I recently had an experience that opened my eyes and got me thinking.
Story time: As many of you know, I had surgery in early December following my miscarriage. Being that this was my first surgery, I was naive to all of the bills that would be pouring in over the coming months. Thankfully we have really good insurance, but that didn't stop the hospital for making all sorts of billing errors and insurance forms getting mixed up. I've had to make multiple calls to my insurance company, and they have always been SO incredibly helpful. I was confused on a couple of items I was being billed for, so just to be sure, I decided to give my insurance company a call. The woman that answered gave me a quick, exhausted, and fairly rude "hello, what can we do for you?" I politely explained that I had a couple of questions on my recent bill and was hoping someone would go over each item with me because their team was so helpful last time. Yall, the woman that responded was like a whole new person. She instantly was so kind and really went above and beyond to help me.
The thing is, that woman had probably been yelled at all day. Customer service is a tough job because you are the fall guy. There were mistakes on my bill, but they were mistakes made by the hospital, not the insurance company. Calling to yell at the first person who answered the phone would have accomplished nothing but cause someone else to have a bad day. After I hung up the phone, I was reminded just how important it is to be nice.
I think it's fairly easy to be nice to the employee handing me my morning coffee or the mailman. You see a face. You smile at them and they smile back. It's sometimes not as easy to be nice to customer service representatives over the phone. In fact, it's really easy to be mean and short-tempered. The voice you are hearing on the other end of the phone represents the company you have decided has royally screwed you over. The thing is though, they are just the messenger. They aren't the one that messed up the bill or input your information incorrectly, but they are the fall guy. It may be difficult if you feel the company has wronged you, but showing them patience and kindness will go so far.
Growing up, the phrases "kill them with kindness" and "you get more bees with honey than vinegar" were ingrained in my brain. I can't wait to do the same to my kids. There is just something to be said for being a nice person. I have been guilty of getting cross with the phone company or the cable company when things aren't as they should be, but that doesn't accomplish anything. It just gets me more riled up and ruins their day.
So friends, I challenge you all to go out and be nice. Be patient with the coworker who is just driving you bananas. Be kind when you speak with the insurance company that's trying to charge you an arm and a leg. Be nice to that stranger on the street that looks like they've had a hard day. Kindness will go a long way, yall.
And because I like to have a picture in every post, I thought this embodied the message well. I caught Darla giving her Jenny sister a (blurry) hug. Heart melted over here.