So I fully intend to post something of my own later, but this was a great piece. I especiallie like this phrase,
“Americans worship rugged individualism,
which is why they resent asking for help.
Americans also hate class distinctions,
which is why they bristle at being paid to help.
And it is awkward. The customer / representative relationship ranks right up there on the awkward scale. The representative doesn’t respect the customer, because they have to be paid to be nice to that person and the customer doesn’t respect the representative because they’re paying that person to be nice to them. One feels entitled, one feels put upon.
The irony is that if there was no real expectation of kindness, there might be more real kindness. If there wasn’t a script that dictated what you could and could not say so as not to offend, there might be less offence. If we weren’t all so busy trying to be corporately approved approximations of good people, we might be better people.
What if I work in a call center? What if instead of answering the phone and being politely correct at the person on the other end, my job was just to help them. My job is to make that person happie, not with the polite fiction that I care, but by actually addressing the reason they called.
It’s so crazie… it just might work.