When Parental Passion is Interpreted as, Well…Rude.


I know I am not alone in saying that customer service, in many cases, is a necessary evil. The people who work the phone or online are there to answer questions, help when there is a problem and hopefully solve any concerns – at least that is my definition. At times, I get a really knowledgeable and helpful customer service representative; and when I do, I personally ask to talk with a manager in order to give positive feedback. At the end of the day, the customer is always right…or am I?

Last week, I made a call that I had been putting off; the catalyst included a growing list of issues that built on one another, including a lack of response to previous inquiries, and it involved my child. Admittedly, for those reasons, emotions were high, and, when my call was met with a voicemail, I had a lot of “passion” in my voice. Working on the mindset that the customer is always right, I left the kind of message that I hoped would inspire a quick response and maybe even a quick apology for the previous lack of response.

A few hours later, I did get a return email from the company. There was an apology for how I was treated, as well as reparations made to hopefully make up for their lack of follow through. I also got something I wasn’t expecting – a reprimand for the tone I used in the phone message. I was taken aback. I didn’t swear or shout. I simply called out a lack of response to previous inquiries. Perhaps I was stern, maybe even mean. While this is no excuse, I remember thinking “if you had answered on the first inquiry, I would not be this frustrated.”

Oh boy, I am accountable for my behavior, yes. In this case, however, it involved something to do with my child. In the back of my mind I wondered if my behavior will negatively impact our child? I intended to get some information that would help my child, and only called when multiple emails and voicemails went unanswered did my tone change. I thought at that point, what do I have to lose? Did it take me getting “mean” for them to take my questions seriously? Does it need to come to that?

I guess if I am honest with myself, I was kind of mean in my message. They wer

e true statements and said from a place of passion, but probably not all appropriate. This illustrates the point that people will say things in email, voicemail or text that wouldn’t be said to someone’s face and that really isn’t ok. I don’t like that many times to get the necessary response, you need to speak over the noise to be heard.

I don’t think I would be giving this a second thought expect for the fact that it could eventually trickle down to affect my child. After reading the email, my brain went right into damage control because of my fear of repercussions against my child. Perhaps, I am worrying over nothing but in the meantime, I will think twice about how I speak with customer service on the phone from now on. In this Zag Zig life, there are new lessons to be learned daily.

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© 2017 Kori Reed and Mike Becker. All Rights Reserved.  |  authors@reedimagine.com