Thursday, June 6, 2013

Customer Service

Customer service is a field where you will either hate your job, or love it while experiencing both love and hate for people in the same day.

Having worked in the Customer Service department for the past 3 years I have to say that no other job is quite like it (though, looking back on that statement I suppose the same could be said for every field of work).

My point is, it is a unique experience that you have to have be built to do.  Whether it's through a call for tech support, working with people through email, or even more directly in a face to face fashion there are so many things that the individual acting as the customer service rep (CSR) has to keep in mind.

The customer doesn't understand your service/product the way you do (unless they've been doing business with your company for a while).

The customer will get upset at you if you mislead them in anyway (even accidentally).

The customer wants to hear confidence and been shown that you are knowledgeable.

Tone will make or break an interaction with a customer (this is especially hard to maintain and interpret via text mediums like email).

The list goes on.

The problem with Customer Service is that no matter what your job is, what title you hold, there is some aspect of customer service that everyone must exude.  Be it with other employees (yes, they can be customers too at times) or with clients of any kind.  No one is exempt from the rules that come from being a CSR.  However, those who work in some type of CSR position (help lines, tech support, order entry, retail, etc) know exactly how mentally tiring it can be to always be on guard with themselves.  

In case I'm not making it clear, being a CSR is incredibly hard work.  You wouldn't think so, but it is.  So please, as customers be willing to give us some flexibility and don't scrutinize every little thing like so many are apt to do.

That said, I have come across my fair share of poor customer service.

I don't care how you feel about someone.  I don't care if you don't like the melanin of their skin, the color of their hair, their appearance, their smell, or if you just feel "too tired to deal with it", there is never a good reason to treat someone giving your company business with anything less than the utmost respect.  

These people who are coming in are what allow you to get paid.  They are, in essence, writing your paycheck.  

On the other side of that coin, you represent the company you work for.  If you give that company a bad name by giving bad service, you will be terminated from employment eventually.

Yes, I know.

The customer is not always right.  Sometimes the customer will act like they have a vendetta against the human race.  Sometimes they will act like they have a 2nd grade education.  Sometimes they are incredibly particular or picky.

Deal with it.

That's your job.

If you can't handle working with a variety of people and treat them all equally with respect and general pleasant attitude then customer service is not the job for you and you should find another job that you'll enjoy soon.

I'm sorry if that sounds harsh.  I'm not trying to come across that way.  But I've always been of the opinion you should do a job you enjoy.  I understand there are the "crap" jobs we take to get by, but always be looking for the job you want. If you really want it, you'll get it.

I just feel like there is no excuse for some of the service I've personally received and others' stories (oh the stories!) make me shudder in dismay.  Being a CSR can be a thankless job but it is one that keeps businesses running!  That role is important, and thus is powerful.

So, it may not mean much coming from a fellow CSR but "hat's off" to all who work in the field.  I respect your work and request that you keep it up and not fall into the "poor service" category.

Just a few thoughts.

Grace and Peace.

Saturday, June 1, 2013

Plight of a Man

I have been working through a lot of stuff lately.  As if my mind has decided that this week was the optimum time to make me question everything again.  What is the purpose of life?  The point of my life?  What does it mean to live?  What does it mean to die?  What comes after death?  What about all the in between stuff, is any of it really worth it?

These thoughts keep me up at night.  These thoughts haunt me throughout the day like a cloud shadows a mountain before the storm ravages its surface.

These things do not depress me.  If anything, the emotions I feel in association with the thoughts that flood my mind are confusion, maybe even frustration.  Perhaps even rage.  An anger so deep that it cools the veins rather than ignites the fire that is passion.

Maybe that is what it is.  I am mad.

I am mad that so much injustice still exists in this world.

I am mad that I feel so helpless.

I am mad that I don't have the answers to the questions people ask every day.  Both the explicit and the implicit.

I am mad that I do not feel about things the way people say I should.

I am mad that I cannot seem to change myself no how much I try.

I am just mad.

Yet, I don't feel mad.  

I don't feel much of anything at all lately.

Sure there are the emotions I experience, the senses that are caressed by wind and light, song and dance, like the gentle touch of a lover's whisper.  I am conscious of them, notice their touch but still feel disconnected in some way.  Disconnected even from my own inhibitions.

I get tired of the need for social courtesies.  Why can't we just say what we mean?  I guess I'm mad about that too.

Hypocrisy, false accusations, debates, "he said, she said", does it ever end?

Of course, the way I'm writing this you would think that something horrible is going on in my life.  Quite the contrary, I couldn't ask for a better time!  I have nothing to complain about and still my mind races.  Still it follows these paths that lead to only God knows where and I'm just pulled along for the ride.

Honestly, I'm not even sure why my mind goes through these cycles.  I always come back to the same conclusions.  I look at the same evidence, the same topics, the same everything as everyone else; yet, my conclusions never shift.  They may expand, but they don't change.

Maybe my anger is just a mask of my fear.  

They say people have either a fight or flight instinct.  I think I'm beginning to see that mine is a fight.  Not only will I fight but I will put everything I am into that fight until only one thing remains.  That thing becomes the victor standing upon the pile of its fallen prey.

I realized the other day that I have no response to Atheism.  None.  I've researched it, I talk with them, and I hear other people's answers, but none of it sits well.  None of it seems quite right.  I'm watching people I love go down a path I feel is the wrong one, that my sense scream against and restrict me from pursuing them.  And I have no response to that?

I feel a little like a child waiting at the end of a long dark hallway.  Afraid to step into the darkness, I desperately hope and even beg that the friend I was following will come back out safe.

I can feel the shift taking place inside of me and I cannot decide if the outcome will be good or bad.  For better or worse though, I do not think I will come out unscathed.  Maybe it is time to walk through the darkness for a while.  How can one who lives in the light understand the darkness if he never experiences it?  After all God created both the Light and the Dark and uses both for his purposes.  Maybe it's time to see the dark side of the moon.

With excitement I end this post.  I feel as if I'm about to embark on a much needed voyage.  Who knows?  Maybe like Caspian I will encounter adventures that forged my heart through trials and storms into the man I need to be.

After all, no good story lacks obstacles to overcome, sacrifices to be made, and battles to be won.  And I think, this is one battle I can avoid no longer.

No more standing idly by, the warrior takes up his sword and shield and turns to face his enemy.  Who's next he wonders.

Grace and Peace.

[EDIT: Two things.  I realize that this post probably makes little to no sense to anyone.  To that my response is: It's late at night and I'm half awake.  Clarification may come later (given my track record though....)

secondly, this is not me saying I don't believe in God or that I'm pursuing Atheism (as I'm sure my post might have insinuated).  I am merely using the term darkness as a metaphor for something that is beyond my understanding at this time.  Mystery, change, the unknown in general.  

As always, if you have any questions feel free to comment or speak with me directly.]