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Obscurelex
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29 Apr 2019, 6:06 pm

I absolutely, irrevocably loathe working in customer service. I work in a retail pharmacy and it really kicks my a** having to communicate to people professionally for eight hours a day. It's so hard to talk to customers and have to communicate to doctor's offices/insurance companies and having to do talk professionally to them. You know how hard it is to keep a calm and professional composure while a patient yells at you for something out of your control? It's the worst. And you can't say anything spiteful or rude back to them without repercussions. I hate my job. I hate having to try and please every single person we get. And not a day goes by without someone asking me if I'm okay or why I look so sad. It pi**es me off! It's just the way I behave, and people just question it. I have an expressionless face most of the time I interact with customers, and they seem to think I'm in a bad mood.

Moreover, I wanted to post this along with asking any of you if you work in customer service. Is it hard for you, easy? What's the worst part about it?



naturalplastic
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29 Apr 2019, 6:26 pm

Used to be in customer service. Did pretty okay at it despite being an aspie. Even kinda liked it. But not doing it on your level. Not having to deal with both doctors, and the unfiltered public, and having to dispense sophisticated information like that. My hats off to you.

Have worked for endless eons behind a cash register in store clerk jobs. "Customer service", but on a rudimentary level. On a higher level I also worked as a party deejay, and emceed at wedding receptions for a large local deejay company for years. An unusual job, but one that does actually involve a lot of customer service. Not just pleasing the client but also working with wedding planners, and photographers, etc.

A great experience.



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29 Apr 2019, 7:35 pm

You have my sympathy; it's many years since I've done that kind of work, and it crushed me completely in the end. I worked for several years in a JobCentre (UK welfare office for unemployed people). Like your job, it was the kind of place where a lot of "customers" were only there under duress, and were often not in a good mood (<- stereotypical British under-statement!). There were long queues of people to be seen for the entire shift, so having to talk to people was never ending, and I got to be the lucky person who delivered the news to people when their benefits (welfare) were getting suspended (the people making these decisions were safely tucked away upstairs, of course.)

What was the worst part? Heck, I really couldn't choose - take your pick...
- People, and some more people, and then some more people, and then people, and more people, and...
- Yelled at every single day multiple times by people demanding impossible things.
- Verbal/physical threats from disgruntled customers (sometimes outside of work if I got recognised.)
- Having massive meltdowns at work, including running away and coming to my senses miles away.
- Having to go back to work after the meltdowns and try to defend behaviour that I couldn't even remember!
- Losing touch with everyone and everything outside of work because I hadn't the energy to function.
- Eventually; total burn-out, acute depression, anxiety, agoraphobia (autism not diagnosed at that time.)
- Being treated as a malingerer by the employer's Occupational Health Psychologist when I sought help.
- That even the thought of it still makes me write long, ranting forum posts all these years later! :wink:

There might be autistic folks who love that kind of work, and all power to them. And, to be fair, it wasn't the kind of job that many non-autistic people would exactly enjoy. I'm really not trying to scare everybody, just to let you know that you're not alone - it can be very, very hard work for some of us. As you so eloquently said; I absolutely, irrevocably loathe working in customer service!


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Obscurelex
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01 May 2019, 8:31 pm

Trogluddite wrote:
You have my sympathy; it's many years since I've done that kind of work, and it crushed me completely in the end. I worked for several years in a JobCentre (UK welfare office for unemployed people). Like your job, it was the kind of place where a lot of "customers" were only there under duress, and were often not in a good mood (<- stereotypical British under-statement!). There were long queues of people to be seen for the entire shift, so having to talk to people was never ending, and I got to be the lucky person who delivered the news to people when their benefits (welfare) were getting suspended (the people making these decisions were safely tucked away upstairs, of course.)

What was the worst part? Heck, I really couldn't choose - take your pick...
- People, and some more people, and then some more people, and then people, and more people, and...
- Yelled at every single day multiple times by people demanding impossible things.
- Verbal/physical threats from disgruntled customers (sometimes outside of work if I got recognised.)
- Having massive meltdowns at work, including running away and coming to my senses miles away.
- Having to go back to work after the meltdowns and try to defend behaviour that I couldn't even remember!
- Losing touch with everyone and everything outside of work because I hadn't the energy to function.
- Eventually; total burn-out, acute depression, anxiety, agoraphobia (autism not diagnosed at that time.)
- Being treated as a malingerer by the employer's Occupational Health Psychologist when I sought help.
- That even the thought of it still makes me write long, ranting forum posts all these years later! :wink:

There might be autistic folks who love that kind of work, and all power to them. And, to be fair, it wasn't the kind of job that many non-autistic people would exactly enjoy. I'm really not trying to scare everybody, just to let you know that you're not alone - it can be very, very hard work for some of us. As you so eloquently said; I absolutely, irrevocably loathe working in customer service!

Wow. Well, I'll definitely say my job isn't as brutal as what you described. Of course, we get a disgruntled patient here and there, but that's it. It's the worst though because one verbally abusive patient can send me into irritability. I've had so many meltdowns from work. It's embarrassing, but I can't help but start to cry. I really want to find a new job (one that doesn't require too much customer service), however I hate changing my routine. I can't get myself to do it. Maybe one of these days.



shortfatbalduglyman
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01 May 2019, 10:13 pm

Used to be a cashier.

But part time

Furniture store

Restaurant is much worse


No job skills

Almost all jobs, restaurant retail sales



Trogluddite
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02 May 2019, 9:14 am

Obscurelex wrote:
I really want to find a new job

I would definitely encourage you to do that. One thing that possibly isn't clear from my earlier post is the way that the problems slowly got worse over time - I was in that job for several years. Whenever I doubted that I should be there, I told myself; "but I've coped already for X years, so I should be able to continue." But you can get into a trap where you're never quite "recharging your batteries" as much as you need to be able to cope in the long term - and the lack of energy and effects on mental health slowly accumulate; so slowly that I didn't see it happening, in my case. Until I started to completely burn out, that is.


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jimmy m
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02 May 2019, 10:07 am

No I never worked customer service. It may be one of the worst jobs for an Aspie. I imagine you are on the receiving side of a lot of verbal abuse.

I will offer one suggestion. You probably feel like you want to scream. So scream and do it often. But you must do it in a socially acceptable manner. When you are under stress, your body releases a cascade of chemicals and hormones that prepare you for a flight or fight response. Unless these chemicals are used up they are stored and accumulate in your body and that can cause great distress. You need to vent these stored chemicals. In your case, I sense that your fifth limb (your neck) is what needs to be vented. One way to accomplish this is to scream.

One needs to vent the stored stress energy in their neck muscles, vocal cords, and jaw. The best way is to scream at the top of your lungs several times. But this must be done in a socially acceptable manner. Never scream at a person. I live in the rural countryside and my dog is a free-range dog. When it is mealtime and my dog is up and about; I call my dog very loudly.

R-o-c-k-y. Come here puppy.
R-o-c-k-y.
R-o-c-k-y. Where are you puppy?
R-o-c-k-y.
R-o-c-k-y. Come here puppy.

I yell so loud that I can hear my voice being echoed back to me from nearby hills and mountains. My voice carries about a mile. The call is so strong that it borders on a roar. It is a very good feeling. It gives me a sense of great strength, like I could split a mountain in two just with my voice alone. I feel strong to my core. It is a great stress reliever or normalizer. And it is socially acceptable in the countryside.

One might try howling like a wolf at the moon. There is an individual in New York City that howls at the subway cars as they pass by deep down in the subway stations. But there are other ways to scream in a socially acceptable manner. A singer can do this if it is a very powerful song. A barker in the county fair can do this. A fan at a rock concert can sing along at the top of their lungs. Some commuters sing along to the tune on the radio at the top of their lungs, while they are driving. Even a Girl Scout can practice barking in front of the local grocery store when she sells Girl Scout cookies. Or find yourself a soundproof room.

Golden Rule: Never scream AT someone. Because this would be interpreted as an attack, a verbal assault.



Last edited by jimmy m on 02 May 2019, 1:59 pm, edited 1 time in total.

Joe90
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02 May 2019, 12:08 pm

I'm not a great fan with the general public. About 10 years ago I used to volunteer at a charity shop, but the manager there kept making me stay on the till for the duration, serving the customers. I started to dislike it, because I was left alone and felt in complete responsibility for the customers and the money, and it was too much for me. But each time I told the manager how I felt, she didn't listen, and just said that we're short of volunteers and she has a lot of paperwork to do, so I felt like I had no choice. But some customers were very awkward, and I had mild panic attacks when the shop became busy or there was loud babies screaming. I just wanted to be out of the way, out in the store room sorting out the donations. I felt so under pressure and fed up, that I finally left the volunteering job without giving notice. I don't expect to be treated like that as an unpaid volunteer. I never got any thanks either, not even a birthday present when it was my birthday (she gave other volunteers a present on their birthdays as a way of saying thank you).

But as I've got older I think I have become more confident, so I might do more better in customer service than I used to be. But the noise of screaming babies upsets me and I cannot concentrate with them around me when I'm trying to hear people, so that's one thing that deters me from working in public places. Also customers who are argumentative will make me anxious, because I do get emotional when I'm spoken to in a certain tone. I can't always help crying, especially when I'm due for my period. The tears just start coming before I can stop them.


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BenderRodriguez
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02 May 2019, 12:22 pm

jimmy m - that's actually a great idea! I have a friend who used to live in an extremely oppressive regime and he told me he survived by going regularly to minor/local soccer games, despite not having any interest whatsoever in soccer. It was the only environment he had access to where it was acceptable to scream, shout and even swear as much as he wanted!


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Obscurelex
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02 May 2019, 5:49 pm

jimmy m wrote:
No I never worked customer service. It may be one of the worst jobs for an Aspie. I imagine you are on the receiving side of a lot of verbal abuse.

I will offer one suggestion. You probably feel like you want to scream. So scream and do it often. But you must do it in a socially acceptable manner. When you are under stress, your body releases a cascade of chemicals and hormones that prepare you for a flight or fight response. Unless these chemicals are used up they are stored and accumulate in your body and that can cause great distress. You need to vent these stored chemicals. In your case, I sense that your fifth limb (your neck) is what needs to be vented. One way to accomplish this is to scream.

One needs to vent the stored stress energy in their neck muscles, vocal cords, and jaw. The best way is to scream at the top of your lungs several times. But this must be done in a socially acceptable manner. Never scream at a person. I live in the rural countryside and my dog is a free-range dog. When it is mealtime and my dog is up and about; I call my dog very loudly.

R-o-c-k-y. Come here puppy.
R-o-c-k-y.
R-o-c-k-y. Where are you puppy?
R-o-c-k-y.
R-o-c-k-y. Come here puppy.

I yell so loud that I can hear my voice being echoed back to me from nearby hills and mountains. My voice carries about a mile. The call is so strong that it borders on a roar. It is a very good feeling. It gives me a sense of great strength, like I could split a mountain in two just with my voice alone. I feel strong to my core. It is a great stress reliever or normalizer. And it is socially acceptable in the countryside.

One might try howling like a wolf at the moon. There is an individual in New York City that howls at the subway cars as they pass by deep down in the subway stations. But there are other ways to scream in a socially acceptable manner. A singer can do this if it is a very powerful song. A barker in the county fair can do this. A fan at a rock concert can sing along at the top of their lungs. Some commuters sing along to the tune on the radio at the top of their lungs, while they are driving. Even a Girl Scout can practice barking in front of the local grocery store when she sells Girl Scout cookies. Or find yourself a soundproof room.

Golden Rule: Never scream AT someone. Because this would be interpreted as an attack, a verbal assault.

Thank you so much for your advice. Although there have been times I've vented and screamed, I don't do it enough. I do have a habit of keeping everything to myself and never releasing these emotions. I always follow the rule of never screaming at someone- even though I've wanted to a myriad of times. It certainly doesn't help that I have anger issues, and I believe I need help. But I do appreciate your advice.; it's a great idea.



Obscurelex
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02 May 2019, 5:57 pm

Joe90 wrote:
I'm not a great fan with the general public. About 10 years ago I used to volunteer at a charity shop, but the manager there kept making me stay on the till for the duration, serving the customers. I started to dislike it, because I was left alone and felt in complete responsibility for the customers and the money, and it was too much for me. But each time I told the manager how I felt, she didn't listen, and just said that we're short of volunteers and she has a lot of paperwork to do, so I felt like I had no choice. But some customers were very awkward, and I had mild panic attacks when the shop became busy or there was loud babies screaming. I just wanted to be out of the way, out in the store room sorting out the donations. I felt so under pressure and fed up, that I finally left the volunteering job without giving notice. I don't expect to be treated like that as an unpaid volunteer. I never got any thanks either, not even a birthday present when it was my birthday (she gave other volunteers a present on their birthdays as a way of saying thank you).

But as I've got older I think I have become more confident, so I might do more better in customer service than I used to be. But the noise of screaming babies upsets me and I cannot concentrate with them around me when I'm trying to hear people, so that's one thing that deters me from working in public places. Also customers who are argumentative will make me anxious, because I do get emotional when I'm spoken to in a certain tone. I can't always help crying, especially when I'm due for my period. The tears just start coming before I can stop them.


I'm sorry that happened to you. Sometimes I feel the same way, being underappreciated by higher ups. I can't stand the sound of babies crying and I absolutely hate argumentative customers because I find it difficult to communicate to distraught people. It makes me distraught and stressed out. One disgruntled customer ruins my whole day. I can't help that unfortunately, that's just the way I'm wired. I, too, start to cry the minute someone verbally abuses me.