Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Politeness

Today I have an interview for a new job. If I succeed, I'll move up in the world: from a survey-taker to a pizza deliverer. I'm excited for the transition, though many would see both as crummy, low-paying jobs. For me, I've been struggling with maintaining my cheerful nature while talking to about 1,000 people a day, at least half of whom are cussing me out for calling them.

Now I do think that survey systems are set up to call people too often, too late in the evening, and the surveys themselves are written poorly in repetitive ways, but none of those things are controlled at all by the people making the calls. We are people who resorted to this job after searching high and low for other, better ones, but were unsuccessful. People who just want to pay their rent.

All this to say I've been thinking a lot about politeness. My coworkers have decided that when people are constantly rude to them, they return in kind. A polite tone lightly veiling snide remarks is the norm.  It's even encouraged by our superiors, to keep up our moral.

I decided personally not to engage in such tactics. I figured out that I believe when the world around you has become rude and mean, that is when remaining kind is the most important.

That thought carried me through to today, where I am on the verge of leaving the calling cubicle, hopefully for good. So goodbye, people who enjoy screeching into phones and cussing out people you've never met. Hello hungry people who are glad to see me.

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