Thankfully most of my friends and family are caring enough to use proper phone etiquette but I often have the unfortunate opportunity to speak with customers who could use a little schooling on what they should and should not be doing when on the phone. You would be surprised at how often these incidence happen. These calls could be uncomfortable in any situation but especially to a customer service agent speaking with a complete stranger! Here are just some of the things we are subjected to listening to:
- Using the Bathroom: Seriously, we can hear you! Especially when you flush! Please do your business before or after the call and if it is an emergency either ask us to hold or call us back. Just don’t take us with you!
- Television or Radio TOO LOUD! It is very hard to get your information when we cannot hear anything but our TV commercial going in the background. What is worse is those customers who cannot hear us either but don’t think to turn their volume down in order to hear better. I am not going to scream to compensate for your loud TV!
- Eating: Munching in my ear is bad enough but when you have a mouth full of food and trying to give me your contact information it is impossible to understand you!
- Watching Porn: Just like using the bathroom we can hear this too! Please please please take care of your personal business before calling and do not make us listen to your porn during the call. I have asked people to turn their TV down in this situation but believe me I will hang up if it doesn’t stop or I feel you are doing “anything else” during that time. GROSS!
- Baby Crying: When is it ever a good time to order something or call someone when your kid is screaming bloody murder? Please get them back to sleep, give them a bottle or calm them down before calling. Certainly do not hold a screaming child when you are on the phone because being that close to the phone that is all we can hear!
- Dogs Barking: This is basically the same as the baby crying. If your dog is trying to warn a squirrel or mail man to stay out of your yard please put them up before calling or go into another room!
- Gases: Oh yes. We do have ears and we can hear every fart and burp so cover the phone, put us on mute or excuse yourself for a moment please.
- Fighting: It’s probably not a good time to call and order a product when you’re in the middle of a fight with someone at home! We are literally the fly on the wall and know all your business now!
- Swearing: This can be both happy and angry customers believe it or not. Some just have incorporated swearing into their everyday vocabulary and will just let words fly when doing a normal order. Others get angry and the words start coming. Please realize you are still speaking to a human being and swearing is not acceptable. We do have the authorization to hang up on anyone swearing if we have asked them to stop and they don’t.
- Prank Calls: It is bad enough from the kids but as an adult grow up! Even with a few beers in you it isn’t funny to call an order line for a kitchen appliance and ask what the customer service agent is wearing. You really think we sit around in lingerie waiting to take your call? Oh and by the way, we do have Caller ID so you’re not so anonymous anymore!
I am sure the list can go on but these are the most common of the phone etiquette problems I encounter on a pretty regular basis. Just realize that although someone cannot see you they certainly can still hear what is going on. Remember our children are learning proper etiquette from us. Take care of what you can before getting on the phone or even answering a phone call with anyone to avoid an inconsiderate situation on that call!
What unpleasant things have you had to listen to while on a call?
- An Unsaid Etiquette (interactive360.wordpress.com)
- The Basics of Phone Etiquette (dallasbelle.com)
- What is Etiquette? (whatiquette.wordpress.com)
People sometimes just have no clue! In an effort to be conversational or maybe even a show of support often comments are made that just don’t come out right and can offend someone. Nothing could be worse for an already hormonally challenged pregnant woman.
I came across this article on Yahoo that originally appeared on WomensDay.com which had me reflecting on not only my own pregnancies but the times I have witnessed offensive comments being made to others. We certainly cannot control what others say and of course we can find offensive comments being made at any time, to anyone, for any reason! It just seems that those un-welcomed and uncomfortable comments are more common at a time when a woman can be more emotional and insecure. Just because a woman is pregnant does not mean she is ready to listen to other women’s birth stories. Particularly if they were not a good experience! Not every woman wants people touching her belly, especially strangers. During one of my pregnancies I actually had a woman (stranger) in the grocery store ask if she could rub my belly. Uh, NO!
Thankfully I never really got any of these comments because being a sarcastic person I am I probably would have given them an equally rude comment right back. Here are some I have heard said to others though:
- “Was this a planned pregnancy?”
- “You look like your going to pop!”
- “You really waddle when you walk now!”
- “You are really swollen!”
- “Who is the dad?”
- “Wow, you’re going to have a fat baby!”
- “It’s about time! We thought you would never have children!”
……………..and the list could go on!
Here is a list of the Top 10 Things Never to Say to a Pregnant Woman as listed in the Yahoo article.
- Are you sure your not having twins?
- Your so tiny you can barely tell your pregnant! That can’t be healthy.
- Are you disappointed it’s not a girl? (or boy)
- You’re going to breastfeed, right?
- Oh, you’re wide! You’re definitely having a girl!
- I was back in my skinny jeans a week after giving birth.
- I hope the baby gets your nose!
- Did you see the show about the baby with …(insert horrible disease here)…
- That must have been a surprise!
- Aren’t you too old to have a baby?
Oh if everyone would just think before speaking! Click here to see more of this article on Yahoo.
What comments have you experience during your pregnancy or heard said to someone else that was pregnant?
Valentines Day costs consumers nearly 16 billion dollars a year. That is almost 1.1 billion boxes of chocolates. Jewelry and dining out average 3.5 billion each in dollars spent and flowers bring in around 1.7 billion. We spend almost a billion dollars on greeting cards alone. The average man will spend around $150 and women around $75 for their significant other. All to show our love for others on this special day.
Remember in elementary school where children exchange Valentines with classmates and how paranoid you were that someone would think you liked them because of what your valentine would say. Inspecting each candy heart to verify what it said before it went into the envelope? Maybe the goal was the opposite and you wanted to profess your love for someone by reserving that special Valentine just for them and maybe giving them a few extra candy hearts too!
I think I am a bit of a strange cookie because I have never been one that was big on a specific day set aside to profess my love for someone or them for me. I think we have that opportunity “every” day and frankly getting flowers, cards or other gestures out of nowhere on a regular day says more to me then a set day on the calendar where you feel the pressured to profess your love. There are some that have expectations on Valentines day. When those expectations are not met they often become angry or hurt because they did not receive what they specifically wanted or feel they deserved. True heart-felt gestures of love should be accepted for what they are, a gesture of love. I think expectations can put pressure and stress on your significant other to “perform” and then it no longer feels like a true gesture of love. That said I understand that it is a fun day to make sure we are letting all those important people in our lives know that they are loved and frankly just having a whole day set aside to focus on love itself.
So what gift ideas are trending for Valentines Day this year?
- Lingerie (is that really for her or more for him?)
- Aroma Candles (lets set the mood)
- Music Players or Equipment
- Mood Music
- Digital Reading Device
- Books on Relationships/Marriage
- Romance Gift Basket (PG all the way to X rated!)
- Romance Gift (also PG all the way to X rated)
- Handheld Organizer
- Accessories (belt, wallet, gloves, etc)
- Grooming Products
- Alcohol & Candy
- Bar Set (so they will drink at home I guess?)
Gifts are a fun way of celebrating but they really are just material items and it is the time we spend with loved ones that shows our true feelings. Just as the Beatles song says “All you need is love”. Happy Valentines Day!
What are you planning for Valentines Day? What was your best memory?