Stuck On Stupid?: A Seeker’s Perspective
Author: R. T. Hummingbird
Anyone who has done Customer Service work in just about any capacity has encountered a scenario similar to this one at least once, if not many times: A customer or client is not able to access their account, or use whatever service is provided by your company, and they call Customer Service for assistance.
Let’s say for example that this particular problem the customer is experiencing is usually resolved by a Customer Service specialist resetting or unlocking their account. But, in this particular instance, the customer needs to submit an access request form to get the account restored from a disabled state. From the point of view of the Customer Service specialist, this is a very simple process that provides a very quick resolution to the issue.
However, from the customer’s perspective, this may be an alien and frightening territory you’re asking them to enter… and, for whatever the reason may be, they feel apprehensive about performing whatever steps are required to resolve their issue. They would much rather have the Customer Service person “work their magic” and make their problem (s) go away for them… a testament to our society’s addiction to instant gratification, but that’s a whole other essay.
For my full-time job, I work at a somewhat huge Information Technology firm that provides computer services to many big-named companies here in the United States and worldwide. My job function at this firm is to provide end-user support to our client company’s employees. This particular client I support is another huge corporation whose primary business is quite different from Information Technology.
Our client’s employees are very skilled in their own crafts, and see the computer sitting on the foreman’s desk, or in the manager’s office, as a mere tool that is only used for one or more specific purpose, and nothing more. Whereas, for someone who works in Information Technology, a computer is much more than a mere tool. The Information Technology person tends to have a much deeper understanding of these machines and how they work… and (most of the time) knows how to fix them when they break.
To illustrate the contrast, if you were to place me in an aircraft mechanical shop and told me to diagnose and fix an issue with a broke-down airplane, I wouldn’t have a clue what I was doing. Whereas, if you were to take an airline mechanic, place him in front of a crashed computer and ask him to diagnose and fix it, he wouldn’t know what to do either. In fact, he may grab a sledgehammer or whatever heavy tool he had handy and smash it to pieces in frustration.
He may or may not be willing (or have the patience) to perform whatever steps may be necessary to correct the issue with the machine simply because he is not familiar with it… or perhaps he doesn’t understand how it works well enough. Or, maybe this person is a “techno-phobe” – one who tends to steer away from new technology, and favors the “old-fashioned” ways of doing things.
Whatever the reason may be, a specialist or expert would perceive this individual as someone who doesn’t seem to possess enough intelligence to tie their own shoes, let alone use whatever product or service the specialist supports… when in fact they may be quite intelligent in their own right, and are likely more knowledgeable in other subject matters than the specialist. This could apply to many things aside from Customer Service. I’m sure this perspective applies to just about every occupation there is.
As for me, I’ve worked in Customer Service for about a decade for various companies and in various capacities, and at just about every job I’ve held, I’ve experienced the scenario I described above many, many times. Currently at my job, I am training to take on a new position with new responsibilities. My trainer (to whom I owe a tremendous amount of credit and respect) is the most-skilled Customer Service specialist I have ever met. She has a very broad understanding of how most people think, and knows how to appease a customer while resolving their issue at the same time. This is a skill that I’m working on perfecting myself, but I doubt I’ll ever be at the same level as she.
While I’m pretty sure she is a church-going Christian, one can definitely sense the Goddess within her. She is aglow with Her Love, and is also extremely patient. She could be considered the exact opposite of the “Teacher” described in Arianna Reibia’s essay “The Best Teacher?” ( http://www.witchvox.com/va/dt_va.html?a=uswv and c=words and id=12019) .
Yesterday during class, our Trainer was describing a scenario where a client customer had called our Help Desk 16 times within the last 3 days about an issue with an account on our system. Each time, the customer was directed to the correct procedure she needed to perform to restore her access. Apparently this particular procedure was well outside her comfort zone, as she didn’t seem willing to do it herself.
The Trainer described this person as being “stuck on stupid”, implying that she was being too stubborn about remaining inside her comfort zone, and insisting that the Help Desk would solve her issue if she asked enough times.
When this customer received the good fortune to speak with our Trainer about the issue, our Trainer used her mastery of Customer Service to appease the customer, and figuratively “take her by the hand”, lead her to where she needed to go, and walked her through the process. Later that day her issue was resolved.
As a new seeker of Wicca, I see a lesson from The Goddess in this. While something may be second nature to you, it may be uncharted territory to someone else. This doesn’t make the other person any less intelligent (or perhaps it does, depending on the person and the situation) .
When such a person approaches you for help with something that may seem amazingly simple to you, this doesn’t mean they lack intelligence. Instead, they may be in search of a caring, patient individual who will take them by the hand, relieve their fears with a caring disposition, and show them how it’s done. I believe this to be one of the qualities embodied by the Goddess, and as I continue to learn and pursue my Wiccan faith, I will bring honor to the Goddess by offering a caring hand to those who seek my help… within my job and in the world.
“The Best Teacher?” essay by Arianna Reibia ( http://www.witchvox.com/va/dt_va.html?a=uswv and c=words and id=12019)