I spent an hour yesterday on the phone with our credit card provider. It was exhausting, time-consuming, and, sadly enough, completely unproductive. I had a typical busy Monday; full of optimistic plans to knock out my task list before I could retreat to my wife, dogs and Star Trek immersion therapy. In my estimation, the call to the credit card company (whose name will remain anonymous), should only have taken a few minutes. Was I mistaken! In any normal setting the wasted time alone would be enough to send any human being over the edge. However, on top of that pain was the realization that after I got off the phone the very issue I called about was not resolved. Though I was frustrated at the waste of time and unresolved issue, I found myself uncharacteristically calm. What made this circumstance so different from other confrontations I have had in the past with incompetent or otherwise unhelpful support people? The service representative was so nice. She was empathetic, calm, likeable, and almost vulnerable…someone that you would never want to attack.
I almost would have rather she had been rude, disrespectful, or condescending; I could then focus my frustrations on an individual, not my resultant circumstance. Then, my wife showed me a rerun of a Saturday Night Live skit where Jimmy Fallon plays Nick Burns, a computer support staff. Unlike the endearing individual that could not help me at my credit card company, Nick Burns is very helpful but condescending and rude.