You’re fired!

Have you ever wanted to fire a customer??

Yesterday, when I was at work, a customer hung up on me. That was after 20 minutes of calmly listening to her scream at me.

Is the customer always right? Thank God she is a small customer that only calls on us about once a year. She didn’t understand why some products have variable prices. She explained to me that if she was being charged $15, then she shouldn’t have to pay more than that. I explained to her that in some instances, the price is variable because we have to pay more than what we are charging. Unfortunately, this happened to be the case in her situation. We were asking for less than we would have to pay.

So she said terrible things to me about how stupid I was, how I didn’t know what I was doing, etc for almost 20 minutes. Even though I have been doing the same thing now for almost a decade and she was calling me asking for help. Then she told me that she expected a call back from the owner (my husband) and promptly hung up on me.

All it takes is one customer like this to wreck a good day. It made me wonder if all of the hard work of owning a business is worth being treated this way at times. It really wears me down after awhile and burns me out. It takes away my joy and motivation. I know I should just let it roll off of me and for the most part I do.

Having this business has changed me, hardened me. I often see the worst of people. I don’t like people. I don’t trust what they say. I feel restless and bored. I lack compassion in order to protect myself from caring too much. I fantasize about retirement, having money and living on the beach in a warm climate. Seeing the world, sailing the world.

Encouraging words are few and far between. I saved a handful of emails over the years from clients that thanked me for helping them and told me how much they appreciated all that I do for them. These clients are the real treasures, the ones that motivate me to keep on doing what I do. There needs to be more people like this in the world!

How hard can it be to be nice to someone for a few minutes? Be a jewel and not someone that everyone hates talking to. Thank God the irate client is an infrequent customer and not a family member! How could you live with someone like that all of the time??

About a half an hour later, the irate customer called my employee. She spent another 20 minutes complaining about the $15. Seriously, we had a lot of work to do. Our time that she took was worth a lot more than the piddly $15 that she was complaining about paying. Maybe we’ll have to assess a difficult customer fee. Lol. Although I wouldn’t want to be the one that has to explain those charges!

I hope I don’t have to take anymore calls from that customer or anyone like her in the near future. It’s so frustrating. She was challenging my patience and composure. I just wanted to yell, “You’re fired!!”. But I am too nice to do that even to a competitor.

Something good did come out of the situation. My employee complimented me on my ability to keep calm and professional throughout the trying customer service call. It sure did take a lot out of me though.

Well, I had better get back to work…the phone is ringing!!


Spring feverish

I feel crabby. 

Work was busy and my employee didn’t come in today, or yesterday for that matter. Her sister’s dog died over the weekend. So I stayed at the office a couple of hours later than usual to catch up. Add in a staff meeting, fitting in an hour workout, finding time to vote, and having a sick child makes me feel crabby. Accuse me of having a lack of sympathy, but I could have used an extra hand at work today.  

Business owners have to drag their ass to work when they have a sick kid, when they are sick, after having a baby, after having major surgery, after a death in the family, etc.. I check my work on the weekends, on vacation, heck even right now. Sometimes I am tempted to check my emails during church. I know, what a sinner!
This summer after Angel graduates she will be working for us until she goes to college. I plan on teaching her everything I know. She has a great mind for business. Alex is great with computers. Arabella is incredible at sales.  My future employees live in my own house. We’ll see. 

Some days work is slow and at others times I can barely keep up. When work is busy, there are tons of customer service emails and calls. I am great at what I do, but sometimes I get frustrated. Sometimes I have to deal with difficult customers that are upset. I am good at diffusing angry people on the phone. It just seems like I get nothing done. Yes, we suck, now can I please get back to work?? LOL. Or my favorite is when people ask when the work will be done but I can’t get to it because I am answering tons of questions about when it will be ready. We have great employees and clients, but some days when work gets bottle necked I feel stressed. 

I printed out my son’s assignments from school before I left work, then forgot them there. I realized this after I took my shoes and jacket off. Then I sped back to the office in the blowing snow to pick it up. Yes, it is cold and snowy again. A couple of weeks ago we had two days of sun. I had forgotten how bright it was. Since then it has been cold, rainy, or snowing. Thankfully, we have an office close to our house.

I think I have a case of spring fever! This is always the hardest time of year. It sure is a lot easier being at work when I don’t want to be outside though.