The 20 Words That May Just Save Your Butt

I wonder if Customer Service should be renamed Customer Serve Us?

My wife and I went grocery shopping last weekend. For me, grocery shopping feels a little like going to the dentist: Get there and get through it without too much drooling. When I go to the dentist, he is the one that smiles. He just made $200.
When I go to the dentist, he is the one that smiles. He just made $280 and I drooled all over his pants.

We managed to get what we needed and just as we are about to leave, my wife checked the bill. We were overcharged by 2 bucks on my favorite Kashi Go Lean Crunch cereal. The price tag says $9.98 and the till charged me almost 13 bucks! That’s a day of labour in some countries, all for a stupid box of cereal?

Customer Service was slow, but they agreed that we were overcharged. Because of our hassle, they gave me the whole box free! But the best part came when the woman apologized.

I think the Customer Service department is the toughest job. Everyone goes there when we have a problem and we need it fixed, Now! Groceries are melting and temperatures are heating up. All that heat confusion makes for volatility.

I wonder if Customer Service should be renamed Customer Serve Us? Customer service is not just for businesses, it should be everywhere: our Marriages, our families, our schools, our workplaces and our grocery stores. Some people have the attitude that everyone needs to cater to their needs. Inconveniences are cause for anger and demands rather than decency or a little flexibility. Facebook is one of the worst places where people unleash their stupidest stupidities.

On March 24, 2015 I posted this on Facebook:

I think that Facebook should be renamed ASSbook for some people. It seems that the longer a particular discussion is carried on, the more their brain cells leak. I quote an article I wrote after interviewing Jay Scott, “Some people seem to lose fat cells and brain cells at the same time. Gaining a high level of fitness makes them lose touch with reality a little.”

SAD. It is not only superfit people who are losing brain cells, our collective brain cells are leaking in the Customer Service department.

According to the Oxford dictionary, the English language currently has about 600,000 words. If you have an average vocabulary, you will use about 12-20,000 words. Really smart people use around 25,000 words. This means that even the Smarties out there only use about 4 % of our available Net Wordth! (From my post on Mental Health Stigma is Really Just Undiagnosed Verbal Illness)

We don’t need a lot of words to create decent relationships, a respectful workplace or a better society. By my count, it will only take about 20 words. I give credit to my parents for teaching most of this my brother and I. We managed to become decent people, mainly thanks to our folks (See my article on Lessons from a Saskatchewan Boy for more on this).

The 20 Words That May Just Save Your Butt

Please and Thank You – The basics, but I cannot tell you how hard it is to teach your kids just to say these four words. Please and Thank You are like Salt and Pepper. They should be used everywhere.

Excuse Me Interrupting others is really saying that what you need is more important than what they need. Will it kill us to wait for a minute? We could meditate for 60 seconds, count sheep, hum or practice an Inner Ninja routine (whatever that is, go for it). When we wait until the other person is focused and when we say excuse me, we show respect for both of us. A habit of talking over other people is like being a verbal bulldozer. It is just another way of saying that my needs or ideas are better than yours so I will bulldoze you. If you are like that, go post on your ASSbook.

I’m Sorry and How Am I Doing Now? It is easy to say I am sorry, but it takes balls to ask for feedback on how we are doing. Some of us will use Sorry like reverse permission. We say sorry after the fact, but it means nothing because we meant to do it and we’ll just do it again. But when we try to change and ask the other person how we are doing, we communicate that we are serious about it.

Good Idea! Acknowledging when others do good work is seeing them (I took that from the movie Avatar, where community members greet each other by saying, I see you). Many people live unacknowledged lives. We long to be seen by another person. I get it, acknowledging that we really see another person takes time. We need to ask questions and understand them. We are all busy and it can be hard. I admit, I get busy and I don’t always take the time to see the people around me. I need to improve this because people notice when I notice them. Without seeing, there is no sight.

What I need from you is… Now we finally are ready to ask for what we need. (I think a lot of people get this reversed. Ask first and then figure the rest out later.)

If you are reading this, you get it. I am not saying anything new or particularly wise. Really, the 20 words are not all that special. You can say them any way you want. The actual words don’t matter, what matters is the spirit behind them. It is about being a decent human and treating others the same way. Is that too much to ask?

If you like this post, you may like my post on The 8 Words that can Keep Any Conversation Going.

Keep it real

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