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Sat, Sep. 9th, 2006, 12:10 am

it's 11.30 pm and i'm tired enough to feel like it's 5 a.m... i'm so happy it's finally friday night. i need two days off.

it was a slightly better day considering all newbies and oldbies are now working on their own. i still get questions every 2 minutes (literally) while also trying to figure out administrative crap and also a way to get sales to pick up so i don't feel like we're as off-track from where we need to be as we currently are.

the good news: i managed to sneak off and have lunch today. of course, it took an hour of trying to leave before i finally was able to. during lunch i bought lots of candy and brought back to motivate the kids to sell more (everytime they made a sale they could come have some candy. it seemed to work quite well, actually).

i'm supposed to have the company pay for stuff like that, but my project isn't making money yet and so we don't really have a spending budget, so i used my own money but i really don't care. it made the kids happier, and i got to bring home the leftovers so.. whatever.

we selected a teamname - we are now team bravehearts, hahaha. it easily beat the next-ranked name: team pigfoot (which lost despite heavy promoting from the originator of the suggestion, william).

it was kind of tough towards the end of the day. several of the kids ended up with rabid customers who refused to let the kids transfer them to the correct department but rather demanded to speak to a boss and get immediate help. the boss in this case, obviously, had to be me. so i had 3 calls in a row where i had to listen to angry men yelling obscenities at "me" and being generally upset about whatever.

i did my usual: i stay completely silent while they unload their bitching, and make sure to stay silent until they run out of air. when they finally start to quiet down, i completely ignore what they've just said and use a very soft but neutral tone of voice to ask for their customer information to look them up, while also telling them in definite wording that they're currently ranting to the wrong department, but that i have heard their case, that i understand why they are frustrated, and will do what i can within my limited ability to help. not responding to the ranting and instead showing that action to help is underway tend to shock them into calming down, slightly.

one man was so angry he kept bursting into more cursing at me every few sentences. he started his conversation with me by saying: "i'm sorry i yelled at the previous girl who answered because it's really YOU i want to yell at, since you are one of the assholes in charge at the fucking company you work for, for being one of the people in charge of giving such goddamn incompetent service!" ... yeah, fuck you too, buddy. sometimes it sucks having to be a representative for a situation that you totally have had no part in creating...

(and can i be honest? 8 times out of 10, the problem tends to stem from the customer's mistakes, and then the problem escalates because the customer is an asshole and then that customer becomes angry because nobody quite knows how to help them, so then the customer thinks he's getting the runaround, which he is, but only because he tends to have demands for things that has to be helped by different departments... i don't mean to say that we're never at fault, but by now, i'm way used to this crap and this is what i've found.)

so, i said: "i'm sorry, i cannot help you with you continuing to speak loud enough to actually make my ears hurt. please lower your voice." ...he burst in to rant some more, i stayed silent. when he calmed down, i said: "i'm sorry this is causing you so much frustration. now, would you like to curse at me some more, or would you like me to help you? i'm fine either way, but i would prefer helping you than having to end this call."

...eh, he eventually chilled enough to let me transfer him.

heh. when i first started at this company, i remember my first project and being seated directly across from a woman leading another team. i recall her sometimes having to take over calls with agitated customers and i was always so impressed with the way she dealt with the calls, and knew i could never do that. however... these days, i can totally do the same thing. being in charge gives a whole different ability to handle people. many times, they calm down and accept the exact same answer an agent has been trying to give them repeatedly earlier, simply because a boss-person has repeated it to them in a more definite manner.

that's really cool. and sad. heh.

i need some sort of antidote. having to explain shit repeatedly, dissecting matters into miniscule pieces and still not having the other person on the phone grasp the simplest fucking concepts and ideas is really tiresome. i want fluffy talk. i want sweet nothings. or better yet, i'm going to bed. cin cin.

Sat, Sep. 9th, 2006 08:58 am (UTC)

my boss has taught me the same concept of listening to everything the other person has to say until they have nothing left to come back with before you speak. i'm still getting the hang of it but i like the concept. still, i don't know if i'd have the patience you have with angry customers on the phone like that (which thankfully i don't have to deal with)!

Sat, Sep. 9th, 2006 06:53 pm (UTC)
somabish: :)

yeah, silence is totally the trick. i've also become increasingly blunt with age, which actually seems to help: i will say exactly what i'm doing and thinking, for instance, pointing out their rudeness and why it's not helping the situation.

it's weird to hear all these people who fly off the handle. i almost always do absolutely understand their frustration - some situations can really take a long time to sort out, and having to explain the situation repeatedly only to be transfered must suck. it's the men who turn vulgar that really get on my nerves, though. like, write a fucking letter, man.

well, at least i've gotten experience over the past year to the point where i'm now able to take over such calls with absolute calm ("hi, my name is jennie and i'm taking over the call. what's going on?") but it sucks seeing my newbie-kids getting so rattled. oh well. they'll learn.

Sat, Sep. 9th, 2006 06:54 pm (UTC)

(btw - i wish you the best with everything that is going on, and completely understand the need to step off lj a bit. take care of you and your peeps, and "come back" if and when you feel like it.)

Sun, Sep. 10th, 2006 02:15 pm (UTC)

thank you, jennie. i really appreciate the sentiment. i do want to come back to posting more publicly regularly but for now i just need the space to be able to vent without feeling like anyone is looking. i'm kind of liking the private posting so it's something i may still do more than i've done when i'm back and posting other stuff that my friends can read.