Saturday, September 25, 2010

On Customer Service

I've been thinking a lot today.
About how much I can handle.
How much can I take before it "does me in"?
How far does customer service go?
How far does "exceeding expectations" go?

Work has been a bit beastly as of late.  As evidence of this I bring my 57 hour work week to the judge's attention.  I feel fragile.  I feel over-worked and under appreciated.  K, so I know that my efforts are appreciated, but... 

How far do you go to do the job?

Where is that line in the sand that says enough is enough!  I'm done, I'm finished, I refuse to do more!  And where does that cross into the personal life as well?

I think I have been so long in the customer service field that I have lost all sense of reality.  "The customer is always right."  That's okay except sometimes the customer is dead wrong.  Sometimes we really can't do what they want.  Sometimes the impossible is all that is expected and no matter how hard you try, it simply is not going to happen.  Sometimes those customers don't even know what they are asking.  And sometimes there are absolutely no boundaries to guide your decision.

I'm tired of it.

On my way home from Bridal Fair today (hence the extra long work week) a scene popped into my head.  It's from Life Is Beautiful, one of my all time favorite movies.  The uncle explains to his nephew, Guido, about service and how far to bow to the guest as a waiter.

"Think of a sunflower. They bow to the sun.

But if you see some that are too bowed down...

it means they're dead!

You're serving. You're not a servant.

Serving is a supreme art.

God is the first servant.

God serves men, but he's not a servant to men."

I don't want to be a dead sunflower.
I don't want to feel stretched too thin.

Just throwing it out there.  Boundaries are a good thing.  They guide us, they help us make good decisions... or at least decisions we can live with.  Decisions that won't keep us awake at night.

Perhaps my Monday will be spent finding those boundaries.


  1. Switch careers :)

    I like how this is labeled "just me ranting" lol

  2. Contemplating that very thing. I hate job hunting.

  3. I would hate you job hunting too...

  4. Don't worry, I'll probably cave. However if something doesn't happent to rectify our horrible little weeks then I will at least threaten! Now to make it believable... hmm.

  5. I think we need to both get neck braces and say we received "work lash"

  6. I was trained from my very first job I had that the customer is NOT always right, they just get the benefit of the doubt and no more. However I said that in a job interview once and I didn't get the job! ... hopefully just coincidence cause I like this way of thinking, it just makes more sense. :)

  7. Amy, I'm sure we could fashion something out of the leftover yellow tablecloth for a neck brace! I love it!

    Heather, more people need to be trained like that. I seriously think it has sucked my soul! Argh!

  8. with all the craziness, you still managed to make me a dinner for my crazy Tuesday. thanks for being a true friend, love. Glad to have a few of those in my pocket to pull out in times of laughter and hardship. Ah...I got all cheesy. It's your fault! I love you, woman.