Saturday, December 11, 2010


Do you say please and thank you?

Or do you raise your voice and answer the recorded questioner impatiently, finding yourself getting angry with the voice?

Are you ever rude. when you've been put on hold and then, put on hold again by the phone company, or TV cable people?

Do you ever lose your temper, I mean, get really angry -- snarky with a sing-song, snotty voice that's just a voice, not the management -- it's just a not-very-bright underling telling you no one can help you with your problem?

I did a blog, 5/15/09, praising myself out loud, hoping my blog readers could learn from Em's politeness-principles, how to reach out to people.

I said:
I mean it when I say 'thanks,' or 'glad to meet you,' or 'I appreciate your help.'

I wrote:
I usually make small conversation -- 'your diction's good' -- 'you seem to know all the answers to my questions' -- 'have you been working here for long?' Or if person's hard to understand -- 'what country are you in? India? The Philippines?'

I explained:
I always thank the techies. And try to express my appreciation in a spur of the moment, fun way. Making contact with strangers in rooms in other parts of the world I'll probably never see, -- it's a way of spreading kindness, friendship and PEACE all over the world.

Yep, the idea of making contact with strangers seemed important.

Uh huh ... Yay for me! But nowadays I'm impatient. I am not exactly rude but I sire ain't bending over backwards to be friendly, cheery.

I've got too many things that require fixing, updating, repairing, or replacing. And dammit, the phone people/the helpers seem incompetent.

And I'm not cheerful. I feel not good about the state of the world, about people in faraway countries. I sense that no one in the world these days, is comfortable, safe, secure -- disease is rampant, new wars are imminent and we're already fighting two, and people I like are changing.

Even the ones who aren't race-prejudiced are turning against the President because there's a general trend -- to question, not to trust, to double-think each major or minor everything -- should we switch to nuclear energy? should we find a way to punish Korea before Korea turns into another Iran, which is vaguely like Iraq ? All this to spread democracy in those two countries plus Afghanistan, that doesn't work for them?

Yay, Democ's okay, but gee, I don't like the stodgy faces of the Repubs -- the new old guys sitting in the seats in congress -- over-fed, semi-rich-men spouting theories so cluttered with cliches that it's just lumpy, cheesy residue clogging my ear.

Hey! Okay! I am done with this tirade!

I am going to smile, not frown! I am going to say please and thank you and speak in calm, nice-lady polite, thoughtful , friendly-lady tones to delivery guys, help lines, and my dear old friends.

Uh oh ... It sounds like a New Year's Resolution ...

Well, if it is, I won't let it melt away, disappear, as resolutions do. Gonna keep that smile string around my finger no matter what. I'll accomplish more that way!


Carola said...

Being nice to people always helps - and makes one feel better too. I think this must be a Frankel tradition, because I was brought up to always be gracious and nice with helpers on the phone and such.

Linda Phillips said...

I did that yesterday at CVS, told the woman in a nice way that what she was suggesting was both unnecessary and too much of a hardship for me.

I smiled and wished her a happy holiday, but today I will be calling her manager to let her know that, once again, this "biatch" was highly upsetting to me and also too damn lazy to do her job! If she worked for me, she would have been canned ages ago.

Kevin Daly said...

I've been on the giving end and receiving end of this sort of thing. It's very difficult when you're on hold or dealing with a ridiculous recorded machine not to take it out on the first live person you encounter. Ultimately they're not the ones who are causing you agita.

Years in customer service, I have been yelled at, called names, been told I was incompetent for following management policies, etc. A lot of them you just let go, but there are some where they stick with you. I try to think of those experiences when I'm on the other end (and boy is it hard...)

The Peacock said...

The electronic device is the major cause OF much of our anger. The frustration they inspire.This frustration might then spill over into our interpersonal relationships at worst, do personal damage at best. Our forefolk didn't have such annoyances, dealt with each other and damn sure better have learned coping skills. I cuss at this computer alot (*#$(^%) while typing. It seems to have a mind of it's own, stealing copy, sending it off before I'm ready. I'd like to think that such frustrative "exorcism" might be good for the psyche, but in reality is really only an excuse for boorish behavior. Out on the streets I make it a point to thank and praise when appropriate. You're never fully dressed without a smile. Emily, I don't feel a need for resolutions on your instead your heart. We all know you do!

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