When someone is clearly trying to antagonize you, act happy. The worse they get, the happier you get.
I took Ed's advice on a future customer who was attempting to piss me off. Each time the customer was rude to me, I was friendlier to him. To the point that he was exasperated from trying to get a rise out of me. It was hilarious because I was completely over-the-top friendly - my smile was ridiculously wide.
The results will leave you laughing.
When I returned to the office, I was laughing out loud. The jackass didn't get me in a bad mood, far from it. I was in an even better mood than before dealing with him, because I won. He couldn't have complained about me being too nice!
Try this the next time someone is obviously trying to get you annoyed. Smile, act happy, agree with everything he says to you. The results will leave you laughing.