HomeReviewsInterviewsStoreABlogsOn Writing

Having dealt with the public consistently for some four years, I readily understand how draining, unreasonable and aggressive people can be towards those of you who make your living as customer representatives.

Perhaps it would help everyone involved if you would internalize this trivial fact: by the time a customer seeks you out, he or she is already aggravated by a broken down system. He or she doesn’t have the emotional reserves to be kind, understanding and apologetic about interrupting your day with unreasonable demands to receive whatever services s/he is already paying for–the nerve!–and when you yourself are short, ungracious and rude, it only compounds the problem, unnecessarily prolonging an interaction that is, clearly, as repugnant to you as it is to the customer.

Therefore, perhaps it would behoove you, in a fit of self-interest, to be expedient in resolving whatever disagreement or complaint is coming your way, so that you may hang the phone all the sooner, turn around to your fellow customer service representatives, and make fun of/bitch about the latest imbecile to interrupt your working day with her trivial and stupid problems.

Thank you kindly,

a customer.

An excellent tutorial:


  • We should make this a form letter and just send it out to customer service reps. I’ve spoken to more than a few rude ones.


  • Years ago I worked for a company who took customer service very seriously. Everyone from the CEO down to the receptionist was trained (workshops,etc) on how important it was, and you did not ‘pass the buck’ unless it really was beyond your scope to help. We might bitch to each behind closed doors about wacko/b*tchy/assh*le customer, but to their face we were unfailiingly polite and made ever effort sort out reasonable complaints.

    So when I run into some incompetent, couldn’t-care-less idiot in a customer service position, who obviously hates interacting with the public, I bust a vein.



  • JulieLeto
    October 18
    4:37 pm

    Is there anyway I can send this to the morons at GE that will not fix my less-than-two-year old dishwasher??? I actually had a supervisor hang up on me at one point! I don’t think it’s unreasonable to be pissed off after six different visits from two different repair guys fail to fix the problem on a machine that cost over $1200!

    Seriously, the absolute new thing I HATE WITH THE BRILLIANCE OF A THOUSAND SUNS is this new part of the C.S. script: “I’m sorry for the inconvenience.” It’s repeated 100 times during the call. They are NOT sorry.

    Hugs, Karen. I’ll be on the phone with GE again tomorrow, so I feel your pain.


  • As a customer service rep and manager of the department, I can tell you we strive to give Gold Standard Customer Service ALL THE TIME. Sometimes people get mad at us if we don’t know who they are and can’t find their record – when they refuse to give us their name or any identifying information and they’re calling or emailing from a different place/email address than is on their file with us. We do our very best to help.

    And yes, I’ve run into rude people – customer service and otherwise. It’s frustrating and I hate it. But it’s unfair to lump a whole class of people together.


  • I think it takes some people a long, long time to learn that it’s just as easy to say yes as no. We’re conditioned, I think, to have no be the first thing we say to people.


  • mustbeanon
    October 19
    2:13 pm

    Excuse me, but some of us are sorry. I happen to work in a technical customer service field and try to be kind, helpful, and courteous at all times. I won’t laugh at you if you’re “computer stupid.” I try to treat all my callers as if it were my mother calling. So really, I’d like to post the reverse of this, that when you call yelling and screaming and telling me how I am wrong and you are right (excuse me, you called ME for help), while I continue to be kind and helpful because this call is monitored for quality assurance…let’s just say horrific customer service infuriates me. But so too, do the people who treat me like crap when I really am sorry they’re having trouble and do try to help. If you want good customer service, sometimes you have to realize the person on the other end of the phone is a human being, too.


  • Anon76
    October 19
    3:49 pm

    When I am really pissed at a company and call customer service I always tell the person I’m dealing with, “Before we even begin, I want you to know I am really upset. Any anger I exhibit is not directed at you personally, but at the situation.”

    99% of the time the individual on the other end of the line is quite pleasant thereafter as we work through it together.

    The other 1%? Feed em to the buzzards.


  • I like that suggestion, Anon76. I have one particular memory involving a customer service person (it was with a dish network supplier). At one point I heard this guy mock my southern accent to someone else in the room. I hung up, and a few minutes later asked for the manager and complained. She, thank goodness, had been born in South Carolina and of course had a country accent, too. I had a very enjoyable time listening to this manager give that first rep down the road, lol. She also sent me a coupon for a free dinner for two at a very nice restaurant in town. So I rude CS people don’t always get away with treating others any way they want.


  • Sigh….you’re right. Let me tell you, I’m not a customer service rep, but being a stylist is much the same. I get my fair share of pains in the rear. Yeah, maybe they had a bad day, or maybe they are just plain annoying. Whatever the case may be, when you work with the public, the best way to handle any situation is kill them with kindness. Just give them what it is they are looking for and get them off the phone–or in my case, out of the chair. Saves everyone a ton of aggravation.


  • Ann
    October 21
    4:15 pm

    The clip is a classic example of a PEBKAC or ID-10-T error.


  • That made my day 🙂

    One of my BILs works an IT internal help desk at his company, basically helping employees work their network. He threatened one man with… “if you don’t shut up and listen to me I will come downstairs and f***ing kill you. Do you understand me?” Things went much better after that.


  • That clip was too funny! Must be the geek in me…


RSS feed for comments on this post. TrackBack URL

Leave a comment