Friday, June 01, 2007

Whatever Happened To Class

Sometimes I just cannot understand other people. Any of them.

I don't know if I've mentioned this before but the company I work for has a high turnover of staff. The size of our Facebook group will attest to that. Sometimes the team I’m in works well together, and sometimes it doesn’t, it just depends on the type of people we have. Right now we have a group of people who seem to be getting on with the jobs ok-ish but God they drive me bonkers. No this isn’t going to be a “I hate my colleagues” post. I’m just using them as examples.

Working for a customer service department is never fun. But it’s better than just working in a call centre. I used to do that job. One of my pet hates was having a customer come on the phone and before they’d say hello, they go “I’ve been on hold for 5 minutes! It’s appalling”. I’d apologise but in my head I’d be thinking “How rude. Doesn’t this customer know I’ve not stopped answering calls all morning. And by adding that statement they’ve extended the wait time of someone else by 5 seconds.” Ok actually I was thinking “ARE YOU FUCKING CALLING ME LAZY???” but you know what I mean.

It’s just rude, unnecessary and pointless. Want to make a complaint? WRITE A LETTER! It’s just the correct thing to do. Phone complaints are pointless!

Anyway… back to my story… some of my colleagues go through to our suppliers who, unlike my current company, can’t seem to answer their phones in less than a year. And the first thing they say “Sheesh, I’ve been on hold for a long time”. Then they are surprised when the supplier is reluctant to help and is rude. No matter how long I’m on hold I will always make sure I politely greet the person who answers the phone, after listening to their greeting. It’s manners. Simple manners. My mother didn’t need to teach me these, as they are pretty simple to understand. If you are nice to someone else, they are more likely to be nice to you. Things are done more pleasantly, and problems occur less often.

But what really annoys me about this is the customers have an excuse for being rude. 1) they tend to not even bother to contemplate “manners” and 2) they have money on the line. I’m not saying these are valid excuses, but at least they try to have one. What excuse does a customer service agent have for being rude to a customer service agent? I’ve heard my colleagues talking to call centres for personal matters and, again, they have no phone manners whatsoever. I just cannot fathom it.

Whatever happened to class? Everywhere I look no one seems to give a damn about anyone else, nor about living a nice, peaceful life. People I meet seem to CREATE stress for themselves. They anger far too easily, they talk to others like they are pieces of shit. They treat service personnel like personal slaves (which means the money I pay companies goes up to pay for their STUPID QUESTIONS to be answered and their selfish needs attended to. Annoying).

Am I the only person who worries that people behind me might need to get past, that standing in the middle of a walkway would not be the best idea and that the absolute worst thing that could ever happen is for someone to think you had been rude to them.

Because I’m polite to people, but not overly friendly, I get all sorts of special things. I get credit at shops (that don’t do credits). I get my orders seen to before anyone else (for instance I am sometimes forced to tell the bakery lady that the people in front of me should be served first). I get loud Hellos and Goodbyes at most of my regular haunts. I couldn’t tell you these peoples names. I don’t speak to them beyond Hello, Can I have and Goodbye. But because I’m polite and never cause any problems (i.e. have my money ready at the checkout, bizarre!) I get treated like a king! Sometimes I get my food orders free. How about that! It doesn’t take much effort, in fact it takes considerably less effort than causing a scene.

I’ll never understand other people.


  1. This comment has been removed by the author.

  2. Hear hear Jae!

    I know ten years ago we all shared things with our neighbours but even just now that doesn't always happen. People stick to their own groups and outside of those groups nothing, emotions, manners, etc tends to matter.


    PS. Your blog has been part of my daily ritual for a couple of months now, cheers, :) keep it up.

    PPS. Whoops too fast typing -- deleting my password from the first comment.

  3. Thanks for reading Joshua! I really appreciate a comment every once in a while!

  4. Fonda Cox1:52 pm

    Hello Jae

    This is the first time I have visited your blog and I really enjoyed your post entitled 'Whatever Happened To Class'.

    I find that as a well-mannered individual that people comment on my approach, as if it's something extraordinary. This is such a shame nowadays, as manners cost nothing and take seconds to apply.

    I'll be back to read some more soon.

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