Friday, January 11, 2008

Some people just can't serve

As a lab tech, I have opportunities to talk to so many people over the phone since I have to place orders, renew service contracts, and coordinate research with other labs etc ( you get the idea).

Through out these phone calls, at least once a month I would come across to a customer service or a sales personnel who just don't give a Sh*@t about anything you say. It does not matter how polite or sincere you are, they would just treat you like a crap.

I used to get angry at these people but recently, I started using this "re-frame" technique that helps me to calm down. Here is an example on how to use it.

For instance, your colleague asks you to do a favor for him/her right before 5PM when you are getting ready to leave. You feel furious, it's Friday and you have so much in your mind about what you are going to do once you get home. Then, here comes this request that will requires you to stay back for another 30 minutes.

What you do is to re-frame, think about why your colleague asked you to do something for him/her. Maybe your colleague has to go pick up his/her kids? Maybe your colleague is not feeling well and has been trying to hung in there all day? Maybe they know you could finish the task in 30 minute but it would take them hours to do?
The best way is to communicate and find out. You may ended up not only helping them and feeling good about it, but also you make them owe you one!!

Now, when it comes to phone conversation with a stranger, it is impossible to ask what is wrong with them. In this case you would try to understand why they do what they do. Maybe they don't get paid well enough? Maybe they had a fight with their significant other or kids? Maybe it is just the way they are and they need some help?

You know if they keep doing what they do they will probably loss their job anyways (they record the conversation remember?) so maybe we should feel sorry for those rude, unkind, unfriendly people on the other end of the phone.

In any case, why should we get angry and potentially get stomach ulcer for someone we don't even know?

Life is too short for that.

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