Make no mistake. The devil is alive and he owns The Phone Company – a proper noun in this case to represent the full spectrum of these service providers around the world. If you pay for land-line/mobile phone service, regardless of where your birth paper was stamped, you have been stabbed with a pitchfork at least once.
As I regarded the two imps regurgitating “blah, blah, can't help you..” and “wahh, wahh, it will cost you more money..”, I took a deep breath and remembered that I was in their position once.
I was a green 19-year-old when I got my first full-time job... at a phone company. With basic customer service experience from holiday retail jobs and a smile, I was at the mercy of the citizens of Trinidad & Tobago. The view wasn't always pretty from the other side of my desk. People get crazy when you stand between them and the thing they want. (Re-read the first paragraph if you don't believe me.) Needless to say, the security guards on duty became my closest allies.
But, I loved my job and was good at it. I listened (to the sad stories, lies, pleas) longer than I needed to; explained (head office policies, bills, payment plans) in as much detail as I could; connected (with eye contact, a kind word, or simple hello). Eventually, I was providing service and building relationships.
That was 11 short years ago, and now that I'm primarily on the receiving end, I feel like today's customer service is like the nice dinner with no foreplay before the slam-bam. Maybe I got out just in time... before I got jaded.