Friday, July 26, 2013

Kindness?

"Thank you for calling Enterprise Customer Care, my name is Katie. May I have your name please?" We've all heard it before, from countless companies, over the phone or in person, I just never anticipated being one of the voices that gets yelled at...almost constantly. A year or so ago I told myself I would be kind and courteous after witnessing someone lose it with a customer service rep. I didn't want to be one of those people.

I feel like I can write this now since my last day for the summer is next Wednesday. Since working here I have experienced some of the nicest people and learned a lot about being direct, brave in making comments and quoting people policy that they may not like. But I have grown. However, since working here I have experienced some of the meanest and most unkind people in their words and behaviors to me, a stranger. People are so interesting. When you take away the personal connection of a face, people tend to say whatever they want. Where is the kindness? Courtesty? Respect?

Over the past few weeks I have grown accustomed to the meanness and terrible people, how they treat me and how I shake it off later. It still makes me so anxious but unfortunately some people can just be so mean when their emotions are raised and they feel they have been wronged. I feel bad for some of these people but...word to everyone reading this: just because you call a 1-800 number does not mean they know everything. Or that they have authority. Or that they aren't people too with lives and heartache and real life problems.

I have made my peace with this experience. It seems like everyone I talk to has had some call center experience. Maybe its a right of passage for some souls? What prompted this post is a conversation I overheard yesterday of a few colleagues. They were walking out for the day and one said, "Does anyone else listen to self-affirmation  CDs on their way home, or is that just me?" They all laughed but there was so much truth, some hurt and some pain to it. I have seen more grown people with tears in their eyes while working here than anywhere in my life.

Next time you call a 1-800 number, please remember they are people too who feel and have needs. They deserve as much kindness and respect as you do.  

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