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Cool – Not Cool: Dealing with Customer Service Employees



Giving Employees a Hard Time For Things That Aren’t Their Fault

This has always been important, but now more than ever. We’re all stressed right now. We’re all on edge. We’re all pretty frustrated. Don’t take it out on the people who are just trying their best to help – particularly about things that aren’t their fault.


Saying a sincere thank you to employees who are looking out for you.

Make a point to let customer service people that you genuinely appreciate their help. Don’t underestimate the positive impact it will have!

Don’t be this mean lady. . .

I was in the Toronto Air Canada re-ticketing area along with around 200 other people displaced because of weather delays. I’m lucky enough to be in the “short” line for business class, and only 4 people away from the counter. But…

The passenger at the counter was yelling quite loudly at the counter agent, complaining about the plane delay, the inconvenience, the crowds, the Easter bunny – everything. The agent was fantastic – patient and empathetic. After about four solid minutes with no end in sight, though, the grumpy old man side of me broke though.

Me: “Excuse me, but I don’t think it’s her fault.”
Mean Lady: (turning with surprise) “What?”
Me: “I’m pretty sure that none of those things are her fault. She probably didn’t cause the snow-storm, create the Air Canada ticketing process or fly the plane. She doesn’t deserve to be yelled at.”
Mean Lady: (yelling at me now) “I have the right to yell. I’m going to be six hours late because of this stupid airline.”
Me: “Oh, so this nice lady has already reticketed you?”
Mean Lady: “Yes – on a flight that gets me home six hours late!”
Me: “Ah. So to fix things, you felt the appropriate thing to do was to ruin the day of a nice person trying to help us, and make everyone else in line ten minutes more late with your narcissistic rant. Is that it?

The mean lady said something very rude to me and stomped off. The young guy behind me chuckled and said, “there’s 200 people in this room. You know that’s going to be on YouTube by morning…”

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