Benevolence, where art thou?

Someone once said “The customer is always right.” and according to Google the credit for said phrase goes to Harry Gordon Selfridge. Which definitely sounds like a very fancy, trusting motto. But no matter how good or pleasing it sounds, it is in truth a very wrong idea. I volunteer for a support position in my spare time and to be honest more often than not, the customer is rude, uses offensive language, has no patience, and cannot ever be truly pleased. While at the same time you’re patient with them, courteous, kind and giving, and provide polite and respectful replies to their arrogant and ignorant insults.

This is not me complaining though. I am not sure if I have gotten used to it by now, or if I have mastered the art of ignoring what’s being said from their side and focusing on what comes from my side, but while I used to feel bad because of it in the past it now gives me no worries. Someone, might be one in a thousand, will be kind, patient, and grateful for the help you give them and that one single person will remind you why you do this, that one single person will prove to you that not all is lost and there is indeed still hope in humanity.

If we’re being honest, Earth’s population is more than 7 billion people, and it was a very long time ago that we could generalize statements about people, it can no longer be done with that amount of human beings. Maybe at some point the customer was indeed always right (read: maybe a long while ago working with that motto might not have been a horrid idea), but with so many customers nowadays we cannot say that now. It seems like our communities are progressing, technology develops rapidly, constructions start and finish quickly, and all around we’re growing. Or at least our communities are. On the other hand we keep going down as human beings — less working, less reading, less art in general, less showing emotions toward each other.

As a kid growing up, I was taught to be respectful toward others, especially elders. I was taught to be polite toward any authority, including those running their own businesses. I was taught that the world does not revolve around me, the world has its own agenda and I need to find my place within the world. Now it seems kids are taught to be mean toward others, they’re taught to be rude toward any authority, and especially to be disrespectful toward elders. It appears they’re taught that they’re the center of the world and everything should happen as they say it should. But I am not generalizing here, while this is common for the majority of the kids I will say there are exceptions and I’ve got all the praise in the world for their parents.

With so many people, it should be obvious by now that making a child is no wonder. Raising a human being is where wonders happen or collapse. If you’re one of those people who believe the world’s creation took place so that you can be born, please make sure you do not pass on that attitude to your offspring. Because sometimes support does really try their best and just because they cannot process your request in a timely fashion or at all, it is because they truly cannot.

And I can’t digest the fact when people ask for the manager when they can’t get what they want. You’re not contacting a wizard, m’lady, you’re contacting customer support and where assistance can be provided, it will be. Who do you think told me to do or say what I did, a little red devil on my shoulder? Everything one does is because the manager told them to do that. So you don’t call on the manager unless the support person isn’t doing their job, meaning if they’re being rude or not helpful at all. But their job is not to please you, because they can’t work wonders. Their job is to assist you if they can, to direct you elsewhere if they know where your request may be fulfilled, or to inform you that your request is simply not possible.

If the customer could be patient, respectful and polite, and actually state their case rather than go crazy, throw insults left and right, and demand to have the world cooked medium raw and served on a golden platter, then the customer would be always right. Because if you’re willing to work with support they can try their best to help you. If you’re not willing to help they’ll have to spend more than half their time trying to calm you down, and in the process nothing would get accomplished. Just a crappy day for all parties involved — I can’t figure out in what twisted mind that sounds like a good thing to anyone.

So if you can, when you can, show benevolence to others. Be kind, be nice, be polite, be respectful, be good. Others won’t be, in general, but every once in a while you’ll come across another soul willing to help just because, with no hidden reason or secret benefit, and once you meet you’ll feel the world collide within you. Nothing fills one’s heart like the selfless kindness of another person, and we need to start spreading that on a daily basis.

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2 comments

  1. The Customer is Always Right is what a manager once wrote to me in an email & he copied my manager at the time.
    I called him out on it & then some.
    Oh – how I told him (nicely & in a professional manner – of course).
    I never heard a peep from him again.
    People need to just be respectful & mind their manners. Lots of people feel entitled or spoiled & become brats if things don’t go their way…
    Ha -see what you’ve got me started on? LOL
    Disrespectful & rude people suck!

    Like

    1. LOL! Anyone who has seen people throw tantrums when things don’t go their way can likely relate to that. The customer is whatever he/she chooses to be, but quite often they decide to be jerks.

      Like

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