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.