Monday, April 12, 2010

A new week

Something I never understood is how a person in a position to offer customer service could possibly treat paying customers with the utmost contempt. Last week, however, I saw it happen. One of the men who works for a competitor of the company I work for treated me very poorly when I went in to rent gear from him. (We rent from the competitor when we don't have all of the equipment a client needs.)

The first day I found it quite annoying, but it was only his second week working alone in the office, so I gave him the benefit of the doubt and let it slide. Anyone can have a bad day. However, he must have had a bad week, because every day I went in there (and I went EVERY DAY), he made it clear that he didn't want my money or my business.

It got me to thinking, what would the world be like if I treated other writers or potential agents like that? As a matter of fact, other writers have treated me like that (as I've written about briefly in other posts), but even the smallest writer, agent, or publisher should be treated as a potential business partner. Plenty of authors and agents have blogged about this topic, I just thought it was worth repeating after last week.

Personally, if I develop any kind of business reputation, I want it to be along the lines of, "That guy really knows how to work with you, and even when he disagrees, he's polite about it." I'm not perfect, but I never want agents or publishers to call me a jerk behind my back. Yes, to an extent I do care about how I'm perceived, and I do want to be liked, but that's not why I want to have that reputation. It's because I DON'T want people to dread working with me out of an obligation, the way I had to deal with that guy last week. It made me physically ill to think that I had to talk to him AGAIN.

Happy Monday!


  1. Not only is the behavior you describe rude - it's also bad business. Sometimes you don't have time to go out of your way to be nice, but there is always time to be polite.

  2. Unfortunately, I don't have the authority to decide whether or not we rent from them. The people who DO have that authority don't WANT to rent from them, but they know that it's one of the only ways to provide gear for our clients within their and our budgets.

  3. if you think in terms of "customer service", we are all in that business ... our tool for that business is how we interact with others at large. i.e., writing, barista, checker, receptionist, musician ... I hope you realize that's what we were trying to teach you as you grew up ... you were in customer service & your tool for that was a monitor board, pipe & drape, microphones, & now you've chosen your own tool (writing/blogging)