Tag Archives: Positive

Perspective is Everything

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Today my truck blew a tire while Bestie (my friend and roommate) was driving it.  It was a front tire, which on these sprawling country back roads could have been a recipe for disaster.  She didn’t lose control and was not hurt.

When she called her boss to say she would be late, he came to change the tire for her only to find out that my spare was damaged. While she was waiting a gentleman stopped to help.   Even though she and her boss had to get to work, the gentleman offered to go get a tire and put it on the truck while she was at work, letting her know she could pay him back when we have the money!

The gentleman was a local pastor and he had given her his business card, she in turn gave him her work number.  He called her later when the task was completed, apologizing because he could only get a new tire and it was (only) $50!

In the meantime, Handy Husband’s car blew a belt.  Because he had the money I gave him to pick up pizza, he had enough on him to purchase what he needed to make the necessary repairs.   So he and the co-worker he gives a ride weren’t stuck an hour away.

It was a really great day when you think about it…  How’s your day going?

 

{{{hugs}}}
Maggie

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Need a Smile?

There’s nothing more heartwarming than to see animals or babies playing without a care in the world.  To witness such a pure spirit and take in that energy is a true blessing.

{{hugs}}

Maggie

32 Inspirational Quotes To Create Change!

Happy Holidays-2

I’m always looking for positive inspiration, I think the world is filled with enough negativity already.

I found a fellow blogger named Jeffrey I. Moore who puts together the Everyday Power Blog.  Let me tell you, he’s putting together some great stuff to keep us lifted and inspired.

Here’s a link to his latest, it’s entitled 32 Inspirational Quotes To Create Change!

It’s a timely piece because we can all get so worn down during the holidays.  Sometimes we need that extra lift to keep us going.

Jeffrey has inspired me, and I hope he inspires you too!

Call Center Confessions or How To Be A Good Customer

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I have a confession… I have a day job.

I do over the phone technical support for a major cable, internet & phone provider.  This is the second company I’ve worked for doing this kind of work.  Prior to that I ran a chain of retail stores, worked in several hotels and before that I was in restaurants (server, hostess, bartender, cook, dishwasher, manager).

I know customer service, inside and out, from both sides of the phone/counter.  I have worked both at home and in a call center (so not fun, it’s also a giant Petri dish for sharing bacteria, colds, viruses, whooping cough, etc).   Like you, we come to work in all weather, in sickness and health, etc.

I enjoy my job and most of my customers.  I have the privilege of having conversations with people all over this nation and enjoy it immensely.  That being said however, there are two reasons for the incredible turnover in this industry; the first reason is poor employees and the other is bad customers.

Now before you roll your eyes and chew me out, please know that I’ve had my fair share of poor customer service experiences as well.  Yes, there are people that should not work with the public and believe me when I say they do get weeded out fairly quickly.

Here are some things you may or may not know about the faceless employee on the other side of the phone:

Call Time

We have a “handle time” or “call time” that we are required to meet as employees.  For my current employer it is 15 minutes, meaning I have 15 minutes to get your services fixed or schedule a service call.  If it seems like I’m rushing you, I apologize, I am trying to get to the heart of the matter as quickly as possible.  I want to resolve your issues and I don’t want you to have to call back.

Call Backs

Some companies view it as a sign of poor employee performance if you have to call back within a certain period of time to deal with issues, mine included.  The vague statistics that show on an employers reports about how many times a customer has to call back does not reflect that you weren’t home to troubleshoot, you couldn’t verify security information on your account or that you’re late for a dinner date and wanted to end the call before your issue was resolved.  It gets held against the employee regardless.

Courtesy

We’re not allowed to tell you no.  So that means when you ask if we mind while you can put the phone down to talk to someone else in the home, feed the dog, deal with your kids or answer your cell phone, we’re obligated to let you do this.  Please don’t take advantage of us.

Information

We are required to verify certain information on the account before we can help you.  I apologize if this is frustrating for you, but it is for us too.  The quicker we get through this, the quicker we can resolve your problem.

Troubleshooting

You are our eyes and ears – we can’t see what lights are on, what your TV says nor can we hear the sound that your DVR is making.  Yes, I need you to unplug that cable, push that button or read that label.

Use common sense & don’t waste your time.

If it says “press the C button or call this number”, please press the “C” button before calling in and spending 25 minutes on hold just for me to tell you to press the C button.

If you cannot boot up your computer, this isn’t problem with your internet service, it’s a problem with your computer. Please take it to be serviced.

If your TV doesn’t turn on, the company providing you with cable service is not responsible. Contact the TV manufacturer, a a TV repair person or purchase a new one.

If you only have one phone in your home and no dial tone, it may be a problem with your phone.  Purchase or borrow another phone to test the line before calling if you can.

Satellite dishes actually receive their information from satellites in space that orbit the earth.  If you are in the middle of a storm and can’t get a signal because of cloud cover, please wait for the storm to pass.

If there is snow on your satellite dish that is keeping you from getting a signal, clean it off or wait for it to melt.

If I have to tell you that you’ve reached the wrong department, while I empathize with your frustration, not allowing me to get you to the correct department isn’t helping to correct the problem you called about.

Scheduling

I know your services are urgent and that you’re paying for them to work.  So is every other customer.  Residential technicians do not work around the clock.  I am not their supervisor, nor do I have control of their schedule.  When scheduling a service call, I am given a list of available appointment times that I can use.  I cannot override this or write my own.

If it’s Saturday night and I can’t schedule a tech to come to your home until Monday, that means there are no open appointments before Monday.  I’m not trying to make you suffer.  Treating me badly does not open the schedule up nor does asking for my supervisor.  He or She has no control over the schedule of another department either.

Telling me how much you pay for your service monthly does not give you privilege over every other paying customer.  Our rates are the same for all customers.  If another customer called before you did and it resulted in the scheduling of a service call, why should you get to go first, because you’re yelling louder?  If you wouldn’t do this while you were standing in a line at a retail location, please don’t do it here.  It’s the same poor manners.

You get what you pay for

Please don’t scream at me because you run a business out of your home but don’t want to pay for business service.  I understand that when your service is down you could be losing money and/or can’t work. However, if you choose to save money by only paying for residential service, then you will need to wait for a residential technician.  If you want business class priority, then please be willing to pay for business class service.

Don’t hang up

Most of us have a scripted call closing that we are required to tell you to close the call, please allow us to do this no matter how cheesy it may seem.  Not only does it allow us to do our job as dictated by our employer, but this also affords us the time to finish documenting your account appropriately and close it correctly.  From the time you hang up I get 30 seconds before the next call.  No typo there, 30 seconds.  It’s not much time to get things done properly which is why we prefer to do it while you’re still on the phone.

That’s also why sometimes an agent/representative may seem a little harried or short when you first start talking to them, especially if we just came off a bad call.  I’m not making excuses, just explaining the nature of things.  While you shouldn’t have to be affected by our last call, it’s hard to switch gears from a bad experience to a good one on only 30 seconds.  Give us a chance to catch our breath and get the information we need while we’re still waiting for your account information to load on our computers and I promise I’ll make it worth your while.

So what does this all come down to?

  • Have your information ready, know your phone number, have your account number handy and be willing to tell us whose name is on the account.  I’m really happy that you and your spouse are in a great relationship, sadly other people aren’t and we need to make sure you are authorized to access the account.
  • Speak clearly and recognize that we may be entering in your information, please don’t go so fast that you could be confused for an auctioneer.
  • Unless you’re calling about a billing issue, please call from home and allow time for us to troubleshoot together.
  • Turn down TV’s, radios, etc, don’t yell over them.
  • Do not have me on speaker phone.  That’s okay while you’re waiting on hold but when you connect with an agent/representative please do us the courtesy of a direct conversation.
  • Get your children settled, calm screaming babies, barking dogs, etc.
  • Do not answer other phones.  You are on a business call, please regard it as such and call your spouse/child/friend back when we’re done. Just as you want our undivided attention, we prefer yours as well.
  • Assess the situation before you call.
    • Is this a problem on one TV/phone/computer or all of them?
    • Are multiple services having issues?
    • If there’s no power going to a device, is it plugged in?  Does the outlet work?
    • Follow the prompts on the screen and do what it tells you to do before calling
    • If the automated message says you’re part of an outage, listen to the estimated restoral time and wait for it to be resolved.  An outage is the result of a local or regional physical issue, which is either a construction or network technician issue.  Troubleshooting equipment in your home will not create a better outcome no matter how willing you are to do it.  (If a bridge is out, you can’t fix it by looking under the hood of your car.)
  • You called me for help because I’m the one with the training and expertise, please let me do my job.

And of course, have you tried turning it off and on?  🙂

{{hugs}}
Maggie

Using Social Media for Good Instead of Evil

A lot of pain has come out of social media.  MySpace, Facebook, Twitter, YouTube… teasing, jeering, gossip, arguing.  You know what I’m talking about.  People who have been turned into chum in a tank full of sharks.  We all know it, we’ve all seen it and possibly had to remove ourselves from it at some point.

I personally (unfortunately) know of one person who left a suicide note on her MySpace page, the same has hit the news for people on Facebook as well along with people that have committed suicide because of treatment that they received on social media as well.  But there’s good that happens too which shouldn’t be overlooked or lost in the stories of all the bad.

As you may know I’m a huge fan of positivity, doing service and helping others.  Sometimes we just can’t see how we can help or know where to start but sometimes the little opportunities can have the greatest impact.

One such group is Grateful Doe… https://www.facebook.com/GratefulDoe  Originally dedicated to one persons pursuit to locate the identity of a young man who lost his life in 1995.  He was in a car accident and sadly all members of the car died.  Family and friends of the other passengers & driver were able to identify everyone in the vehicle except him.  As such, it is believed that he was hitchhiking (possibly to or from a Grateful Dead concert).   More information on Grateful Doe’s case as well as many other unidentified persons can be found at https://identifyus.org/en/cases/6095.

Since it’s inception, Grateful Doe has picked up almost 1600 followers on Facebook (myself included) and they put out information about various other cases as well.  It’s amazing to see this information pick up speed and get shared across the Internet.  No one should be in their final resting place as a John or Jane Doe and no family member should still be waiting for a knock at the door.  I encourage you to check them out and share what you can.

I’m also a huge fan of adoptees putting out requests looking for birth parents.  What an amazing way to get the word out and when other search options have failed.  In addition, what a simple way to help someone.  Clicking “share” on a picture literally takes seconds but can truly change someone’s life forever in a way that most of us can’t even dream of.

I’ve had a rough time this past year and have really had to look to keep a positive light going.  My friends have really been there for me through this and it’s been comforting to have have those people around for me at a moments notice to talk when I needed it the most even when we couldn’t be there together in person.   Which brings us to Jenni.

Jenni is a dear friend of my roommates.  She’s a single mom of one child (who was fortunately out of the house) whose quick thinking and faith in her online network of friends helped in a most desperate of situations.   This is her story in her words and she asks that we please pardon the typos and such, she’s still in a state of shock but was compelled to tell her story

Facebook saved my life

October 9, 2013 at 2:01am

   10/6/13 2am, Amber and her children were visiting me. Love all them soo much. I know I am not the best with kids but she tells me if I’m doing OK or too “ADULT”. Which I appreciate, never would I want to be the Evil Lady with no soul. lol. She packed up went home. Now alone I was getting ready for bed . Washing off make up, changing clothing. The Bathroom is at the opposite end of my long Ranch house. Wearing bra, undies  I went back to my room to get my facial cleanser. Noticed phone, money and a few other items missing. Things were moved glanced at the bathroom used just as a make-up/shoe area the window and screen wide open. The door was half shut. Saw what appeared to be a man thru the hinged crack. I didn’t let him see any emotion. He would know he had been discovered. Pretending I was just doing normal activity. Really praying to find my phone, slid my laptop under the foot of my bed. No way to get help, one of my closets grabbed a sword, dagger, taser. Unable to obtain the firearm which always locked away in a safe without him noticing . Put the Dagger and taser by the laptop on the floor. Grabbed  facial wash while singing. Holding the long sharp blade against my leg concealing it as much as possible. Walked out my bedroom or really getting to a spot where I was unseen.

   Im not violent but knowing I soon would no longer be able to appear “clueless” I had to defend against a stranger whom most likely didnt value my life. Hopefully unseen thrusted the blade in the hinged side of the door. Door began to close. I attempted to pull the blade out . Hearing him struggle, curse words, still unable to see my Enemy. Feeling him trying to obtain the Blade somehow pulling the sharp steel while I held the wood tugging. Refusing to allow some coward run me thru with my own sword. I’ll be Damned! He let go I fell back.

   Quickly revealing himself gun in hand and a rather large slice down the length of his right forearm. Dropped the sword. I watched blood cover him and my room. He grabbed a tee laying around still pointing the gun while wrapping the wound I afflicted. Cursing. yelling demanded me to the floor. Of course I obeyed. I spoke advising he needed about 15 stitches  On my knees wearing a bra and undies watching him fumble curse threats of a violent death. Scared?  Uhh hell yes. Grabbed my neck forced me to the floor.

  The Fucker scrambled for valuables searched for anything he could carry. He kept me still and quiet with his threats. Only chance I saw was FB on the laptop. I previously shoved under bed. Posted “Call 911. my address. man in house HELP. NOT A JOKE”. Hoped any of the hundreds of friends would pay attention. Thankfully, I think Marc Clark and a few others called 911, told all they knew. Facebook was my only hope. Putting faith in a social network to save my life was a shot in the dark. The dagger and taser were no match for a gun. 

    The Man now focused his hands on me. Choking me out while touching etc. Spot lights we glaring thru the windows. Panic struck the man making him clumsy fearful no longer in control. The man raised from the floor, released his tight grip. He grabbed what he could ran, jumped thru the window where his misguided journey began.

   Breathing felt ever so good. Stumbled for the sword and ran out the front door. Lights glaring, Black and white surrounded me. Raining naked my knees buckled . Unable to understand, if this was a nightmare. Strong arms lifted me covered my freezing shaking body. Questions, at the time was unable to recognize as English. Half conscience, Shock but ALIVE.

  I could be more graphic. Some details are better left for my therapist. Traumatized ? who wouldn’t be. I’m strong. A friend or 10 friends said before this incident “You’re a tough cookie”. regarding a different obstacle. Which proved them right. As for the end when it comes to bare naked fact, Facebook saved my life.

Imagine being home alone and like many of us with just a cell phone and no landline, and the intruder had already gotten their hands on her cell phone!  She had the presence of mind to use Facebook to put out a message to call 911.  She lived to tell the tale and because of her decisive actions and the assistance of those who saw and responded to her online plea, police were able to arrive in a timely manner and not only help her but capture her assailant.

I can’t help it.  I like it when the good guys win.  That’s always worth sharing.   {{hugs}}

 

 

Maggie