Growing up and having to wait tables or work the register or answer the phone, I frequently had the thought of the customer pretty much, basically, rarely being right…sadly though, it was more from a perspective of “you’re a pain in the ass, shut up and get out of here!”, rather than “this is clearly a time where my reality is not gelling with your reality”.
Emotional Button Pushing
Yeah, I know, it probably feels better to act out the yelling at a wackadoo customer, but that actually shows you are following your feelings down the rabbit hole…you’re letting some idiot push your emotional buttons. The feeling comes either from your instinctive nature to protect yourself, or moreover, your worldview on how things should be versus what is happening in front of you, which is basically some seemingly entitled individual acting out the frustrations of their own miserable lives onto you because their order was not up to their “high expectations”…this coming from someone who’s self-respect has resulted in their careful wardrobe selection for the day being dingy-ass t-shirt that says “Who Farted?”
Being RIGHT is not the Issue
The point is, IT’S NOT ABOUT ANYONE BEING RIGHT. Your “right” is just your right in your own head based on your own life experiences and thoughts and ideals and principles. The way we have evolved into functional societies (or a world society) is to find enough “overlap” of beliefs in order to agree on certain principles of living with one another. And, we have done a pretty good job at agreeing on certain basic laws and rights in which to do so. But, even in a multi-society perspective, look at some of the laws in other countries or regions of the world…there continues to be large portions of what people thing are “right” that DO NOT match with what you think is right.
As a side note, I think the internet, or the information age as a whole, has and will continue to work on finding more overlap resulting in more of a whole world society…just my two cents.
It’s a Lot Easier to Disagree When You’re Not Pissed
Now, when you deal with differences of opinions with someone in a situation that doesn’t involve the energy of an aggravated customer, it’s much easier to accept that you agree to disagree. But, if you’re like me, you’ll still have a residual feeling of being MORE right, because in a sense, you are, within Your inner world. However, as hard as it is sometimes to accept, they are also right, at the same time, with a completely different conclusion, within, of course, their own world.
So, when next confronted with a customer or any other energized interaction, keep in mind, IT’S NOT ABOUT BEING RIGHT…it’s about understanding that customer thinks they are right and…do you really want to take the time to convince them that you have a different perspective on the situation, or do you just want to be more selective in picking your battles?
I know it’s hard, but remember, their frustration is not a judgment call on who you are, you just happen to be the one that has to deal with them in that moment. Trust me, 9 times out of 10, you won’t even remember or care about the confrontation within a few days of it happening…why then would you allow them to push your button over some dumb thing?…not worth it.
So, I guess it comes down to letting the customer “think” they are always right. You sneaky bastard!