Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Day Sixteen -- Tales from the Front Lines

Today I thought I'd share with you one of my favorite stories that I've come across since I started working here in Oklahoma. I am sure that many of you have heard me tell this one before, but it really is one of my favorites.

In case you were unaware, I currently work in the customer service industry helping people to understand the joys and wonders of technology. Also, I help them to learn how to read bills. Very important job, that.

Anyhow, when I first started, one of my trainers decided to share with me an experience she had when she was still answering phones.

By this point my trainer--we'll call her Chrissy--had been with the company for over five years and was working in the cancellation department, trying to convince people that they didn't want to end their service. One day a man called in who was totally, utterly, and completely irate. Before Chrissy could ask any questions, he proceeded to tell her how the company was ran by nothing but a pack of thieves who were incapable of doing anything correctly, that they were stealing money away from him--had been for years--and that he was sick and tired of dealing with people at the company. When Chrissy started to talk to him again he interrupted her and said, "I don't give a flying [censored] who you are, I want to talk to the person who's closest to God in your company!"

Now Chrissy is normally a very sweet, laid back kind of gal. Like, Sherri-type sweet and laid back kind of gal. However, she had been working overtime for nearly two months straight and was finally at the end of her rope. When she heard him declare I want to talk to the person who's closest to God in your company! she did not respond with the normal platitudes we're taught to answer with. She said in the sweetest, nicest possible tone:

"Well, sir, we have many highly religious people who work here in this department. Which one would you like to speak with?'

There was a ten second silence on the line before he responded. "Well, I guess that was out of line."

Chrissy's only saving grace was that no one was actually listening in on that call.

"If Franz Kafka were alive today he'd be writing about customer service."
--Jonathan Alter

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