Why worry?


Maybe it’s the product of having grown a little older and wiser, or maybe it’s just adaptation after a long period of having no disposable income, but I at least feel as if I have grown somewhat less materialistic over the past couple of years. Things which are just things matter a lot less to me then they once did and I certainly don’t try to chase status through my possessions. In fact I’m even growing fairly disdainful of this trait in others.

Sometimes I wonder as I’m being shouted at by a customer who hasn’t received their order when they expected it, or when it hasn’t turned out to be what they expected, or if there’s been some other issue why it all matters so much and how they can justify treating another human being so appallingly over something which in the scheme of things doesn’t matter? Don’t get me wrong in some instances their anger is righteous, when they’ve really been let down, when they’ve been misled, or when something was important as it was a gift then I can empathise, but in the cases when it’s just, well just a thing, a thing which serves no real purpose, then that’s when I struggle to understand their anger.

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3 thoughts on “Why worry?

  1. Interesting question!

    With only the information from the contact that you have with the customer, I agree, why worry. However, customers have other things going on in their life. Maybe their whole day is one big disaster, maybe this is the Xth time they have been let down by a company like the one you work for. Maybe they’ve been on hold for a while with stupid muzak before they got to speak to you? Maybe they just want to air their anger with life, and you are a faceless person who can’t fight back (i.e., an ideal victim).

    In any case: *you* should definitely not worry about it!

  2. Very true – that’s a great point. Reflecting on this I think that sometimes we in the call centre can become institutionalised to the point where we stop seeing things from the customers perspective; For us something like a delayed shipment is a nuiscance as it means lots of customers to placate and the need to trot out the same explanations again and again, but for our customers you are quite right, it could be something far different, it could well be another thing to add to an already bad day, week, month or year (to paraphrase from the Friends theme tune) or yet another let down by a mail-order firm. Overall what we all need to do, both customers and customer service operators is to regularly take a step back and try to view things from a different perspective. Saying this it is a central argument of mine that the working conditions in the industry such as a predisposition of management to over-focus on things such as call-times create an environment much less conducive to this sort of thinking.

  3. I think your situation isn’t all that much different from other people in low-wage jobs, such as shop assistants. The management looks at figures and what happens on the work floor, who cares?

    I read a book about it just last week, a journalist who goes to work as a shop assistant at a clothes store and has some ideas for improvement, ha, no one listening of course! (here’s my review of the book: http://leeswammes.wordpress.com/2011/04/16/book-review-malled-by-caitlin-kelly/).

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