I realize that I am very negative sometimes, and you all might already have the impression that there's nothing about my new job that I like. You might think that I still hate people ... and you're right. But not always, and not all of them. Some of them I even like and want to give special treatment to.
Problem is, in the restaurant, it was easier to give stuff to the people I really liked. I knew the tricks, I knew how to weasel discounts and free food or drinks for people who were actually nice to me. At the call center, it's a lot harder, because someone can always be listening and they keep a record of all discounts given. I'm really not allowed to give somebody something free just because they were nice .... although sometimes I do.
I had a woman yesterday who just wanted to do something simple, correct a simple mistake in her installation -- so something that was our fault to begin with. Unfortunately, it was something simple I wasn't authorized to do, and Frat Boy had fucking run off. I ran around to different supervisors trying to find someone to set up this incredibly simple thing, and by the time I found someone, and got it set up, the woman had been on hold for ten minutes and the total call time had been almost half an hour. And she was so sweet about it, kept saying not to worry -- even though I could hear her kid hollering in the background and this was taking up way more time than it should have. I gave her several free movie certificates, just for being nice. If someone was listening, they'll probably scold me for giving things away to someone who wasn't upset, but freaking hell, the woman had the patience of a saint.
Another guy called in this week wanting to restart his service, which required paying a month ahead of time (one of those pay-as-you-go customers). When I told him the amount, he said he had exactly one hundred dollars and said all he wanted was a certain set of channels, and asked if there was any way to make that happen. So I made the changes .... and it was $101.50. Removing a dollar isn't a big deal, but I know a lot of my coworkers would've basically told him he was out of luck.
Then there was the lady last week who called in to lower her bill because her fiance had been hit by a truck and killed. I nearly started crying because I could tell she was barely holding it together. And yeah, people lie and maybe she was faking, but I don't think so. She had just recently added insurance, which normally has a cancellation fee, but I removed it and waived the shit out of that. Then I gave her half-price on a bunch of stuff and tossed in another ten bucks a month off her bill for six months. I felt good about myself because I managed to save her a whole bunch of money without actually affecting her service.
We have service plan that includes six different channel groups. Every couple of days, I'll get a call from someone who I noticed has five of six. I fucking love it when I see that -- because the price for 5/6 is the same as the price for 6/6! So then I get to give them something absolutely free, not a limited time offer but actually just free, and that always makes people happy.
Tonight someone called in wanting to get four more televisions in her home. I found a way to get her better equipment than she'd actually asked for, plus an upgrade on something she already had, totally free, no installation fees, no selling her soul for four years, nothing sneaky at all about it -- and totally in line with the guidelines. Her bill was going to go up by a pretty substantial amount for the extra televisions, but that was going to happen whether I got her the better equipment or not. But she didn't bitch about it at all -- in fact, when I told her the amount it would cost her to get programming on eight different televisions, her response was "that's pretty good!" I liked her so much I gave her half off one of her services for a few months. If QA was listening they'll scold me for offering it when she was already happy, but I was having a really fucking shitty day and she was so damn nice I wanted to do anything I could for her.
And it's not that I'm looking for praise or anything, because this is something of a morality tale. The common thread to these stories is simple: they were nice to me so I was nice to them. When I asked for account verification, they gave it to me. When something wasn't quite what they wanted, they didn't scream at me. When I asked questions, they answered without sounding like I wanted their left kidney. They said please and thank you. And to me, in these shitty times, that deserves a reward.