Tuesday, January 19, 2010

People are Crazy

I don't talk much about work on this little blog, because, well because I just don't. I have plenty of interesting stories that I could tell and Lord knows I'm living an episode of The Office every time I walk through the doors but I happen to like my job and the people I work with so I just try to refrain from writing about it/them.

In case you don't know, I work for a small family-owned business. We are a distributor for a major oil company and we distribute gasoline/fuel as well as oil to various businesses in the Atlanta area. A large portion of our customer base happens to be gas stations -- we don't own the stations but we do have supply contracts with them. Therefore, when a customer calls in to Major Oil Company to complain about an experience they had at one of the stations, those complaints get funneled down to the distributor level for response. One of my jobs happens to be responding to those complaints as they come in. Some complaints are valid, but most are not.

For instance, today I had the pleasure of responding to a complaint from a lady who had bought a pair of shoes from one of the stations we supply. I'm totally serious. This one was mild compared to some of the things that I see. I'm not sure who has the job at Major Oil Company of sifting through these complaints, but I can pretty much guarantee you that person spends much of their day in laughter!

As I said earlier, some people do have valid complaints and in those few cases I do my best to resolve the matter with the station in question. However, most of the time the general scenario is this: someone gets upset with the station attendant for something random, the attendant and the customer have words, the customer usually insults the attendant (and shockingly admits to it in their complaint) and then contacts Major Oil Company to say that the cashier didn't treat them right. I'm not even kidding -- one customer even admitted to telling an attendant to "go back to India" and then got upset that his response was "you go back to f**king India". This lady was upset that the cashier would "use the F word when speaking to a woman". How am I even supposed to respond to that?

I really just don't understand people sometimes. I think we all get upset by situations and voice our opinions/concerns to someone serving in a customer service capacity, that is totally normal. But what I don't understand is why people think that spewing insults is going to help them resolve their problem. I'll admit that I have customer service 'confrontations' quite often. (Not at gas stations necessarily ... but it usually is a retailer of some sort). The thing is, I usually win my battles with these people. I think that is for two reasons 1) I am reasonable with the person 2) I am never rude to them. Why is this such a hard concept for others to understand?

Thanks for reading my little rant. Shim and belly updates are forthcoming. Maybe even a sneak preview some of the nursery decor....

6 comments:

EquisBuffy said...

I think everyone gets the concept that it's easier to catch flies with honey than vinegar, but some people just live to complain. I feel your pain. I also have the joy of dealing with complaints at my job; unfortunately I hear it more from my nitpicky employees than I do customers. One of the girls that reports to me once asked if I could ask another person that reports to me to eat his lunch elsewhere because she can not stand the smell of french fries. Ahhh, gotta love it!

BWL said...

sounds like she might have been pregnant EquisBuffy

LOL

Josh Zobel said...

People always ask me to leave when I pop open my pork rinds.

Jewell said...

Sometimes I eat pickled pigs feet but it was pointed out that is actually cannibalism.

Arlene Zobel said...

People get on to me because I am on the Taco Bell diet. I just tell them that it ain't going to be pretty for me to get down to my ideal weight of 475 lbs.

SoMi's Nilsa said...

I worked in auto claims for less than a year and heard my fair share of insults. Just like I think officers of corporations need to work the "front lines" in order to really understand how their company operates, I think everyone should have a customer service position at some point in their life. Not only will they learn how to effectively deal with other people, they'll also learn how ridiculous they look when they don't.