Thursday, August 30, 2007


*Warning: Rant Ahead*

I hate people who are impolite. I just cannot stand it when someone is rude. Sadly, in my line of work, I have to put up with it all day.

People are so angry sometimes, for no reason, with people in my office. And then five minutes later you get a badly written apology about how they were having a bad day etc. If there is anything worse than being irrationally angry it's apologising for being angry afterwards. You shouldn't have been angry in the first place if you subsquently feel the need to apologise. I desperately wish I could write back saying something like:

"Whilst I appreciate the apology you have given, I find your rudeness to be quite unforgivable. There is no reason to get angry with a stranger over nothing and that kind of behaviour is shameful and unacceptable. I trust you will bear this in mind for the future.

Kindest Regards


Oh, just writing that down makes me feel better. All I hear is others giving these people the benefit of the doubt saying things like "It's the heat of the moment." "Everyone gets angry sometimes". Well I'd beg to differ. The only time I have ever gotten angry (as in on the outside, not internalised anger which is a constant) with a stranger is when they have done something so singularly rude to me I cannot avoid confronting them. It just goes against everything I've ever learnt about public behavior to shout at someone "because you're having a bad day".

And then there are the awful people on the phone who you have to put up with just to get their business. I really dream of finding these people, standing up to my full height and then verbally laying into them about their rudeness, their superiority complex and their obviously awful parentage.

Oh well.. shame I'm too well mannered to follow through...


  1. I have to deal with customers to get work. If I don't come across as anything less than wonderful to them - I wont get hired.

    It's a shame that this kind of system can't be extended to customer service reps who often have no incentive to bend over backwards to help customers.

    This leads me to say, I never get arsie or rude customers on the phone because I'm 100% committed to making their phone experience with me better than anyone else's. I make sure they don't want to shop elsewhere.

    I firmly believe customer rudeness is often a product of poor customer service. Some people are almost goaded into being angry by a firms inefficiencies and idiosyncrasies.

  2. Actually I've come to realise most customers rudeness is caused by OTHER companies idiosyncracies. The amount of times I have to deal with rude people who suddenly shut up because I bend over backwards and refund them in full or send them something expensive for free (I've been known to send out fax machines free of charge to make them happy).

    That is what makes me so angry... these rude people take out their issues on me, when if they had just been polite to start with they might have gotten EVEN more from me (I'm happy to give the nice people I have to speak to, thankfully I only have to deal with 1 or 2 people a week now!, EVERYTHING they could desire, yesterday I gave a lady £500 on a £100 quid order because she was unhappy but polite)

    Your line of work is a lot different to working in an office customer service environment (and I envy you for that!), the customers you deal with are after something they desire. My company it's something they (or worse, their boss) need. This makes them unhappy at the start of the call before you even get to speak to them and it's just plain wrong.

    Even on sales calls to me at home I am always conscious of the need to be absolutely polite at all times. I just wish the general public had the same standards.

  3. You would love me. I need to set up an account with you. I like free things for being nice. Similarly if you was nice to me (which I have no doubt you are to everyone) - I'd be asking for your full name so I can write to the Managing Director and tell him or her what an asset you are and how you deserve to be paid more than them.

    The thing that horrifies me about customer service is, my sister tells me they have time limits they are allowed to be on a call to avoid getting chatty. I'd hate that.

  4. Although I'd love to introduce time limits on calls (as some people take one call an hour leaving everyone else to pick up the slack... grr..) there are no timelimits, no sales targets, no rules really at my company.

    The company philosophy is to WOW the customer. Each agent has the power to deal with the issue in one call, and do whatever must be done to solve it.

    That is why I get pissed off with the customers, because with us they have no excuse for their rudeness...

    But that takes me back to my original point... No one has an excuse to be rude EVEN when they do have an excuse.

  5. Last Baron11:35 pm

    Hello, Jae

    I agree with James' last paragraph - customer rudeness usually is the direct result of poor customer service or company policies designed to fleece customers.

    A wonderful recent example was a flight of mine on Ryan Air, whom I will NEVER fly with again (and secretly I hope all of their planes fall out of the sky at once!).

    That company stands as a paragon, a beacon in the world of terrible customer service and basically is nothing more than a mechanism designed to pluck extra cash out of every customer with hidden fees and other tricks, which are carefully hidden in small print under those large lurid luring offers of low prices.

    Still, that gives no one carte blanche for rudeness, I must agree with you. Am I perfect, have I never sinned in that temple myself? No. I've whinged, whined and moaned a great deal myself.

    But unfortunately for you and the rest of us working in the customer service sector, in most organisations it's the "squeaky wheel that gets the oil" and until the service sector is really turned around to where there is no real reason to complain anymore (and we all know how likely that is to happen), we're stuck with rudeness, venting, whinging, whining, moaning, bitching and more...

  6. When I had to deal with angry people on the phone (and there were lots of them) I took out a 3-minute egg timer I kept in my desk and set it going.

    I figured if I couldn't resolve the problem in three minutes, no amount of listening to them rave was going to get anywhere at all. At the end of three minutes I asked them to stop and I would call them back in the morning..."I need some time to help you."

    Next day when I called them back they were usually calmer if not totally recovered.

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