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MOTM July 2012
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Dear INFJs,

What is your typical reaction when you have to wait inconveniently long...?

for example, when you're on hold for a while and periodically hear a recorded message "All representatives are assisting other customers at this time. Your call is very important to us. Please continue holding..."

Just curious. :)
 

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To hang up, mutter a cuss, and call back later. ;)
 

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I have had this happen only once I think, and it made me nervous to the point where I hung up. (I was 15 years old calling microsoft to let them know my 360 needed repairs). Some part got overheated and caused the solder to actually melt, causing some part to come loose.

A non-phone related incident where I have waited and still am waiting is to find whoever I'm supposed to be with in my life. Good thing love is forever patient...
 

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Depends on several factors:

1. How quickly do I have to resolve the issue?
2. What's the rest of my schedule look like?
3. How many menus did I have to wade through just to get to the hold part of the call?

Generally, the harder the battle it was to get to "hold" status and the more pressing the issue, the longer I'm willing to wait on hold. I think my limit is about 20-30 minutes before I start getting annoyed and hang up. Up until that time, I'll be sitting quietly, patiently waiting.

However, if I decide that I'll just try calling them to get it over with quickly, and I'm put on hold, I'll usually hang up and try later.

On that note, I HATE when people screen their calls and I go directly to voice mail and then I have to leave a stuttering, awkward message...and THEN they'll call me back. It's such a freaking waste of time. Not only did I have to call them once and wait, when they call back, I might be doing something else and not want to talk on the phone anymore or miss their call. And if I miss their call, then I have to go through the whole damn cycle all over again! Arrrrrgh!!!
 

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If the call is about reaching a parent/relative, an urgent chat with a friend or resolving something with my college (a teeth-grinding experience either way, but especially in person), I will look over the notes in front of me that concern the call and try to be as thorough as possible. I've never had to wait very long on the phone but I'm militant about getting the details I seek and getting off the phone. I've some hesitations about phone calls; everything from anticipation to execution is over-thought and mildly anxiety-inducing. If there's music or advertisements playing over the phone, I use that time to organize what I'm going to say.
My level of patience is relative to the situation though. There are moments where I surprise myself and the fuse runs short: KABOOM!

P.S As someone mentioned above, I too, dislike leaving messages. I sound like I'm twelve over the phone so it is not a gratifying experience to hear the feedback. "You sound so cute!"
I may just leave abuse next time, then, thank you. :laughing:
 

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I swear and start talking back really rudely. Especially if they have annoying music and if they keep playing ads for their company's services periodically. And I hate the stupid earnest messages, I'd rather they be more matter of fact about it than put some considerate sweet tinge on the message.

I find that getting really belligerent at the system helps me deal with the situation. I think I hate the helplessness the most, so swearing and telling the system exactly what I think of it makes me feel less like I'm being screwed with (though I still am of course). My favourite when I get that stupid message for the umpteenth time is to yell out "THAT'S A LIE! YOU'RE TOTALLY LYING! YOU THINK I'M GOING TO FALL FOR THAT? I'M NOT AN IDIOT!"

*I really really hate not being able to talk to a human. It gets me so mad when you need help and there's nowhere else you can go to fix the problem, and you find the only people who can help you won't let you get anywhere near a sentient being. It's bullshit.
 

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I silently wait it out, growing more and more amused with each passing minute I imagine the service people spilling their coffee on themselves while they're on break wondering when their shift will end...

Well guess what, Nintendo call center employee guy!
We all know that you work for a company that ruined the gaming industry for the rest of eternity and can't produce a winning Seattle sports franchise, and you CAN'T SLEEP AT NIGHT BECAUSE OF IT!!! BWAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAH!!!!
*SIGH*
I'm okay...
(I'm not okay)
 

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As someone who currently is working in this industry, I sympathize. The easy perception is that no one is there to answer the phone. The reality is that 8 people can't answer 2000 calls in an 8 hour period on time every time. Of course customers calling in don't know industry standards, and when I do answer a call that I know someone has waited 5+ minutes, I do apologize and try to be sympathetic even though I know that most often there is nothing I could have done to shorten their wait. Is the customer waiting more important than the customer I am on the phone with (which is the reason the customer on the line is still waiting)?

Also this...

I just put the phone on speaker and leave it somewhere until they pick up
 

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Sadly, I'm one of those people who often has to put people on hold at work. I hate doing it, because I know nobody likes being put on hold, but would they really want me breathing in their ear while I look in seven different places on my super-slow computer in order to find the information they're asking for? No. They would not. Do they want to listen to me asking my boss their question to get a more accurate answer? No. If I have to call another office to get the answer to their question because I don't want to transfer them for the billionth time, I have no choice but to put them on hold.

They bitch about it sometimes, but the fact is that I'm not sitting here twiddling my thumbs and surfing Facebook while I have them on hold - I actually AM trying to help them...and unfortunately it can't always be done in a manner of instant gratification if I want to give them the correct information.

The fact is that there are four people working in my office, and two of us are out here to both answer the phones and greet people who come into the office at the same time. You can't explain that to the callers because they're generally too annoyed to be sympathetic, and sadly most are generally under the impression that they are more important than anyone else calling anyway. We don't see it that way in this office, and we don't give special treatment just because somebody makes a lot of money or because they know someone on the Board of Trustees.

I get that people who call are usually too focused on their own issue to really take a second to think about the other side of the coin - usually the more upset someone is when they call us, the more they think we owe them something for "making them upset."
 

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I wait as long as I need to depending on circumstances and urgency of problem.

And am nice and courteous when the person at the other end finally receives the phone.

Both my brother and brother in law worked in Call Centres ---- so I know just how backed up, under-staffed and stress driven [almost slavish] conditions they work in at times - plus they already have at least 10-20 people bitching them out day in and day out.

I try to make them feel comfortable and at ease when talking to me. Hey ... I may have a problem, but the person at the other end of the line is human as well ... who knows what sort of shit they're going through in their life. They deserve kindness, courtesy and empathy as well. So I laugh a little. Joke around a bit and brighten their day.

Usually get better help that way as well :)
 

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I don't get annoyed by waiting. As someone else said, you can just put it on speaker phone anyway until someone picks up. What I get annoyed with is when the problem is still left unresolved or the person on the other end was rude. But I usually just have my husband deal with this stuff since he's so good at talking to people. He can sweet talk any of the girls but if he gets a guy, no such luck.
 

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I feel so bad for people who work in call centers and/or customer service. What a horrible job - to have to sit there and listen to people directing their anger and frustration at you all day. Negativity...all day...how draining.

Which is why I try to be friendly with people when I have to call a customer service number for any reason. Usually, the friendlier you are, the friendlier and more likely to want to help you they are (same goes for me at my job - I'm not that eager to help rude people). I guess that's how I got into a random conversation about pollen season and boiled peanuts with the customer service guy at my car insurance company...

Whatever. It was better than awkward silence.
 

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If it's a phonecall, I put it on speaker and go about my life until I hear the human greeting me. For waiting in general, I preoccupy myself with my thoughts or activities available to me, and meet impatience with a response of consciously applied patience. Because there's not much good reason to suffer through the feelings of impatience if you're going to be waiting anyway.
 

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I guess that's how I got into a random conversation about pollen season and boiled peanuts with the customer service guy at my car insurance company...

Whatever. It was better than awkward silence.
I found out something very interesting yesterday [was interviewing at a call centre]. They actually deduct points off of a call centre rep [called metrics or something like that] for taking too long to resolve a customer problem. Just FYI the next time anyone decides to engage a call centre rep in a long conversation.

Having fewer points = poor results = less likelihood of being able to get the shift of their choice = life problems :/

I walked in for an interview and walked away with the impression that this is quite close to voluntary slavery :/

Noam Chomsky had some great ideas on Wage Slavery --- and honestly, based on the lives of call centre reps, I have a feeling that that's very close to what he was talking about.
 

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MOTM July 2012
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Discussion Starter #19
i hope no one took this as a criticism of call center employees. they are just doing their job! when there aren't enough employees and there are a lot of calls, there's no option but to put you on hold. i was just trying to learn how other INFJs typically respond under such conditions...the measure of empathy when inconvenienced. :)
 

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I'm not saying I think it's the individual employee's fault that the system is so shit. I think it's the company's fault.

I am speaking from recent experience of having had an extremely hard time getting a hold of a live person from my ISP. I finally had to send an email (and note, the thing I was getting in contact with them for was something they had told me to get in contact with them for, I didn't even know what it was about or have any beef), got a reply a day later that was the most incomprehensible email.

If a company wants to understaff and outsource to people with poor language and communication skills, then yeah I get annoyed at them. I have wondered about what this means about the price I pay for the service - does this reflect this or is the company making a massive profit? I don't know.

Oh yeah the other thing is that their automated system kept dropping calls as well. And I found out that if I called 'new sales' there was always someone to answer the phone immediately, but call any other number and it's a 5 minute wait that isn't 5 minutes.
 
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