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Have you ever been at a restraunt and seen that waitress or waiter being yelled at by that one cusotmer?  What about that cashier at the store that accidently gave the wrong change?  Well this is for them.

Dear Consumer,

You are not always right anymore.  We control your food, when you dine out, we control the parts for your car, when you need it fixed.  We sell you clothes when you need them, we stock the shelves at your grocery store that you always go to.  So when you talk down to us, or treat us as if we do not exist in your world, or you decide that you are going to have us fired because you are not satisfied with anything and you believe it is our fault for your displeasure, think about what would happen if the shoe were on the other foot.
What if we were able to take you to civil court because of your accusations against us that got us fired from our job?  Do you think about how you hurt that persons life because of your selfish desire to have the wrong you believe you experienced righted by having that meaningless employee fired from possibly the only job available to them?  How can you live with yourself?  Do you experience unemployment at the same time?  Of course not.  You probably believe that if a person looses his or her job they must not be very good employees.  Of course it could not be due to your complaint, even after you told that employee that you were going to have him fired.  It's not your fault that they are a bad employee,  Or was it that what actually happened was that you were having a bad day and the first meaningless employee that you came in contact with, no matter if they were nice or mean, they would receive your wrath because in your mind they were at fault.  Did you ever stop to think that you were the one with the problem?
Did your food come to you hot and edible or are you just so superior to everyone else that you had to send it back because it was just not good enough for you?  Everyone else is beneath you so treat them like the gum on your shoe because they deserve it?  Well I want to stand up today and say it is time for this to stop.  We may not be as rich as you, we may not drive an expensive car around, and we may not own a mansion, but we are human.  We deserve to be treated with respect, We deserve to be viewed as good people.  If you are having a bad day, dont take it out on us.  Don't have us fired for your mistake.  And stop trying to get freebies for your accidents by blaming them on us.
We do not deserve to have our lives threatened, our employment threatened, or our very existance threatened.
If you have us fired in this economy are you going to give us a job?  Are you going to tell that single moms children that they are soon going to be homeless because you had to have their mom fired from her job because you felt she did not deserve to work?  Are you going to tell the children of all single parents that you had their parents job taken away from them because of your selfish desires?
Just stop it.  Think about the situation.  Who is really at fault for your mistake? Us?  Or did you just have an event that upset you to the point that you did not know what to do?  Did you know that we have sympathy for you?  We are not just cusotmer service professionals.  We are also caring people.  We do honestly care about what happens to you.  So the next time you are having a bad day, try talking to us and say what is on your mind.  We might surprise you by being really good listeners and can be capable of turning your bad day into a good one.
In other words, don't take your troubles out on us, tell us about them.  Maybe we can help.

Originally posted to jamesarth1963 on Tue Jul 20, 2010 at 07:55 PM PDT.

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Comment Preferences

  •  In My Previous Job (5+ / 0-)

    I was the VP of Marketing. For some reason I was also in charge of our seven person customer support department. Wow. I had no clue how hard their jobs were. No clue. It was a painful thing. I've always be "nice" to folks that serve me my food or answer a phone when I call with a problem, but even more so now.

    "In a time of universal deceit, telling the truth is a revolutionary act." - George Orwell

    by webranding on Tue Jul 20, 2010 at 07:59:38 PM PDT

    •  Well (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      What feedback did you get?  What feedback did you try to get?

      When I get good customer service I always ask for the supervisor and ask for a positive note to be placed in their file.

      But most customer service is at best inadequate and much is not service.  

      This morning I got told to turn of my router for at least twenty minutes for it to reset and that it was a necessary thing to do.  Sorry, it isn't my job to organise coffee breaks for customer support staff.  She may get hell and she may get fired.  No my problem.  Lying to a customer is not and never will be correct.  Yet it is incredibly frequent.

      Honesty goes a long way.

      If you don't know what the customers thought of the service and why they thought of it the way they did were you actually doing your job?

      I have served customers (inside and outside the companies I worked for) as a sysadmin for many, many years.   While my employer may pay my salary, the people to who I provided services were the people I worked for.  And you know, in thirty years I never had a customer complaint.

      Best Wishes, Demena Left/Right: -8.38; Libertarian/Authoritarian: -6.36

      by Demena on Tue Jul 20, 2010 at 09:58:05 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Let me fill you in on how customer service works. (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:

        I worked briefly (and I emphasize briefly) for a subcontractor who provides customer service services.  You see, many people who work in customer service for the company directly, but instead work for a contractor who may have them on the Verizon project this month, the Home Depot Warranty project next month, etc.  99.9% of the time, the front line employee does not have the power to do anything.  

        There were many, many times when I would have loved to have done something for the customer (they were clearly entitled to a refund, should get a replacement, etc.), but I literally had no power to do that.  The call would have to be routed through about three people before it got to a supervisor whose computer actually had access to resolve the issue.  However, one of the criteria I was graded on was how many calls got transferred to a supervisor.  More  than 5%, and there was trouble.  If the customer was actually happy and wanted to be transferred and wanted to tell my supervisor what a great job I did, they got asked to write an email or letter (which was never read, by the way).  

        Additionally, all calls had to be resolved in three minutes or less, which included trying to see the poor person two "value added" services.  The calls where the customer had a very complex problem, was elderly and had difficulty hearing, or did not speak fluent English all got factored into that three minutes, so you can see how fast we had to get the "average" customer off the phone.  We were also reprimanded and eventually fired if we didn't offer the two "services" on every single call.  This included calls where the customer was in tears because they were afraid they wouldn't be able to pay their bill that month.

        •  I've run hell desks. (0+ / 0-)

          And always made a point of spending at least some time on them.

          What you have told me above is not at all how customer service works, you have told me how customer service doesn't work.

          And I happen to live in country where that sort of shenanigans would get the company disciplined by government bodies.  Unfair dismissals, customer abuse, illegal practices.  Any company dealing with its employees or its customers like that will be disciplined or bite the dust.

          My ISP just brought all its outsourcing back into the country simple because overseas call centres are run like that and it became more expensive to farm the work out overseas than to see it done properly here.  The penalties cost more than the savings.

          So, no, you have not "filled me in on how customer service works", you have filled me in on how little respect the people in your country have for each other and how little freedom you have in what ever god forsaken country you live in.  Maybe you should look at migration to a country that supports individuality and freedom?

          You describe pure evil and you try to tell me this is "how it works".  When did you accept living in hell?  Why were you so willing to be abused and to abuse others?  It is not a pretty picture you paint.

          Best Wishes, Demena Left/Right: -8.38; Libertarian/Authoritarian: -6.36

          by Demena on Wed Jul 21, 2010 at 05:43:30 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

  •  I was accused of trying to murder a caller's wife (4+ / 0-)

    because his union insurance - the best insurance package I've ever seen, by the way - didn't cover an obviously unnecessary test.

    He could have paid for it himself, but his wife obviously wasn't worth a couple hundred dollars.

    I can laugh about it now, but at the time I wondered if he was going to come down to the office and shoot me.

    "I was a big supporter of waterboarding" - Dick Cheney 2/14/10

    by Bob Love on Tue Jul 20, 2010 at 08:12:13 PM PDT

  •  thank you for this. (2+ / 0-)

    I worked customer service briefly-& I decieded I wld rather stand in front of a turret lathe 9 hours a day.

    Conservatism is killing this country. Jayden

    by swampyankee on Tue Jul 20, 2010 at 08:16:58 PM PDT

  •  I could tell you stories... (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    I won't because...there's just too many to mention. I have been working in this field for far too long, when one considers how brilliant I am (up for debate), but it's what I got stuck in, and I've mostly liked working in the record/movie environments which are fast becoming a thing of the past. But these bastards can exhaust you. I've worked in Boulder for about ten years, off and on, and will also tell you that the beloved 'liberals' are just as miserable, exasperating and self-centered as any 'conservatives.' Rudeness knows no political obedience. I'd also mention that many people are quite nice. Like anything, it's how you were raised. Plus, to be honest, there are some days I may deserve it. Rarely, but it happens.
      I will say that this experience has always made me exceedingly polite at restaraunts, banks, stores, etc, any place where someone is expected to wait on me. I've always been aware of the tricks of the trade that can be put over on real rotten customers--I worked in a country club restaraunt as a kid, and saw things that insulted wait staff can do to an unsuspecting cup of coffee or plate of food. Always tip, and be pleasant, folks. That's all I can tell you.

    •  And you find that OK? (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      You should not have to be scared of the people who are serving you or working for you.

      But also they should not have to be scared of you.

      Best Wishes, Demena Left/Right: -8.38; Libertarian/Authoritarian: -6.36

      by Demena on Tue Jul 20, 2010 at 10:01:31 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Same here... (0+ / 0-)

      I was a customer service supervisor and ramp supervisor for a regional airline for 21 years. I have watched the customers get nastier and nastier over the years. I'm glad that I'm out of it, as much as I miss the airline business.

      I could tell you true stories that would horrify you. I have been threatened with physical harm, cursed at, had things thrown at me (including snot). I know one agent that was punched out by a customer at the ticket counter. (BTW, he sued the passenger and won.)

      As a result, I tip heavily and I am extremely patient with customer service people. I've been there, done that and see no reason to join the crowd of a$$holes making life miserable.

      The closest TV program to reality is "Airline," which shows the life behind the scenes at Southwest Airlines.

      "Ridicule may lawfully be employed where reason has no hope of success." -7.75/-6.05

      by QuestionAuthority on Wed Jul 21, 2010 at 05:22:19 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Yep. Customer can be very nasty. (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
  •  I worked in customer service (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Demena, QuestionAuthority

    for over 30 years.  On the phone, face to face.  Loved it.  Loved the challenging customers.  Hey, if I was a customer and had been screwed around the way some of my customers were, I'd be pissed too.

    (I worked mainly in technical support BTW for a Verizon subsidiary.)

    The drunks at 3 am were the worst though.  They'd wake us up when we were trying to nap between calls.

    Got called names, threatened, hung up on, complained about but, the customers were mad at the company, they weren't mad at me.  They just needed to vent.

    "A Canadian is merely an unarmed American with health care." John Wing

    by marigold on Tue Jul 20, 2010 at 10:19:41 PM PDT

  •  things I learned about humans... (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    QuestionAuthority, swampyankee

    Most "customers" believe you must obey them, they believe "service" is another word for "servant". They vary in how they behave when things are as they desire, some can be quite friendly even. Although even the friendliest will invariably make at least one blatant expression of their presumed power role in the interaction. A snide joke, "do you really know what you are doing?", cushioned by a smile or laugh.

    If people who believe they must be obeyed feel that the servants are not sufficiently fulfilling their desires then it is time to demand obedience. In my experience, most commonly this presents itself as an escalating spiral of angry assholery, combined with attempts at intimidation in various forms.

  •  My employer (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    consistently rewards abhorrent behavior. The entire notion of putting the customer, no matter how obnoxious, first, reinforces this notion.

    Fluorescent, flat, caffeine lights / It's furious balancing

    by CayceP on Wed Jul 21, 2010 at 01:42:38 AM PDT

  •  I'm surprised nobody has mentioned unions (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Demena, QuestionAuthority

    yet in this diary.

    Unions can't help how the customer may abuse service sector employees, but they can sure help how management reacts to unreasonable customer complaints.

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