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I think I’ve grown wiser as I’ve grown older, not that I’m old, because we all know that 60 is the new 40, but, as a Baby Boomer, I’d like to share some pearls of wisdom I’ve learned along the way.  I’ll try not to lecture or rant but you’ll notice I’m not without fault, so please bear with me.

The pearl ~ Bearing with/through someone/something.  We’re not all perfect, you’ve heard it before, but tolerating life’s annoyances is one of those lessons you should learn. 

You can skip over this pearl – but you may not be able to skip over the dim-bulb of a person you’re speaking with when trying to straighten out an issue on a bill, a dispute with the cable company, or anything having to do with a utility company.   

Yelling, speaking faster, speaking over the person, cursing, or threatening may help, but both you and the CSR will doubtlessly have high-blood-pressure-headaches at the end of the confrontation conversation.

The advice ~ When, after you’ve chosen what language you’ll be speaking, you’ve punched in all the numbers asked of you, and you’ve waited for 27 minutes or they’ve responded so quickly you’re unprepared and still gathering up the paperwork you need, you finally do reach a human, do not speak first, wait – wait until the rep acknowledges you.  Jumping down the rep’s throat will not help.  You should have been taking advance of the wait time by doing your taxes – duh.

  •  Do not utter a word to the CSR until they ask you for information. 
  • Right here, right now, you’re allowing them the time to bring up your account, giving them a breather so they can collect themselves from the previous obnoxious caller, providing them with the time they need to focus on your call and on your account – which is what you want after all.

After a few more formalities, the rep will finally ask, “How may I help you?”

This is what you’ve been waiting for: your opportunity to “bear with them.” 

  •  Immediately ask the rep what they need to know about your issue from you, then ~
  • Wait for their response, then, and this is the hardest part of all,
  •  Continue to allow the CSR to run the show.

Yes, I know it’s giving up control when you’re the one with the problem, but keep in mind, that the  rep is probably sitting in a boiler-room, cheek-to-jowl, with a million other rep’s, staring at a blank template on a computer screen, when all the rep is doing is asking the correct questions to get the answers , to fill in those blanks.

 While at the same time, the CSR is wondering why you can’t give just them the info they need/want, in the precise and prompt manner they’re requesting it, so they can process the form, sort out the problem, and then move along to the next caller who’s been on hold for that 5 to 9 minutes of wait time.  (Holy crap – was that a lecture or what?)

Now, if none of this works to your satisfaction, just ask to speak to a supervisor and this time, you take the breather, and try to start the entire process over again.   

Anyway, fill in the blanks correctly and you’ll pass go; incorrectly and, take it from a me, you’ll be put on hold quicker than a New York minute.

 Learn to bear it and I never used the word GRIN!

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