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Customer Service Hell

I recently got insurance and so I am trying to set up a series of things and I am tired of listening to automated menus. My job requires me to listen to automated menus and even though I have the number sequence memorized, I still have to wait and listen to the same lady every time I call…

Now today, I needed to find out how to pay my ticket. I called the number on the ticket and sat for 45 minutes on hold 2 days ago only to have the system hang up on me. Today I called back and made it through the prompts in only about 5 minutes (shocker) and when the lady came on the phone I said, “I need some assistance with paying this ticket.” and she said, “Did you listen to the automated menu?” I said yes. (exasperated) It was the way that she said it that rubbed me the wrong way, like I was some sort of idiot and that by listening to all the prompts and pressing 5 and then 7 and then 9 and then 8 I would have all my answers including the answer to the meaning of life and where babies come from.

She continued, “Well, the menu tells you everything you need to know.”

I remained calm, but now I know why half of our population is medicated. It takes Wellbutrin or Prozac or some form of prescription drug to be able to cope with all the A-HOLES that you have to put up with on any given day.

I then responded, “Well, I sat through the prompts the other day for 45 minutes only to get hung up on and now I am calling back today and I just don’t understand why you can’t help me?” I said it nicely when I really wanted to call her a few names.

She then sort of laughed and said, “I can help I was just teasing”. Her tone changed much quicker than my mood did, but I choked down my rage and got the information that I needed by being sugary nice.

The trick these days is finding the right balance of firmness and sweetness when it comes to dealing with difficult people. I have to admit that lately I am wound a little tighter than normal, but just because I am wound tight doesn’t not mean that I should tolerate every single inconsideration that is delivered to me. No. My frame of mind during this very busy time has taught me a lot about myself and even more about other people and I am no longer going to just take crap. If my service is bad, I am getting a discount or something free. If you cut me off, you won’t get the finger, but I will give you the horn of correction, and if you aren’t nice to me I am going to ask, “Why aren’t you being nice?” and if you don’t start being nice then I am going to get angry – and like the incredible hulk – you won’t like me when I am angry.

By Evan Stark

Eddie Renz is an avid fan of Egyptology, Wilbur Smith and bacon. Not a fan of humility but often finds himself humbled when he is around people who understand numbers like the Fibonacci sequence and Pi.

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