14 March 2007

You want to charge me FOR WHAT?

After overhearing many "conversations" I've had with utility companies, banks and various delinquent billing departments, several of my co-workers have said to me on many occasions things like, "Will you call and talk to my telephone company for me?" and "You should be a lobbyist for something... you know, to channel your aggression," and the kicker, "Man, I feel bad for Andrew."

I find myself reflecting on the not too distant past when I seemed to possess a greater tolerance for my fellow workers in the world. I tempered my responses to customer services reps with a series of assumptions and rationalizations that basically amounted to giving them the benefit of the doubt. But it's not so easy any more and I'm trying to figure out why. Have I lost my last shred of patience? Do I have a shorter fuse? While my frustration has definitely been valid at times, I'm realizing that I'm going to have to change my attitude if I don't want to be aggravated for the next 50 years. I've always heard that age brings cynicism. And to be honest, I can see that creeping into my character at times. But I don't want to be cynical. I want to figure out how to age gracefully, to stand my ground when I need to, but to do it with graciousness and understanding. So, I'll keep working on that, and in the meantime, I'll work on getting this charge reversed for a returned mail fee.

5 comments:

Sarah said...

You go girl. I know how you can tell them like it is.

I too feel a bit cynical in my 'old age.' I used to have to write a script for myself if I needed to call to make a payment or as a question, but now I get ready to call 'customer service' reps out before they even pick up the phone, since it seems so often that all companies want to do is stick it to you. I should be more compassionate too in my dealings with other human beings. Why are there so many chAARRges that shouldn't exist though?!

Alli said...

I can't say that I'm not cynical in general, but something that I find REALLY helpful in dealing with customer service people is to ask for a manager. Luke taught me that, because he used to do customer service, and lot of times the first people you talk to don't have the authority or knowledge that they might need to help you (waive the fee, etc.). So, knowing that makes me a little more patient with the first person I talk to, and I know to ask for a manager if I realize that I won't get anywhere with the first person.

Not at all insightful...but practical... : )

karen said...

Cynicism I think comes with old age, and keeping it in check is the challenge for us all...

Why are we all cynical first, then compassionate? Shouldn't it be the other way around?

Telling like it is or as I like to call it being a "straight shooter" is something that I think is one of your greatest strengths. Look at it that way...

Sarah said...

you ARE a straight shooter! no nonsense.

Mom said...

Amy, I think you're doing just fine. I understand we all are in need of more compassion but don't be too hard on yourself. I think you would make a great consumer advocate like Ralph Nader!!