18 Confessions of Customer Service Reps
By Christy Gliko
Working in customer service can really test your tolerance for patience. The struggle is REAL when dealing with other people. I’ve asked for anonymous stories and struggles about working in customer service. If you’ve ever worked in customer service, chances are you’ll relate to these fellow customer service workers:
“I had a customer try to pick up an online order for her mom. She didn’t know the order number, the phone number it was ordered under (which is the only way to look it up), or have her ID on her. Her mom came in a couple minutes later. She was yelling and cursing at me the whole time, stabbed the signature capture pad with the pen, and then threw it at me.”
2. “We have chicken or beef teriyaki” Customer: “Whats the difference?”
3. Me (as a server): soup or salad? Customer: super salad? What’s in it?
4. My Aunt worked in St. Mary’s, outside of Glacier National Park. She was asked how many trees were in the Park! Also, when the next glacier would be coming by.
5. Lol when I ask “do you want soup, salad, or fries with that?” And a lot of times I get “sure” …. Which one!!!!
Ever since we entered kindergarten many of us have dreamt of this time in our life: growing up. Growing up has always sounded so glorious. You finally get to have complete freedom to make your own decisions. This time in your life is now only a blink away and reality is starting to set in. You are now able to do what you want, when you want, and live where you want. You are no longer under the constant watch of your parents or instructors. With that comes the filthy truth you are also now in charge of the bills! We all hope to land a kick ass job right after graduation, and if you did, congratulations! But if you didn’t, here are some budget hacks for you, my fellow young professional, to help you through this transition period until you are the CEO of your dream company.
ONE: I’ll do it tomorrow… I’ll do it tomorrow… NO, TODAY!
If there was a degree given for procrastination, I would have my PhD. You might too, I know, I saw you in the library beginning that case analysis at 1 AM the night before it was due. Sure, I have some success stories that resulted from my procrastination, but I also have a lot of stories I never want to think about again. We do not want our financial situations to look like those failed projects, poor test scores, or garbage papers. Money does not grow on trees people! We cannot wait until the night before we leave the comfort of our college town to figure out how we are going to have enough money to get where we are going, to pay the bills, and to put food in our mouths.
TWO: 9-1-1 I need money, right now!
Emergencies happen, life happens. You can never be too careful. Be prepared so if your nightmares become reality you do not have to worry about how you will support yourself during a crisis period. It is vital to have a savings account with money that you do not touch unless absolutely necessary. It is likely that some of us will get fired, quit a job before we have a new one, have a family or medical emergency, etc. It’s not going to be all smooth sailing from here, we’re going to have some waves come and try to take us down. Let’s be prepared. Let’s not add eviction on top of a job which doesn’t work out. Word of advice: when you receive each paycheck put some of that into your emergency savings account. Put aside enough money that you are building up your account but not too much that you are forced to eat Ramen for every meal. This emergency fund should have enough money to at least support your basic needs for two months. Start this fund today!
THREE: Make budgeting your buddy.
Set a reasonable budget for yourself and stick to it. This will not be easy at first, but it is going to be an important habit for any young professional. Create a monthly budgeting accounting for rent, utilities, groceries, any basic medical needs, and a little bit of fun money. If you have debt, make sure to have your monthly payments included in your budget. If you do not have debt, consider putting that money in your emergency fund. Write your budget down and track it closely. Insider tip: Excel is an easy tool to help you stay organized and on track with your budget. Start a spreadsheet and update it regularly to make sure you are still within your budget for the month. This could also help you to notice trends in your spending and areas where you could cut down your expenses. There are many apps that can be downloaded to your smartphone or tablet for easier budget tracking. There are so many of these apps that different apps may appeal to different users, so you have to do some exploring on your own to figure out which one works best for you. Here are my top three favorite budgeting apps to help get you started; Spending Tracker, HomeBudget, and Mint.com.
FOUR: Debt free with a degree!
You may feel as though you’re drowning in debt, but you’re not alone! You’re a young professional and having debt is normal. The task is to tackle this debt so that it does not impact you for the rest of your life. The last thing you want to be haunting you while you’re trying to get your feet on the ground is the big bad debt! College is expensive, I get it. Let’s take care of any debt you have acquired soon, as in start paying it off NOW! Once you have managed your debt you can begin saving for luxuries such as a Michael Kors bag, a weekend away at the beach, or whatever you wish. Be patient, those things will come over time but your debt has to be taken care of first. Also, be reasonable the point of paying off debt is not to accrue more.
FIVE: Credit cards: your best friend today, your nightmare tomorrow.
Credit cards can be fantastic. It might feel like play money, in-fact you might not even remember that you spent it until the end of the month. Sounds great, until the bill arrives and you were expecting a $75 credit card bill that somehow crept up to $750. If you want to use a credit card for the rewards they offer or to improve your credit, make sure you have the money to pay it off when the bill arrives. You do not want to acquire debt and end up paying interest when it is unnecessary. Credit cards can be helpful when thinking about applying for loans in the future for your next car or your first house, but they can also be so very dangerous if you are not responsible. So be very careful! If you cannot use a credit card responsibly, get rid of it until you are in the habit of closely tracking how you spend your money. Remember: as I mentioned previously, two ways you could track your spending would be through Excel or a financial app that tracks your spending.
SIX: So you’re in love… What about money?
You’ve found the one. He or she is absolutely perfect in every way. Moving in together would help with this whole budget thing too right? Maybe. Here are a few financial issues to consider before you take your relationship to the next level. Do your financial situations and goals match up? Does your partner have debt? If so, how much and is there a plan to pay off that debt? Consider this carefully before you decide to marry your partner and take on their debt. If you have a serious partner, make sure you are having conversations about one another’s current financial situation and future financial goals. If you are both on the same page, wonderful! If not, seriously consider the impact of this on your personal future and your relationship. It will be difficult for you to stay focused on your goals when you are around someone who is not as financially responsible.
Yes, I know, you’re only 20-something. Retirement is so far away but before you know it the time will come. Wouldn’t you rather be financially prepared than having to work forever? Start a retirement fund at your first job. Even contributing a small amount to a retirement fund is a significant contribution to your future. Because retirement funds are not taxed, you often can contribute with minimal impact on your take home pay. The sooner you start, the more security you acquire, so do not delay!
This blog was written by Anne Hagerty. Anne is a senior graduating from the University of Montana in May of 2016. She is about to take on the real world as a young professional.
We all know the story. Some of us have even lived it. Forgotten, overshadowed, and pushed aside. Being the middle child was the worst. The oldest sibling received all the accolades and rewards, the youngest received all the attention. And there we were, waving our hands in the air trying to say, “Hey! I’m right here and I’m not like them!” And here we are, still waving our hands, still trying to push our way past the shoulders of our surrounding siblings. A little older, a little wiser, but still just as frustrated. Being a 90’s kid is tough.
“Damn Millennials.” Many times have these words been uttered through the lips of baby boomers and Gen X’s. “All they care about is social media! They don’t know how to work hard!” We hear it. And we take it. But it’s a load of bulls**t. Sorry, I’m getting ahead of myself. Let’s go back. The definition of a Millennial is someone who was born between around 1980 and around the early 2000’s. While the characteristics of a Millennial can vary depending on the source, the gist is relatively the same. Lazy, narcissistic, coddled, materialistic, disengaged. Positive isn’t it? However in reality, the term “Millennial” isn’t as generalizable as many make it out to be.
People born in the 1980’s are currently aged anywhere between 26 and 35 years old. Having been in the working world for around four or five years, this decade of people are usually seen as responsible employees and entrepreneurs, creating a name for themselves and making short work of corporate ladders all around the world (sounds like the eldest sibling doesn’t it?). Racking up accomplishments and higher salaries, they’re already integrated with Gen X and often aren’t thought of when someone mentions Millennials. People born in the latter half of the term “Millennial” are currently in the height of their teenage years, and because of their youth, are usually grouped in with the rest of the post-century birth crowd. This is where the stereotypes of being a Millennial stem from. But I’ll come back to that later. Right smack in the middle, as always, are 90s kids. Currently aged 16 to 25, we are forced to be grouped into this almost derogatory term, “Millennial”. However we couldn’t be more different than our two surrounding siblings.
I was born in 1994. A great year if I allow myself to say so. Nelson Mandela, Netscape, Rwanda massacre, World Trade Center Bombing…Kurt Cobain…O.J. Simpson… Okay so maybe it wasn’t that great of a year. My point though is that all this happened in one year. Look at what 90’s kids have been through over the course of their short lives: Y2K, 9/11, the dot com boom and bust, the Gulf War, the War in Afghanistan, and the War in Iraq, Apple’s rise to power, the Great Recession, the first black president, the legalization of gay marriage. And those are just a few off the top of my head. We’ve been left to solve the energy crisis and are the last generation that can reduce climate change and global warming before it’s too late. The world has changed immensely in the past 25 years. It’s led to one of the greatest qualities that 90’s kids possess. Nostalgia. And a whole lot of it. We grew up in a time that was almost entirely analog and the biggest fear was Y2K instead of war and the economy. We came of age in a time of great turmoil both domestic and abroad. We became adults in an entirely digital age and a slowly recovering economy. We are incredibly young, and yet possess the nostalgia of an old man.
We yearn for the simpler times, when the TV was turned on only after finishing family dinners and calling our friend’s home phone was the only way to reach them (other than AIM). And now I’m currently sitting in front of two computer screens as my phone sits within an arm’s reach dinging with updates of text messages, emails, and social media updates (perhaps this nostalgia is why hipsters came about). This dichotomy in ways of life leaves us 90’s kids wishing we were kids again. And that age was only 15 years ago! This isn’t a bad thing though. Growing up through all of this change has allowed us to adapt to all of the new tech and be very proficient with it. But we also see the value in writing a handwritten note to an employer after a job interview and enjoy relaxing with a good book. In a way, we are the most tech savvy analog people out there. Yes, I know what a tape deck is and watched VHS movies. I also owned a CD player. 90’s kids learned on Gateway computers but can do programming on any Mac book or PC no problem. I could go on and on but my point is that in our eyes, technology doesn’t seem to be advancing that fast. See, we grew up at the same time Apple did. At the same rate Google and Microsoft did. The pace of new technological advancements is about as routine as our birthday coming around every year. And it’s allowed us to be a pretty rare breed. Yes, we are different. But don’t you dare tell me I’m a Millennial.
As I mentioned before, I believe the term Millennial comes from the stereotypes derived from the post-turn of the century kids. All these kids know is digital. This group of kids was seven years old when the first iPhone came out. Is it their fault? Not to me it isn’t. It’s the result of being thrust into a rapidly advancing, tech dependent world and having a cell phone in their hands since 1st grade (that’s not an exaggeration, see the link at the bottom**). Look, our society is convenience oriented. Everything is about what makes things easier and faster. Is it any surprise that it has rubbed off on the very kids that are in their peak of susceptibility? Call it lazy if you want, I call it the effects of their environment. And everything is faster and easier. My cell phone (or mini-computer, however you look at it) has the capability to do anything I want and more. It houses the ability to connect with anyone I know in about 30 different ways. It’s no wonder these kids live and breathe social media. When everyone is connected to everyone else at all times, it’s easy to want to keep attention on yourself (after all, they are the youngest sibling; attention is everything). Has it implanted an entitled “me, me, me” loop track in these kids heads? Gen X seems to think so. And I’m inclined to agree. This is what is scaring employers and causing feelings of regurgitation every time they encounter a so called Millennial.
Sure, call me bitter. I think all of us 90s kids are. We are sick of being grouped into all these Millennials stereotypes. But it is not us. I suppose it’s our fault we’re included in this. We’ve had our heads down, working hard to build a name for ourselves. Haven’t heard of us? Well you’re about to. We are the kids from the 90’s. And we’re about to step out from behind our siblings and shake up the world.
*This article expresses the opinions of a possibly bias student born in the 90’s.