Up Front by Emma Hart

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Up Front: Your Whining Is Important to Us

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  • giovanni tiso,

    As someone who hates customer service as much as it hates her, yet did it for three years: because most entry-level jobs are customer service to some degree or description, and it's often not as easy as "just get a job that suits you better." If you need work, you need work.

    Just for you then, here's a piece of widsom from the opening of a self-help book that somebody gave me as a joke when I turned eighteen, and that still rates as the most terrifying sentence I've read in any language:

    "In one way or another, we are all involved in sales or customer service."

    Wellington • Since Jun 2007 • 7473 posts Report Reply

  • Islander,

    ARRRRGH!

    Big O, Mahitahi, Te Wahi … • Since Feb 2007 • 5643 posts Report Reply

  • BenWilson,

    I never liked the chucking much, probably because it was too easy for me. Far rather the hitting and being hit. Half torn off callouses on the hands and feet and a chestful of good honest bruises... good for the soul.

    I'm new to grappling, most of my training is in striking. Both are definitely effective. A good strike can set up a perfect takedown. Similarly, a good takedown hits you like a very powerful strike. The distinction is starting to blur for me, strikes are towards the 'third point' and will knock people down like throws, and every throw sets up a myriad of strikes.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 10653 posts Report Reply

  • Islander,

    Aikido.
    Flow.
    Use their force to floor them.

    (It does also work in the scrum&punch&kickngouge of - say, a pub fight?)

    I am not into whacking into people (or anything else except waves - an old technique that was taught to me when I was an angry child.)

    Big O, Mahitahi, Te Wahi … • Since Feb 2007 • 5643 posts Report Reply

  • webweaver,

    @Deborah - I love that article too - it's one of the ones I found when I was googling for source material for my On being an introvert – and faking the extrovert (Part One) blog post a few years ago. That blog post (and Part Two) are still amongst my most-read posts, even after all this time.

    I like being an introvert - I can get so much done when I'm in The Zone for a start - even if people do think I'm a little crap at parties - but it took me years to realise that I actually was an introvert - I'd spent so many years faking being an extrovert - but when the penny finally dropped a whole lot of things suddenly made sense - like why, when I was a teacher, I'd been so completely wiped out at the end of each day that I could hardly speak by the time I got home.

    Being a geek suits my personality so much better, and it's so much less stressful...

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 332 posts Report Reply

  • Emma Hart,

    "In one way or another, we are all involved in sales or customer service."

    But, but, sales is the opposite of customer service.

    Which apparently isn't something they were getting from the others (or they wouldn't have made it to me).

    Part of my job involves talking to customers that none of the other admins will deal with any more because they want to scream and punch things. There are two categories of these. The first are sweet and lovely people, but either completely technically inept, or unable to follow instructions. The ones who will swear they're hitting 'submit' when they're actually clicking 'delete'.

    The second are arseholes. Or they wouldn't have made it to me. There aren't many of them, very few, but they take up... about half of our total one-on-one admin time. They lie, they're abusive, they hit on staff, they constantly complain.

    I love my job when it goes well, and someone comes to me with a problem and I can fix it. Being able to make people happy is the up-side of the job. Also being the admin in charge of policy (it's like I'm the Caliph, but someone else gets paid for being the Caliph), I get to do things that (hopefully) make life easier for the other admins. That's pretty satisfying.

    Christchurch • Since Nov 2006 • 4651 posts Report Reply

  • giovanni tiso,

    But, but, sales is the opposite of customer service.

    What can I tell you? I sure as hell didn't write this book.

    Wellington • Since Jun 2007 • 7473 posts Report Reply

  • Sacha,

    sales is the opposite of customer service

    Sadly all too true

    Ak • Since May 2008 • 19719 posts Report Reply

  • Sacha,

    I sure as hell didn't write this book

    Hoping you didn't read it too much either :)

    Ak • Since May 2008 • 19719 posts Report Reply

  • BenWilson,

    Aikido.
    Flow.
    Use their force to floor them.

    (It does also work in the scrum&punch&kickngouge of - say, a pub fight?)

    I wouldn't know. Never been in one. Nor has any Aikidoka I've met. It's not an art that appeals to brawlers.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 10653 posts Report Reply

  • Islander,

    Having frequented West Coast pubs for over a decade at an earlier stage of my life, where - just sometimes- an erstwhile friendly person
    is brainsmacked and decides to include *you* in his argument, and when you back off - like a good aikidoka- he (they were *always *he* except for the woman who tried to have a go - she got one of my teeth, I got 2 of her ribs)

    would try a roundhouse punch....wheee! They fly!

    There is an extremely practical side to aikido, and it has always appealed - since I learnt something of it waaay back - to my senses of balance & leverage.

    Big O, Mahitahi, Te Wahi … • Since Feb 2007 • 5643 posts Report Reply

  • BenWilson,

    I can imagine it's quite practical against drunks, although even more practical is backing off before the argument.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 10653 posts Report Reply

  • Morgan Nichol,

    Which assumes there was an argument to back off from. The one and only time I've ever been in a bar fight a tall young chap hit me in the face before saying a word. I hit him back far harder and he fell on the ground. There was no time for discussion.

    Auckland CBD • Since Nov 2006 • 314 posts Report Reply

  • BenWilson,

    I hear this kind of thing happens to people. Being able to fight would probably be of use at such times, although these days I'd be terrified that if I punched someone to the ground they might hit their head and die.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 10653 posts Report Reply

  • recordari,

    I've never even come close to this. Except perhaps in 4th form when there was that 'wimpy guy stands up to bully, and accidentally connects with nose' moment.

    Usually manage a diffusion, or a very quick getaway.

    AUCKLAND • Since Dec 2009 • 2607 posts Report Reply

  • Rich Lock,

    Well, I'm new to the whole martial arts thing, having been put off for years and years by the whole 'bow to the mat, and once you've done that, we'll go through a sequence of repetitive movements again and again without explaining why' thing.

    Oddly enough, having now got into the physical side of things, I'm starting to become more curious about the spiritual or 'zen' side of the whole deal, which was part of what really put me off in the first place.

    Aikido.
    Flow.
    Use their force to floor them.

    (It does also work in the scrum&punch&kickngouge of - say, a pub fight?)

    Nor has any Aikidoka I've met. It's not an art that appeals to brawlers.

    One of my current instructors is an (ex?)-Aikidoka. But he enjoys a good 'ground and pound' as much as anyone else.

    A diffusion or quick getaway is always best. Rule 1. de-fuse the situation. If you can't, rule 2 applies: run away. If you can't do either then rule 3 applies: kick them in the pills and then apply rule 2.

    I never liked the chucking much, probably because it was too easy for me. Far rather the hitting and being hit. Half torn off callouses on the hands and feet and a chestful of good honest bruises... good for the soul.

    Well, you need a ground game these days, what with all these MMA and Brazilian Ju-Jitsuists about. But it's hard to apply rule 2 when you're on the ground, so you don't really want to go there if you can help it.

    back in the mother countr… • Since Feb 2007 • 2728 posts Report Reply

  • 3410,

    A diffusion or quick getaway is always best. Rule 1. de-fuse the situation. If you can't, rule 2 applies: run away. If you can't do either then rule 3 applies: kick them in the pills and then apply rule 2.

    See here, from 2:20-3:25

    Auckland • Since Jan 2007 • 2618 posts Report Reply

  • Alien Lizard (anag),

    "In one way or another, we are all involved in sales or customer service."

    Isn't that just another way of saying - Quality Control is a team effort - be it product or societal, we all have to play our part in the best outcome for all involved - or as I constantly harp on: do unto others as you'd have them do unto you, something I'm still not the greatest at - but improving :- )

    The Arrrgh Complex • Since Jan 2010 • 158 posts Report Reply

  • Sacha,

    rule 2 applies: run away

    More useful if they don't know who you are and you do not run into them regularly (eg: neighbourhood, school).

    Not a matter of technique, but I always found a higher level of commitment in front of peers could shame the buggers into laying off thereafter. Blitzkreig. Mind you, that was before carrying weapons became common. These days, I'd probably run too and wear the embarrassment.

    Ak • Since May 2008 • 19719 posts Report Reply

  • Sacha,

    Quality Control is a team effort

    I get customer service for that, but sales?

    Ak • Since May 2008 • 19719 posts Report Reply

  • giovanni tiso,

    Isn't that just another way of saying - Quality Control is a team effort - be it product or societal, we all have to play our part in the best outcome for all involved

    Seeing as the book in question was all about social networking (in Oldpeak: using other people) for personal gain, I think your interpretation is optimistic.

    Wellington • Since Jun 2007 • 7473 posts Report Reply

  • Sacha,

    that does sound like sales..

    Ak • Since May 2008 • 19719 posts Report Reply

  • Rich Lock,

    "To win one hundred victories in one hundred battles is not the highest skill. To subdue the enemy without fighting is the highest skill" - Sun Tzu

    Anyway, I don't want to completely redirect Emma's thread. Although cultivating a state of zen calm in the face of the technically inept or wilfully abusive arseholes would possibly not ber a bad thing.

    And an aikido-type redirect and deflection for an angry dickhead might be quite useful, if you can work out a technique that works.

    More useful if they don't know who you are and you do not run into them regularly (eg: neighbourhood, school).

    Not a matter of technique, but I always found a higher level of commitment in front of peers could shame the buggers into laying off thereafter. Blitzkreig. Mind you, that was before carrying weapons became common. These days, I'd probably run too and wear the embarrassment.

    Blitzreig is a valid technique, but dealing with a persistent bully isn't something I have an easy answer for.

    back in the mother countr… • Since Feb 2007 • 2728 posts Report Reply

  • BenWilson,

    My one school bully incident was in front of all his mates. It started with him slapping me and slamming me into a wall by the throat, and ended with me being dragged off him by a good mate, followed up by me hugging him and telling him I was really, really sorry, which he meekly accepted. I was never bullied again.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 10653 posts Report Reply

  • Dinah Dunavan,

    Years ago when I applied for a job at the Fight Centre I was somewhat saddened to realise that they thought the job was about sales while I thought it was about customer service. Didn't get that job and stopped going to the FC for my travel as the reason the staff always seemed so unhelpful became clear. Thankfully Glynn at VIP travel seems to be more customer focused than the FC people.

    Dunedin • Since Jun 2008 • 186 posts Report Reply

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