Conquering the Nasties

“When you are tired of being nice to rude customers, you hide in the bathroom and cry.”

We’re feet first into the age of noise. Cacophony that hurts our ears and hardens our hearts. Bullying that pierces our souls and splinters society. Despite the urge to point fingers at the big name targets from political candidates to trashy TV, it’s worth considering the small-time perpetrators…like me and you.

Let’s start with customer service folks. There you are, on the phone for the fourth time or standing in an under-staffed line for twenty minutes knowing you need to be doing something else. Then the rep can’t (or you’re sure won’t) fix the problem. Or they order it wrong. Or they stare at you blankly. Or they try and pawn you off on someone else – like the teeth-grinding chirpiness of a computer.

The constabulary frown on bashing in their heads with our “to do” lists, so we do the next best thing. We yell, scold, insult, threaten and generally do our damnedest to make sure their lives are as hellish as our own feel right now.

Deep breath. Step back. There’s that rise in our blood pressure. That flush of anger surging up our necks. That ping of bad karma points. All caused by the intense frustration of faceless corporations massacring our well-being.

Did the cursing, snarling and spitting help – or just give us an illusion of having a teeny-tiny bit of power? It’s something to hold onto, right?

Now consider. Did the faceless corporation care or crumble? Not a nanobyte.

But what about the customer service reps? Are the smiles frozen on their faces while their eyes spark with anger or dull with pain? Probably.

So we’ve done ourselves no good whatsoever and we’ve actively harmed another person who is trying to survive – just like us.

And the last ugly truth to consider, is that we live in the world we create. I see our lives as a Venn diagram of karma. We bring our attitudes and actions in their millions of tiny experiences. The world brings its attitudes and actions that steamroller themselves into our best attempts to live well, love well, and not constantly be dealing with problems we didn’t create. The overlap is what we experience.

Dear God, protect us from the fury of the Vikings…update – make that indifference of computerized corporations

Life had never been easy for anyone. If you were rich, your children still died, diseases ate you from the inside out, and your rivals tried to take what you had. If you were poor, same thing only add dirt and hunger. We think things ought to be easy because we have internet, grocery stores and pension plans.

Not so much.

The robber barons still abound. Problems still multiply. Demands seem endless.

So it seems to me that we need to consider how we act and react – no matter the frustration. We must not stumble backwards by attacking someone else.

Our true weapons and superhero powers in this multi-media, internet savvy life, are still kindness, courtesy and human decency. We can do it. We can take a deep breath, step back, and deal with our problems with civility and gentleness.

The customer service reps are in this with us – trying to make a living in a hard world. We can still win the society sweepstakes. We can earn and deserve the good life by trying to build it in every way with every person we meet.

Have a good day (and I do mean it!).