Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Angry People

I have been an angry person---one of those people who got mad at sales people and spoke rudely and yelled and cussed (once, before I turned 20) over the phone to a customer service rep for Columbia House records. I'm embarrassed to think about my lack of class now, but it's true, I did it.

I have learned from my job that it gets people nowhere to act that way. I have learned that anger accomplishes nothing. I'm chagrined to learn it this way, this late in life, but I'm grateful for the lesson.

For instance, a man called me last week and asked to speak to a rep in another center, California. Now the man called at 10:59 pm, one minute before we closed down for the night. Plus, I have no way of calling a rep in another center and we didn't have anybody in our center that late who had that kind of authority plus that rep's center was also closed.

He yelled at me and lectured me and tried to bully me for quite awhile about that. Then he got even madder when I told him the credit that rep had made a mistake and he wasn't owed a $550 credit for text messaging. Now, his bill was two months late and he hadn't paid that much for text messaging in six months!

He started using the "f" word and taking God's name in vain. "You don't care if I can take care of my children! You're taking food out of my children's mouths!"

I finally called a manager, who backed me up in the decision not to give him the credit and very calmly refused to indulge the man's nonsense. Although, the guy, obviously a mysogynist, stopped yelling and cussing as soon as a man came on the line. He never got his way. His distrust of the world and hostility got him nowhere. I felt sad for his family.

Yesterday, a guy called in yelling from the start. He was concerned about the radiation and frequency in phones. I just couldn't take him seriously and I was totally calm with him. We couldn't help him, either. He's going to sue.

Both these men are angry at the world; they had no reason to be uncivil with me and they didn't help themselves with their anger. I know I'll be mad again and probably make a fool of myself again, but I'm pretty sure this is a lesson for a lifetime. Acting like an idiot is counter-productive.


Sunshine said...

um.. indeed it is a life lesson.

It as made me laugh when people would call in all upset, and the best part is when I was able to solve their problem in a seconds time. It's like I blew all of the steam out of their little tug boat.

Then, there were just some I had to ask politely to stop swearing at me, or I would have to terminate the call. I got to hang up on them a few times...

But seriously, anger helps no one!

Sunshine said...

excuse me, that was supposed to read "It always made me laugh..."

cathycan said...

I hate losing control! People always say "You're soo easy going..." They just never see Mrs. Hyde!
I am never rude to people I don't love. So, customer service people, etc, are safe. Isnt that horrible?
I keep working on it. Trying to anticipate what might set me off and planning my reaction, that helps..a little.

Bookslinger said...

cathycan: I think I know what you mean. No one can hurt you like friends and family.

Bookslinger said...

It's like, "They know better! How can they do that to me?! How dare they!"

annegb said...

Sara, we have to get together...I want to know how to surrepticiously hang up on somebody. I'm starting to hate people. It's not so much the angry ones, it's the whiny ones begging for more credits. Or the really dumb ones.

Bookslinger, I should send you money for counseling. Of course, that's exactly what I think.

Bookslinger said...

annegb: But it's not my fault! It's _their_ fault! All theirs! Nothing's wrong with me, ever. It's everyone else who's screwed up. ;-)

annegb said...

And are you mocking me, enlightened one? I sense mocking.

It's not that everyone else is screwed up, it's that I am right and they are wrong.

Bookslinger said...

No, not mocking you. Mocking myself. That was the attitude I had for a long time. Still do, but hopefully to a lesser degree.

You've admitted how messed up you are for a long time. And you're not as messed up as you claim. And, you're not the only one who is messed up.

Sunshine said...

Annegb, there was this guy that I worked with that would get tired of talking on the phone with the customers and would hang up on everyone until the que (was does that spelling seem wrong) was empty. That was a good day at work.

annegb said...

Bookslinger. Bookslinger, bookslinger, bookslinger. I am too a mess. You're just having wishful thinking. Don't get your hopes of having me as one of your saner friends.