Anger Management

I have good days and bad days like anyone, but this Tuesday was particularly unpleasant.

I work for a company that builds homes, and every once in a while a purchaser will call us up to complain about something.  Usually it’s an issue we’ve had some kind of warning about, and often we’re already working on fixing it by the time they call, but on Tuesday, one homeowner decided to call us up and blast us about an issue we hadn’t even known was an issue.  I can’t even remember what he shouted, I was in such shock.  He left angry messages on my co-workers’ voicemail, but since I actually picked up the phone it was me he really let loose on.  He even tried to threaten the company through me!  Eventually I convinced him to take his concerns up the corporate ladder, since I couldn’t actually help him, but it sure took a while.  My hands were shaking for the rest of the day.

I don’t understand how people can take their anger out on workers who aren’t directly involved in whatever it is the customer is upset about.  How is it justified to do that?

It isn’t.  I understand that sometimes as a customer you have to push to make things happen- inertia in customer service can be pretty strong, but the poor kid working the cash register can’t know that what the sales person suggested you buy wasn’t what you needed- cut them some slack.  That kid had nothing to do with it, and couldn’t fix the issue for you- you can shout at them all you want, but you’re still going to have to talk to a manager in the end.  Besides, it doesn’t cost you anything to be nice to the middle-man.

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