The past 10 days have been an incredible learning experience for me. I have learned a lot about myself and other people.
I have been thanked repeatedly, cussed out for no reason at all, asked if I could transfer a caller to a man because he doubted a woman could help, cried on, built up, torn down, harassed, felt triumphant, been humbled, learned a lot, made some mistakes, been accused of not understanding English, told people exactly what they needed to know and told people news they didn't want to hear.
I have dealt with Americans who are so angry at the government that they want me to somehow transfer them to the top of the food chain at the FCC or to President Obama himself to make a complaint. I have spoken with the kind hearted who sought me out so they can compliment the agents who walked them through setting up their converter boxes and channel scans. I have spoken to people who don't care what I have to say, they just want to say their piece and vent to someone about "me" taking away their TV. Some are irate, some are frustrated, some are grateful for the help we've provided, but they all call because they are having difficulty with the change in broadcast signals.
It's interesting how something like this really indicates our truest basic nature. I believe that it is how we choose to react to the worst situations that makes us who we truly are, and the reality is sometimes not what we expected.
One caller decided that the only way to get what he wanted was to scream profanities at and belittle one of my agents until the call was reluctantly transfered to me. The caller acted as though we were trying to keep him from receiving his TV signals. He thought that he would get a "better" answer the higher up the totem pole he went. He behaved appallingly, and still got the same answers. If only he had been willing to listen.
One brazen woman accused one of my agents with an accent of "taking away American jobs." I wish I had been on the call to explain that just because someone doesn't sound like you does not mean they are not an American citizen. The agent is an American, but it shouldn't matter. It makes my blood boil that a caller would feel it is her place to say something hateful to a person who is helping her, a person she knows nothing about.
Shame on you, voicest woman!
On another occasion, one poor man was having a difficult time receiving channels at all because he lived far away from any towers and his home was surrounded by a thickly forested area. He was frustrated, but he was nothing but courteous to the agent trying her best to find a solution to his problem. I remember him distinctly because it was so refreshing to deal with someone who was actually nice.
I think now more than ever, in our "instant gratification culture," it is becoming more rare to see people with a little patience, a little empathy and a little self control when it comes to things that don't go our way perfectly.
I don't necessarily mean this be about me wagging my finger at some people who were screaming curse words so loudly into the phone that the receiver was vibrating in my ears; but rather about me taking a step back to examine what I've been learning from this situation and sharing it with those of you who read this.
What do you think?
Are people today so absorbed with what they're going through that they can't (as it was so aptly put in "Mary Poppins") "see past the end of their nose?"
What will be in store for our future if all we ever think about "me" and what's mine?
Oh, and of course, I am happy to answer any questions you have about the transition. ; )
Here's some key websites:
You can find almost everything you'd need to know on here and there's new updates all the time.