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Mastercraft
Blue Jay
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16 Feb 2015, 1:33 am

Hey, sorry if this isn't the best place to post this, the work-related section seemed a little... quaint for this, more educational versus problem-oriented.

I work for Microsoft as a Customer Service agent. I'm that guy you call when you need tech support, except my job is more to sell you something than to help you out. When I first started working, I was aghast at the seemingly cold and immoral way that the other agents worked, always trying to sell products to people that plain did not need them. I resolved to help them instead of selling, when possible, especially since I have never been good at that sort of thing anyway.

After 4 months of people calling into complain, I find that I have become a misanthropist. I get people calling in to get information on things that they don't even know the name for. I have people calling in to complain that they bought something they didn't want, all because they apparently didn't bother to read below the price tag. I even get calls from people that don't speak English and yet seem to act like its my problem, by demanding I speak their language. And its not just Americans, its a world-wide thing.

I'm quite concerned. I already can't stand calling people on my time off, my cellphone stresses me out. And now I find myself assuming that the rest of humanity must be as incomprehensibly dense as the gutter-trash that calls me. Well, except the Internet, that is. You lot seem to at least be able to solve your own problems.

Thoughts?



BirdInFlight
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16 Feb 2015, 10:08 am

You're suffering from burn-out from the nature of the job. This kind of job does only expose you to people who are having some kind of problem, sometimes looking for someone to blame or unload to. That can be inherently stressful to deal with all day every day.

You might want start looking into a different kind of job entirely -- easier said than done, I know. But it might be the only solution. It's hard to come up with coping strategies and even harder to implement them on a constant basis, so sometimes the healthiest thing you can do for your mental well being is to avoid this kind of job.

When it's making you feel like all of humanity is as problematic as these people, and making you hate talking on your own phone at all even to your nearest and dearest, it's probably time to quit.


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On the other hand, friends will never need an explanation, and enemies bent on disliking me will never accept one.

ASD Level 1, PTSD. Plus anxiety with panic attacks, mild sub-clinical situational depression -- and a massive case of sheer freakin' BURNOUT.

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kraftiekortie
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16 Feb 2015, 11:03 am

Ah....A Phoenix reemerging from Hibernation!



Marky9
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16 Feb 2015, 12:36 pm

BirdInFlight wrote:
You're suffering from burn-out from the nature of the job.... It's hard to come up with coping strategies and even harder to implement them on a constant basis....


I have heard of, and even tried, some strategies for dealing with difficult customers. (Amazon likely has some helpful texts on this.) I found they require more persistence and determination than I can consistently muster. If someone triggers me into meltdown mode, then all bets are off.

I hope you can find some coping techniques that work for you.



BirdInFlight
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16 Feb 2015, 2:07 pm

kraftiekortie wrote:
Ah....A Phoenix reemerging from Hibernation!


I like your bird analogies kraftie! :D


_________________
~ ~ ~

If you have a problem with something I post, something I believe, something I do or say, something in my sig, or something I am stupid enough to share that I'm struggling with and being caused pain by -- TELL ME TO MY FACE so that I can defend myself, instead of see you make a mockery of or a dig about it later.

On the other hand, friends will never need an explanation, and enemies bent on disliking me will never accept one.

ASD Level 1, PTSD. Plus anxiety with panic attacks, mild sub-clinical situational depression -- and a massive case of sheer freakin' BURNOUT.

~ ~ ~


Mastercraft
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17 Feb 2015, 10:15 am

Thanks for the advice, BirdInFlight. I have been having plenty of issues related to this job since the beginning, such as increases in stress and a darker outlook on life. While I'm not as dark as my depression years, I have found a plethora of early-onset gray hairs on my head, likely stress-induced pigment failure. I also take at least one day off a week simply because I've been having weekly panic attacks and meltdowns. I really need to see my general practitioner about setting up an appointment with a psychiatrist.

Anyway, I have considered looking for alternate employment, if only because I fear I may be fired soon. The trouble is, before this job I was homeless and unemployed. Now I have a girlfriend to take care of and an apartment to pay for, so I'm trying my best not to take risks.

And, ironically, I now have plenty of experience to get another customer service job. :\



elysian1969
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20 Feb 2015, 3:18 pm

I think if I could change one thing about my chosen career path, I would have chosen one where I can by and large avoid dealing with the stupidity of other humans. The problem with that is, that stupidity is everywhere, and I don't think there is a career path in which the stupidity of other humans can be avoided.

At least I don't have to work for cokehead bosses anymore like I did back when I worked in dealerships. Cokeheads are the absolute worst people to deal with. I can tell you horror stories.

I sell automotive parts which is partially technical (that part, I enjoy) and is partially having to deal with Uncle Bubba in Fly Fart, North Dakota, wondering why his driver hasn't brought his stuff- when there's six feet of snow outside, or he's wondering why we don't sell trailer hitches for a Chevy Spark. That part- the nailing Jello to a tree nature of most customer service- is downright aggravating.

I have to admit the "where's my crap" issues, and people just being stupid does make me quite misanthropic at times, but I never had much faith in humanity to begin with. When you come to that conclusion- that people are going to be stupid- it's easier to sit back and enjoy the show.

Being on the phone with people doesn't bother me (usually) because I don't have to deal with non-verbals. But it does take a toll on me. Being on the phone constantly does tend to wear me out over time and the last thing I want to do when I'm not at work is talk on the phone. Usually I leave the ringer off and use the caller ID to call back people I actually want to talk to- when I want to talk with them. I need my solitude and I need my off-limits time more and more the older I get.

At least I'm not in a management position (I did this for several years before I got out of dealerships altogether) where I had to deal with owners, technicians, the factory reps and customers- all face-to-face, and for 60+ hours a week. It took a massive health meltdown for me to realize that it was just too much emotionally, physically and spiritually to keep on going like that. I can only play "normal" for so long, and then I can't do it anymore. I couldn't get out of automotive altogether- it's really all I know- but I did at least get off the proverbial hot seat. I still have to deal with people and still have stress over it but nowhere near what I used to. :heart: :skull:


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mr_bigmouth_502
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20 Feb 2015, 3:42 pm

I worked as a grocery store clerk for about 4 months, and by the end of the first month, I was already feeling quite burnt out from having to deal with people every day. It wasn't until an incident with an unruly customer however, that I quit working on till, and I was transferred to the deli department. This was a huge mistake, because I had really bad OCD at the time that I wasn't being medicated for, and I simply could not deal with handling food and dealing with food safety; it was way too much for me. I quit that job without giving my two weeks notice, and I haven't had steady employment since then. The 9-to-5 working world just doesn't work for me, but I don't want to be a welfare bum for the rest of my life, so my only option is to empower myself and find my own way. I want to finish school, and become an entrepreneur, be my own boss. That's the only way.



elysian1969
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23 Feb 2015, 4:40 pm

mr_bigmouth_502 wrote:
I worked as a grocery store clerk for about 4 months, and by the end of the first month, I was already feeling quite burnt out from having to deal with people every day. It wasn't until an incident with an unruly customer however, that I quit working on till, and I was transferred to the deli department. This was a huge mistake, because I had really bad OCD at the time that I wasn't being medicated for, and I simply could not deal with handling food and dealing with food safety; it was way too much for me. I quit that job without giving my two weeks notice, and I haven't had steady employment since then. The 9-to-5 working world just doesn't work for me, but I don't want to be a welfare bum for the rest of my life, so my only option is to empower myself and find my own way. I want to finish school, and become an entrepreneur, be my own boss. That's the only way.


I agree, if I had it all to do over, I'd have chosen something more flexible, or even a career where I could work from home. I grew up in my Dad's automotive shop though, and I've always had a fascination with things automotive. I can learn the technical stuff fairly quickly... but it's dealing with people that wears me out.

I hope you do well with your career search, and I agree with you about handling other people's food. Creepy. :heart: :skull:


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SocOfAutism
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17 Mar 2015, 10:17 am

Would moving be an option for you guys? Just have MS on your resume would impress the h*ll out of most software companies, and you could move into an aspie friendlier job like quality assurance testing or technical writing. Or you could just go to computer repair at an electronics store and work your way to a higher paying job.

You could look on Monster.com and see what areas seem to be hiring.

I'd act now while that Microsoft is fresh on your resume.



mr_bigmouth_502
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17 Mar 2015, 11:16 am

I'd like to have some form of Microsoft certification, but I've looked into it before and I have no idea what specific certification I'd have to look into if I wanted to be a repair technician, since there are dozens of different Microsoft certifications.



questor
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19 Mar 2015, 5:10 pm

You need a new job--something with less contact with the public. Sign up with the temp agencies in your area, and do tell them you are looking for something that does NOT involve customer service.


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