Ponder this:

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Happy talk

It's nice to talk to people in far away places. 

I often engage catalog call center employees in conversation. Had a long and enjoyable conversation with a woman in Oregon several years ago. We knew each other's life stories by the time we hung up. Poor call center employees probably talk to some surly people; it's fun to joke with them, ask where they are, talk about the weather. I like to think I'm improving their days as I am mine. They probably think I'm crazy. Are they wrong?

Last week at work a man named Frank called me from Southern California and asked how I was. "I am wonderful!" I told him. He then heartily inquired as to how things were in the Great Northeast. 
"Oh, it's lousy," I said. And then I apologized to him, saying, "Sorry, I'm well stuck in my winter doldrums." 
He was looking for information about a property in the village and had been given an out-of-date address. I couldn't find the information in my records, but asked for his phone number in case I found something useful. He ended that conversation with, "You are a delight!" 
I fiddled around and found the property he inquired about and called him back and gave him all the info he wanted, and then he advised me to tell my boss and all my coworkers that I was wonderful. When people say things like that to me, my usual response is "I do, quite frequently." 
I think in this case I responded that he should tell everyone he knows, and to refer to me by name.

15 comments:

esbboston said...

Yesterday I started getting caLLs from someone who was probably trying to speak English but I couldn't understand anything in their Indian accent eXcept maybe the word "Microsoft". I paused a few seconds, then said, "At the tone, please leave a message". I waited a few seconds, didn't make any beeping noise and then hung up. Next time I wiLL make a beep and see what they do. If they try to leave a message, then towards the end of their speech I'll say roboticaLLy, "System malfunction. Unable to store message."

DJan said...

That is interesting, June. I have rarely had long conversations with a stranger like that, but if I did, I really hope they would praise ME like that, too.

A Reader's Life said...

The last time I called customer service - don't remember what company it was - they told me they were connecting me to someone in Oregon. I almost jumped up and down.
Whatever's going on in Oregon,I say Hallelujah!

Barb said...

June - you will talk to ANYONE! Good for you for being so helpful. Wish more people were like you.

rachel said...

I'm always polite to cold callers, but firm, and get off the phone fast; I'd quite like to chat, but they are so persistent!

I LOVE esbboston's idea - I do hope we get an update!

SmitoniusAndSonata said...

Here it's often a student , working for much needed tuition money . Quite a few of Younger Daughter's friends did it . They said it was soul-destroying but paid quite well . She worked as a barista instead , which didn't ... but at least people actually wanted the coffee she was making .
So I try not to be rude , but am quite brisk .

The Cranky Crone, she lives alone! said...

How glorious!
Good for you, and for the people you parle with.

georgia little pea said...

We get Mumbai calls here very often. I'm over them but I'm always polite, say no thank you and end the call as quickly as possible. I know they're just earning a living and I bet it's tough to cold call some stranger but if I don't need what they're offering, why waste everyone's time?

Carolynn Anctil said...

It's nice to hear positive feedback and know that you've brightened someone's day, isn't it?

Rose ~ from Oz said...

I'm not very good at understanding strong foreign accents but otherwise I'm on for a quick chat!

Joanne Noragon said...

The best calls I get are wrong numbers, thinking they have reached their own town hall. I love playing Nancy Drew to figure out they are trying to pay their taxes to the wrong state and helping them find their own web site.

June said...

You all do realize that Frank called me at the office with a legitimate inquiry about a property, right? I don't spend a lot of time on telephone sales people, no.

Tom Sightings said...

I think you made the most out of your work day.

Kathleen McCoy said...

What a blessing you are, June -- being so helpful to someone who calls for information. You should be the norm, but, sadly, so many people today just don't want to bother to be nice or to take any extra steps that would be helpful. I hope your boss does realize what a valuable employee he or she has!

Cindy D. said...

I think it is great that you are able to do things like that. I would also be inclined to at least chat even if I couldn't help.

Its interesting that many readers commented on telemarketers. I worked as one for a few years, for a few different companies. I was not all that good at though because, if someone said, "not interested" then in my mind that meant, they had no interest in listening to what I was saying, so it was time to say good bye. My bosses always said I need to be more persistent. Truth is, I did not get as many sales, but my sales were always solid, where as many others backed out after having time to think about it. One rule I think that a good telemarketer needs to follow, is if someone asks you to take their number off the call list. It should be done without question. Yet many marketers I knew would get spiteful and purposely roll the number back over. Doing so gave the company a bad name. When the boss found out, those people were let go.
The worst telemarketing job I ever had was the biggest and worst scam I have ever seen. Telemarketers against telemarketing. The entire call list targeted seniors and was designed to charge them 259.00 to protect their banking information which had recently been "circulated on line" (a lie) then they were sent a packet they could have gotten for free. I quit after 2 days once I realized what was going on. Then I reported them. They didn't stay in business long.

Now when marketers call, if it is a real person I try to be personable, but usually cut it short by asking to be removed from the list. I hate the automated ones!