TheTAZZone - Internet Chaos

Obsession with Principle

I work in an office for a very large telecommunications company, and my job as a manager is to field customer complaints. What that means is if a customer has a complaint and that complaint cannot be resolved by the front-line agent for whatever reason, and that customer wishes to escalate to their manager, which would be me, I deal with the customer at that point.

So as you probably already figured out I deal with all kinds of people, all day long, with all kinds of issues and complaints. Some are very upset and even in tears, some are outrageous, some are vulgar, pretty much every type of emotion I encounter on a daily basis. This is not a job for the weak of heart. Sometimes customers get escalated to me for no other reason than the agent cannot handle the emotional impact.

I take none of this personally. That helps me to do my job. Many times the issue is so slight that it could have easily have been handled by a front-line agent, but the customer is so upset by the issue that the agent pro-actively escalates. Normally I try to sympathize with the situation because more often than not the customer has had a bad day, or a bad week, or a bad month, and just wants someone to yell at.

What I don’t sympathize with are the ones that escalate over some piddly reason like a $3 price increase, or some 99 cent charge and say ‘ it’s not the money, it’s the principle ‘. As a manager I treat all customers with respect and consideration, but in my heart I just want to reach out and bitch slap them. Going to war in WW2 was a matter of principle, running into a burning building to save a child is a matter of principle, showing up to help a friend move even if you don’t want to just because you said you would is a matter of principle, taking your kids to the park because you said you would even if your not feeling well is a matter of principle, bitching over 99 cents is NOT a matter of principle it’s a matter of stupidity.

To waste any portion of your day over 99 cents is ridiculous. Time has value. What is your time worth? My time is worth at the very least, the very very least, minimum wage. So am I going to spend 40 mins of my time on the phone to collect 99 cents, no. I wouldn’t even pick up the phone for 99 cents. I’ll bitch for 20 seconds, because that’s all it’s worth, eat the cost, and move on with my day. If the store over charges me for an item, or rang through something twice by accident, and that item is less than $10, am I going to call and complain and then go back to get my money, no. Why? Because my time has value.

I’ll bitch for 20 seconds, eat the cost, and move on with my day.

( image courtesy of )

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