Thursday, December 13, 2012

Entitlement: One man's mission, several people's pain

I'm an emotional guy, but I tend to think that I'm as grounded as I can be in this new world. I grew up and still live in Nebraska, for all its good (nice people and community mores) and its bad (constitutionalist hate for non-traditional marriage, lack of non-secular support systems). Around here, it is just understood that people have to take responsibility for their own actions, and work together to try to live.

Two days ago, a customer came into my store (DISCLAIMER: I work for a wireless carrier, but this is my own story, no personal information) and said that his kids broke his phone and he asked me what could be done. He just bought the phone 5 days ago, and the glass on the front was shattered. I started to explain that there would be some cost to replacement; he took to giving me a dirty look. I stated that there were places in town that could repair it cheaper than what insurance would charge for a deductible. As I went to ask for his phone number to verify insurance, the customer then proceeded to tell me that he would be calling Customer Care in order to get a new phone at no charge. He then called me a "f#*$ing fat-ass" and told me to replace it because he could get Care to do it, so I should just do it anyway. Bully tactic.

I called his bluff. This guy was only planning to use intimidation to get what he wanted. He knew that Care won't replace broken phones without charging retail. This guy said he wanted to cancel after I said that I would not replace a broken phone without charge, hoping I would change my mind. My response was to ask for his phone number and ID so I could get him his account information, which he could take to a competitor if he felt that my pricing was too much.

This guy screamed that he was calling Care and asked for my name. I told him that he could call Care, but he would have to take his call outside after insulting me. He walked out and came back in while on hold, twice, spewing profanity and insults at me. At this point, I told him that if he came back, I would call authorities to have him removed.

After it was over, my manager and co-worker there said I handled it well: no swearing, only raising my voice to ask him to leave once. Never got his account information, so I had no way of putting a note on the account to warn Care what this guy's attitude was.

The last thing he said before leaving was that we "don't provide good customer service" and that "my son just learned what happens when you don't take care of your customers". This guy, screaming, swearing, and threatening with body language had his three or four year-old son with him the whole time.

This guy felt entitled to get what he wanted, and when he did not want to hear what the reality was, he threw a tantrum. Nice job to show your kid that tantrums don't help you get what you want, sir.

Now that this story is over, the big thing that I learned is that entitlement is an excuse to try to act like a child that doesn't have the mental capacity to try to work out problems. This guy thought that he was entitled to get a new phone for free even though his kids broke it (which makes it his fault). No responsibility plus a calm attitude towards the situation from me set him off.

I feel really sorry for his kid. This little guy was standing there quietly, not understanding what was going on between us. He did have a look of fear on his face when his father started cursing and yelling at me, like he knew that this guy was wanting to hit me. I wish I would have captured the information about this customer now, just so I could say I helped his kid not get anger taken out on him. It was a very strong possibility with this guy.

Entitlement, anger, and a self-serving attitude bring about a lot of pain. I was somewhat in shock for at least 2 hours after that. I was heartbroken that a young boy has that kind of behavior to deal with from the man that needs to show him how to live. My other customers and co-workers were frustrated that the scene interrupted their lives.

I'm not saying that people should not ask to be treated fairly in their business. I would have done everything I can to give this guy options if he would not have resorted to the reasoning of a preschooler and verbally attacked me. I stayed calm and gave him instructions to try to show his kid how adults have to handle unreasonable people and keep everything safe.

As someone who has worked in retail and service industries since I was 12, please remember to keep any conversations civil, ask questions in a normal voice, and don't be afraid to state your position in a blunt, calm manner. If you can keep the entitlement out of it, resolutions are easy to bring out.

Sunday, November 18, 2012

Thursday, October 18, 2012

Charlotte Anne Gainsforth

It's finally time. Charlotte is here! The journey to a new life is always one of waiting, concern, and joy. This time around was relatively smoother.

  • We have two kids already
  • Tammy is built for being a mom (child bearing hips, as the saying goes)
  • We are later aged (I'm 37, she's 40)
  • Not much has changed in the last decade
The best pictures of her will be posted on my G+ profile and on my Flickr account.

There is a lot to talk about, so I'm going to start, after I get some sleep!


Tammy and Charlotte meet

Tammy and Charlotte meet by krisguy
Tammy and Charlotte meet, a photo by krisguy on Flickr.

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Sit and Spin

I forgot to bring my anthology for my African American literature class today, so I worked on a quiz for philosophy. Now I have time to clear my thoughts.

I love the phrase "clear your thoughts", but a more accurate description should be "resolve my issues". When someone makes the commitment to do more than one "career style opportunity" (school, second job, parenting, etc.), time becomes the most valuable commodity ever. Most people don't really think about time unless there are obligations to meet.

As my life unfolds, I have to think of everything as an obligation. I'm a diabetic, and I have to make the obligation to myself to take my meds and to eat proper meals. As a parent, I have the obligation to make emotional connections to and command respect from my children. As a husband, I have the obligation to support and to be a partner to my wife. As a student, I have the obligation to learn and perform my studies at the best of my ability. As a rep for AT&T, I have the obligation to help my customers to the best of my ability. That's a lot.

I feel like with all this obligation, I'm in the middle of a centrifuge, expelling out what I can't live without. Extended family, friends, sports, video games, social media; all have taken a hit. I'm at the point now, though, that diabetes management is starting to slip my mind, and this cannot happen.

I want to get back into the routine I was at last year. I know that is not going to happen. My "thought to clear" today is how I get from where I am to not dreading diabetes management, talking to my wife or kids, or dreading work.

I love my family, I know I have gained a bunch of weight back, and I do love my job at its core. How do I also make myself happier so I can do the others easier? This is my question of the day.

Sunday, July 15, 2012

Updates......where are the updates?

So much for blogging every day. That went over like a balloon filled with mercury. I am working on getting back into the swing of things with school, which started last week. I didn't realize that taking a literature class and philosophy at the same time should not be allowed by federal law.

I'm going to have to do a lot of writing and reading for these classes, so I might be less apt to try to come up with a cohesive thought on this blog. I have one teacher that seems to assume that if you write less than 300 words for an assignment, you don't understand or didn't read the work.

I still plan on using this blog, just not as much as I hoped. Please continue to follow me on Google+ and Twitter. I think that I'm done with FB, except to watch what my son does.

Thursday, July 5, 2012

my table in the AM

my table in the AM by krisguy
my table in the AM, a photo by krisguy on Flickr.

A blog a day

When it comes to writing skills, I'd say I'm pretty good. I know I have a way to make complicated tasks boil down to simple analogies. I thrive in positions were "technical support" is part of the job description.

Like any other skill, writing is a "use it or lose it" proposition. I keep trying to tell my son Alex that if he doesn't write at least 2 times a week on summer break, then getting back into the flow when school starts will be harder.

I'm going to heed my own advice.

Starting today, a blog post every day until my surgery on Friday the 13th (Note: I just now realized I'm getting a vasectomy on Friday the 13th. Let the superstition nuts start talking). I think the easiest thing is to do reviews of things I use when I don't have more passionate topics.

Here's to new beginnings. If you have something you want me to opine on, tell me on G+, Twitter, or e-mail me at <mynick> at <mynick> punto commercial domain.

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Dealing with death, and why I'm not any good at it - RANT that rambles

My grandmother passed almost 2 weeks ago. I don't know why, but it took almost 2 weeks for the funeral to happen. I guess it took that long for it to sink in on my end also.

All I saw in my life was the end of my school quarter, and my work schedule that was very long because of my bosses both being on vacation at the same time. I pushed it aside to try to keep going so I could make it through.

I broke down today.

I saw all the Facebook posts on the funeral and lost it. Left work, went home, ate, and cried myself to sleep lost it.

I feel like a bad person for feeling caring for another family member. I guess my mother's plan of detaching my feelings for family members because they can hurt you the most worked, until today.

She says she didn't do it, but I know that it is what she had to do to endure her mother (not the one that died, my dad's mom passed). People have to learn to deal somehow, and I never did, because I thought it would be better to learn about the stuff I am into, like computers and electronics.

I need some help in figuring out how to deal. Only 3 people so far have given me advice, a former co-worker, Loren Feldman from 1938media (our convo here), and my wife, Tammy. Condolences are nice, but I need more help to get it all out or move on, I'm just not sure which way to go.