We were instructed from our Managers that if a customer used profanity or threatening language we could hang up and not accept that abuse, but in this case the customer wasn't doing either. The way I handled it was by focusing on 2 things. First, I put myself in the customer shoe's and said to myself that I would feel the same way if I had unresolved issue and was just disconnected a few minutes earlier. The second thing I focused on was that I reminded myself that this customer does not know me personally. He is taking out his frustrations on the company, not me.
Once I was able to keep my own composure, I took steps to help the customer calm down. One of the things I had learned in that role is that no one likes to be bounced around from person to person or department to department. So the first thing I told the customer was that I was going to take ownership of the situation and make sure it got handled from that point. There was an instant change in his attitude and we were able to proceed from there and get his issue resolved.
I think the thing to always remember is to keep your composure and take the high road in the tense situations. In the work environment, the people who are yelling and screaming are looked upon as someone who cant take the pressure or as someone who has lost control. By remaining composed, you are the one who is looked at as being calm, cool and collected.
Today I work for a large global insurance company. The insurance business is not an industry I had considered previously. I didn't know the many career paths available in this business. I love my work and enjoy the challenges it affords me along with better benefits than my previous company. I am also in a better financial situation than before. Because of a tough situation, a door opened to a new opportunity I would not have discovered otherwise. Instead of running from tough situations that come into my life, I've learned to face them head on and look for the good that can come from overcoming them. Though I can't prepare for every stressful situation that comes into my life I can develop strong foundations that will get me through. Every day, in good times or bad, we can all become a better, stronger people. Look for those opportunities!
Frank recommends the following next steps:
Jenna Zebrowski, JD, MBA
When I am in a tense situation, I remind myself of a few things: 1) No one is going to lose life, liberty or limb, so keep the situation in perspective; 2) People can't argue if you don't disagree with them. If someone is yelling, or trying to argue, the best thing to do is not to respond- to be silent, or to say something like "I see" or "okay" or "oh really?" Eventually, they will stop yelling or stop arguing, and you can direct the conversation back to the topic under discussion, and 3) you can control your actions, not those of other people, so if you choose to remain calm and collected, then you can do so.
It takes practice and patience, but these reminders have been very helpful in creating more productive conversations in tense situations.
In those situations, I found it actually helps to cope with the distraction and grief by placing focus elsewhere and keeping composure.
These situations are common and can easily be positive personal news as well. However, the approach I have take has been the same.
What I WASN'T expecting was the woman going up to the front desk and causing a commotion while I was still on my shift. She started screaming at the front desk while I was organizing/shelving books in the children's section. I felt really uncomfortable because she was in a rage while I was just watching from afar. I did nothing wrong. I followed the rules and guidelines of the job and did not do anything to anger the patron or cause and problems myself.