Thursday, November 20, 2008

Interesting CNN Quick Vote

Apparently, the 30% who chose "no" have never worked in retail during the holidays or in a call center.

Or, I suppose, in any type of customer service-related position at all.

I've said it before - maybe not here, but during other phases of my blog life - I think every adult should be required to work in some sort of customer service position for at least a year or two before getting any other job. It could be like the draft - everyone is required to serve, except we'd be fighting a war on the disease called rudeness, starting with two of the symptoms - the fact that so many people just don't understand what it's like to be treated poorly by complete strangers, coupled with the fact that a lot of people's brains change the words "customer service" to "customer servants," and modify their treatment of associates and representatives accordingly. Maybe if they'd been been on the receiving end of it, they're fine-tune their approach and we'd all be happier.

I try to refrain as much as possible from discussing my job here, but suffice it to say, every job I've ever had has been customer service-related (even the sales job - especially the sales job), and I have never had a job where I haven't been treated poorly by a customer who feels they've been wronged - current job included , which is especially ironic, given the fact that other professionals are calling me all day, not just your Average Joe.

As a result of being in customer service for *mumble*teen years, I'm a lot nicer to reps than your run-of-the-mill customer. But the downside is that I also expect more. Sounds like an interesting combination, I know, but all it really means is that I'm more patient and forgiving of minor delays and slip-ups that are likely beyond the rep's control (long lines, computer snafus, customers in front of me who do nothing but bitch - I'm actually prone to go all crazy white girl on them rather than the rep), while at the same time not putting up with behavior that I know would get me fired. My husband has called me high-maintenance on occasion, but I've got an incredible handle on what's appropriate and what's not. And treating folks like they're poop on the bottom of your shoe because they stand on the other side of a counter and are there to help you is just flat out inappropriate.

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