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Monday, February 6, 2012

Baffling My Mind

Hello Everyone, Today I am a little confused and, frankly, discouraged with how some businesses now view their customers. I believe in America and the small business as well as the corporations who put their customers first. What I don't understand is when a problem arises with a product, why am I being difficult when I expect it to work properly? Why am I the one who should accept what I bought and move on?

I believe I am a positive person. I can find a silver lining almost anywhere. I can be quoted as saying, "One day I fell on the floor in my living room. You may wonder how I found THAT silver lining? I started looking at all the things I had been missing under the couch. Bonus!!" I definitely try to find the best in most situations and I believe you can find good in most people if you are willing to try. There is the joke in my house that I love the grouchy or the grumpy people. When I was a kid, my favorite dwarf was "Grumpy". On Sesame Street, it was "Oscar the Grouch" & on the Smurfs, yep, "Grouchy Smurf". I didn't really realize that I even had a pattern until I was in college. I just knew that under that grouchiness there was a good person, a person worth knowing. Most of the time, I am the one to find it or break thru their "hard" exterior.

I do love a challenge!! Maybe that is the reason? Breaking thru to someone with that wall up isn't easy. Wherever I have worked, I was the one they called to talk to the upset customer. When I used to work in downtown Detroit, in the Eastern Market, you could find all kinds of characters down there. I started on phones taking orders and there were established customers there who other people classified as difficult or jerks (that's much nicer than they would actually say in the Eastern Market. "Market Talk" uses a lot of profanity) ;) I would be warned not to talk to them or that I wouldn't be able to handle them because "You're too nice." Hahaha. People under estimate me often by believing my being positive or kind as also meaning I am weak. That can be fun for me.

I would take these calls and handle these customers and give as good as they gave. I would call their bluffs and call them out and in the end, I broke thru. These same men, the ones no one wanted to talk to would now ask for me when they called. They didn't need to be "jerks" because they respected me enough and knew they could depend on me. Before me they assumed if they acted that way, then no one would walk all over them. They would get what they wanted just by acting mean or tough. Once they knew they couldn't pull that one with me, they also knew I would come thru with them. Some became some of my favorites. I miss that job sometimes. But I digress.

I bring all of this up because I do not handle things first with anger and pressure. I make a call or show up and start with my normal "kill them with kindness" approach. It isn't in a fake way, but most people are more willing to work with someone when they begin with "Hello. How are you today? I am hoping you can help me." then "You & your company screwed me over AND I want payback!!" You get the idea. So when I have a problem with a product that's how I begin, with a smile and a pleasant plea for assistance.

This usually works for me & in this instance it worked for a long time. I developed a rapport with someone & in turn they were willing to help me in any way possible. In many instances, the person you are dealing with can only do so much and become frustrated for you too. There are instances when you can go to the next level, assuming they would like to help you too since you are such a good customer. There are times that proves untrue. That happened. Then you find the person you had that rapport with is gone & who is left? New people.

New people don't really care. New people promise to call back & they don't. New people promise to repair your confidence in them and use duct tape and fake smiles. New people are condescending and when they don't follow thru with their promises, look at you like you expect too much. New people want you to wait silently in the corner, even if they forget you're there when they shut off the lights and head home.

I don't understand this type of person. If I tell someone I will call back in 10 mins, I may or may not follow thru, but if I am late I am apologetic. I don't act as if they are being demanding or unreasonable when they call again or even a third time because I never called. I don't understand being treated by someone as if I am crazy when I was told this will be ready on Friday, and Saturday, Sunday & Monday go by without even a hint of progress. Why am I know suddenly the crazy bitch?

I am a firm believer in giving out good so it will come back to you. I believe in someone's word. I believe we as a country earn the right to make good products and expect the same in return. I believe if one of those products doesn't work properly and cannot be fixed then it should be replaced. I believe in all of this that I, as the consumer, should be allowed to expect quality and not be labeled as a troublemaker when the product put out isn't up to the company's own standards. In the end, I am at the mercy of their will. This scares me because somewhere down the line, I will be expected to accept poor quality and live with it no matter what. I just want to be treated how I would treat someone and given the respect I deserve. In this ever changing world, revolving around people who feel entitled to most everything, I stand here in awe. The world is baffling my mind and today I hope my short term memory lapse kicks in so I can forget it ever happened, Too bad I can't use some of my MS at will to benefit myself, but that would be out of character too. Damn. I think I'll just go have a drink! Maybe that can stop my head from spinning.

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