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Be the Sugar in Someone's Tea...

Recently, I overheard someone telling of their experience with a certain phone company. This person was ripping the customer service rep a new one. As if the rate hikes and bad communication service were all caused by this poor girl.

I have a firm rule with customer service people: always be polite unless and until they are rude and solidly unhelpful. If I’m annoyed about something on the account, I will apologize for my frustrated tone before we even begin the conversation, and acknowledge that the foul-up is not that customer service person’s fault. But I would appreciate their help.

You would not believe the favor I am shown and the hurdles these people will jump over to make me happy.

And I know why.

They are tickled to death to talk to someone who isn’t chewing them out. It’s a pleasure to talk to me. I truly appreciate the fact that they deal with some pretty horrendous people.

My approach goes back to the old Southern adage, you’ll catch more flies with honey than vinegar.

Some of my people (Southern slang for “family”) call this ability to be nice and “woo” people joshin'. Gee, my daddy was good at joshin'. He could talk the slippers off Cinderella. People couldn’t do enough for him.

But he was genuinely kind and sincere. Joshin' was not manipulation to him. He liked people. A lot.

So, as the temperature soars and probably our food, phone, and electric bills–be honey, not vinegar. Besides, as Believers, we are called to this very attitude.


What do you think? Are you good with customer service people or do you make them rue the moment they must talk to you? It’s never too late to be sweet!

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MaryEllen Cox
MaryEllen Cox
Jul 25, 2023

My husband is great when it comes to those calls. He is always friendly and patient. You can actually hear the smiles in the voices of the people he deals with, probably because they are more used to the grumps.

I don't do as well on the phone because I can't keep emotion from my voice or off my face. Even if the words are polite, my tone will be terse.

A Lady in Defiance
A Lady in Defiance
Jul 26, 2023
Replying to

I hear ya. If I'm even a little annoyed, I find it impossible to keep it out for my voice. Fortunately, it takes a lot to annoy me.

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