You are the proud face of your company, the man on the front, the boots on the ground. You are also the whipping post for every livid, fuming, pissed-off customer the company’s deep client pool has to offer. The struggle to maintain not only your temper, but a smile on your face is really hard. You get to see the darkest side of humanity, even if your job is to sell small porcelain puppies. These are struggles only customer service reps will understand.
Misleading job ads
You’ve successfully tied your two dollar tie around your neck, had your mother help you button your shirt straight and got your belt through all the loops on your pants. You are ready to get that customer service rep job, but during the interview the Truth’s ugly head rears and looks you straight in the eye. “Would you mind if some light sales were part of your responsibilities?”
You weigh the options: you’ve been unemployed for three months now. You have student loans and last month’s rent to pay. “No, I wouldn’t mind…” you say apprehensively hoping that sales are a small part of your position at the company. A few months down the line you come to realize that sales are the only part of your position at the company.
It’s like the story with the tourist that goes to Mexico for tequila and hookers - I mean tequila and hookers….DAMN IT! I mean…you know that’s what I meant, and I’m not apologizing for it, - and ended up having his kidney removed in a motel room surgical operation.
Really understanding crazy
Although a customer service position can be joyful, you meet new people, you get to help them and you can make a decent amount of money doing so. You will also be meeting the craziness that could only be a result of huffing petro-chemicals and reading Kafka.
We have all had a chance encounter with crazy. But to truly look it in the eye and try to explain to it that is not in fact Benjamin Franklin’s ectoplasm that is making its router malfunction, is a very different experience.
Obscenity is an occupational hazard
When normal people get aggravated with a situation, they usually take a few deep breaths and compose themselves. They then realize that the person they are talking to has nothing to do with their credit card information being stolen by a group of cyber-con-men in the Czech Republic. Sorry Czech Republic, no offense, just trying to make this thing funny. The thing you quickly come to realize is the fact that there is a serious lack of “normal people” in this mixed up world. How do you come to this realization? The first time you get a customer on the phone or in person that will ream you wider than that robot caterpillar they used to open the underwater tunnel that connected England with France. Elaborate analogy? If you’d worked as customer service rep you know that it is not!
It’s not all bad though, because when people are pissed they tend to become highly creative with their obscene orations, masterfully stringing together absurd personal jabs and Kafkaesque sexual situations. After all its not everyday that you are warranted the opportunity to hear: “WHAT SIDE OF THE BARN ROOF WOULD AN EGG A ROOSTER LAID ROLL DOWN? IT WOULDN’T ROLL DOWN ANYSIDE BECAUSE IT’S A F%&*IN’ ROOSTER YOU WEATHERVAIN SEXING ROOSTER PLUCKER!!!”
Another thing you come to learn while dealing with a large part of humanity at rapid turn-around rate is that humans are inherently greedy, no matter what socioeconomic strata they come from or how much money they have. You could be talking to a sweet old retired billionaire, however, when given the opportunity they will ask you for something so big in exchange for a simple inconvenience, it would hold up in court as extortion. “I had my electricity turned off for 15 minutes yesterday and it was very difficult, could I get a year of free electricity and a gigolo for my troubles?”
Yes, you will not receive your customer service rep wings until you have been threatened with your life or with grave personal injury. It just comes with the turf: amongst the throngs of civilized well-meaning people there is going to be that one person that will make you sleep a little less easy at night. The same applies here as with obscenity, they will get creative the m*therf*cker. “I WILL TEAR YOUR EARS OFF AND USE THEM FOR MOLD TO MAKE MY TEA CUP HANDLES AND THEN USE THOSE TEACUPS WITH THE COPY OF YOUR EAR FOR HANDLES TO DRINK TEA MADE OUT OF YOU PUBES, YOU ROOSTER CHEWING EGG LAYING TWERP!!!!!” Even though that threat didn’t actually have a promise of physical damage, you still have to admit it’s crazy enough to make you cringe.
Do you have any other “unique” experiences only customer service reps would understand? Let us know in the comment section below.