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Kindness

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.  



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15 comments :

Maggie said...

I just love this! What a great reminder and so very true. I know I struggle with this at times, but praise the Lord for second chances :) Love the sweet pup picture too!

Not sure I've commented on your blog before or not, but please know I've been praying for you and your family.

Melissa said...

Oh AMEN. Seriously. Tricare really messed up Spencer's insurance after moving from one zone to the other, and treating them with respect on the phone really made them go above and beyond…so important :)

Janelle Vannice said...

YES. This. It's so true! I always try to speak to people the way I would want to be if I were on the other end. I hate when people yell at others, ESPECIALLY when the problem wasn't their fault. Not cool.

Kirstie said...

I'll be honest. I recently struggled with this and did lose my temper. I did apologize at the end of the phone call which could have been very easy for me to not say anything at all But it id to lose your temper. I am not perfect at this especially when it was my fourth time calling in a week and the phone calls were always an hour long I did snap. There is no excuse for it But I am human. I would just throw out there if you do get upset just to remember to apologize that also turned the whole conversation around. When I should have been nicer in the first place. But mistakes do happen. Ok I'm done rambling now ha

Jen said...

Oh that photo is beyond amazing!!!

The Life You Love said...

I completely agree with you! You never know what kind of day someone has had, and you should always make an effort to be kind. Great example and message!

Bailey Kay said...

Great post. I have a whole new respect for customer service representatives after working in a call center for 3 months and working retail. I think everyone should have to work a few months in these types of jobs, then no one would be rude anymore!

Ashley said...

You are so right. I've always tried to be very nice to people, on the phone or in person. You never know what kind of a day they are having. It can also be hard when you're on the other side and having a bad day. It is easy to snap at a person when they are only trying to politely ask a simple question!

Laura {happily ever} Parker said...

Couldn't agree more. So true that being kind to someone always, ALWAYS, gets you treated better. A win for everyone! xoxo

Lisa C said...

This is so true! Having worked in retail, I understand how much just a nice word can improve someone's day.

Kenzie Smith said...

I love this! You are so right. I have worked in customer service and it is so easy for one person to really ruin your day, but it is also easy for another person to make your day better! We should all remember to be kind -- we don't know what the other person has had to deal with.

bluecottonmemory said...

I'm so sorry for your loss! - and so love your grace! Insurance has become so much more complicated over the years that it's harder for me to determine what's what - but I remember being able to call and go over items - and, yes, it is so true; being kind grows kind responses (at least most of the time). Wonderful message - and adorable dogs!
~Maryleigh

Carly Blogs Here said...

Such a good message. I work in customer service and just yesterday had a conversation with a co-worker about how a customer had been SO rude to her, but when she took the time to stop and talk to her she realized why she was behaving the way she was. Obviously there's no excuse to be rude to someone, but what a good reminder to give people a chance and respond with kindness even when it isn't being shown to you.

Amy said...

yes and yes.
i have been a receptionist many times in my life and being the first line of defense people just take it all out on you. NEVER fun.
I try my best to be polite and nice and patient when i'm making phone calls, it isn't until someone becomes rude with me more than once do i loose it haha.

Stephanie said...

So true, and such a good reminder. I have to remind myself of that one the phone especially because it is so easy to get riled up especially when money is involved.

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