I feel kind of bad.
Okay, where should I start? Hmm…well, how about with this. One of my day jobs used to be a customer service representative at the St. Petersburg Times (now called Tampa Bay Times). That meant wearing a silly headset and listening to hundreds of people call in about everything. And when I mean everything, usually I mean people calling in to complain.
“I didn’t get a paper!”
“My paper is wet!”
“There’s no coupons in my paper!”
“My neighbor got a subscription for ten bucks and I pay one-fifty!”
“The sky is blue!”
And on and on and on….
Let it be known, there are jerks out there. Like, real a#$%#’s. The kind of people you just want to punch in the face, but you can’t because you’re nice and you are on a phone and not in person.
This kind of work isn’t easy. I witnessed coworkers run out crying and I think I’ve seen a grey hair literally grow on someone during a shift from stress. Not for everyone. You can imagine the mood some people get into when part of their morning routine is disrupted.
But hey, I needed a part time job and I could handle it. Did I love it? No. But, there were a lot of cool people I worked with and all the call weren’t THAT bad. There are decent people out there, too. I don’t get bothered by any of it. In fact, I found it funny when someone was very irrational. I’d usually make jokes at their expense unbeknownst to them. But, honestly, I was pretty good at my work.
This job taught me a valuable lesson though: Be nice to customer service representatives.
I was before this job (nice), but this really made me more respectful when talking to them. If there’s an issue, it’s typically not the customer service representatives fault. They just have to hear the problem and a lot of people lay into them with vulgar obscenities to make their point. It’s their only form of communication, so it’s expected.
So, why do I feel bad?
Well, I lost it the other day.
I broke my rule of be nice to customer service representatives.
Listen, it wasn’t all my fault. I kept telling the lady over and over the same story and she kept telling me something else. It was my bank. The woman didn’t listen to me so I yelled. Loudly. Some might even call it a gentle scream.
My bank messed up a payment. Trust me - it’s their fault. And they have to fix it. However, I kept being told over and over that it was my fault. Turns out I have the proof it wasn’t me and they know it now. So, like any normal person, I was frustrated.
Finally I just snapped.
I did apologize for yelling at the end of the conversation (yes, she didn’t hang up on me – I’m surprised). I explained though that you must understand that when I’m telling you something and you tell me that’s it’s something else and I know it’s not, then I had to get my point across. (Hope that makes sense. There’s a lot of details I could go into, but I don’t want to bore you with those on here. I try to keep Nate Rambling’s somewhat to the point. ) And luckily, I didn’t cuss either, so I don’t think I was that terrible.
She seemed okay at the end of it all. Of course, she didn’t apologize to me for the bank she represents messing anything up. Go figure.
So, again, I feel kinda bad. I’ve been at the other end. When a paper is missed or something, it wasn’t my fault, but customers would call and chew me out. I have a soft spot now for representatives. But, it did feel good for that brief moment to yell. And if it makes you feel better about my actions, it was a customer service supervisor, so she wasn’t just a helpless representative with no power. And she didn’t do a good job of handling my complaint from the get-go.
I’ll leave it at that. I’m sure she’s moved on and so have I (well, except for writing a whole post about it). I’ll try to cool it next time. Because, I’m sure in life, it’s bound to happen again.
I just hope she wasn’t a reader of my comics. That would probably be no way to treat a fan.