Wednesday, August 3, 2011

About Honey and Vinegar

I should like to speak of something that I thought was common knowledge, but apparently is not. At work I sometimes have the pleasure of speaking with somewhat angry people on the phone. Granted, compared to many other jobs or even departments within BYU, the amount of contact I get with angry people is very small (I can't imagine the poor secretaries in Financial Services. Ouch), but nevertheless it is significant enough that I have started to form some opinions and I usually feel like I can predict who is going to get a good outcome right off the bat.

Last week, a lady called and wanted to talk to the Dean about her son. I usually roll my eyes a little when people have issues about their kids, because I sort of feel like their COLLEGE-aged child should be able to figure these things out on their own. My favorite is when parents call wondering where their son (it is always a son, no offense boys) can buy a cap and gown. Your kid made it to a degree but they can't look this up online and walk over to the bookstore and order a cap and gown? How am I still here working on my degree? Then I commence with the feeling really bad about myself part.

Anyways, I was prepared for this lady to be rude but she was actually really nice, just a little misguided about where to go for help, and I was more than happy to talk to her. I gave her several phone numbers of places around campus that she could call and I even chatted with her for a minute just for kicks. I genuinely wanted to help her find an answer to her problem. A nice time was had all around.

Yesterday, however, I was greeted by a screeching banshee on the other end of the line who demanded she speak with "The Dean of [department in college]" (I pompously love it when people don't understand how the whole college organization thing works and they act like I am the one who is wrong. There are no deans of departments, only colleges.) about an issue that her daughter was having. She kept saying things like "YOUR college" (yep, it's mine) and "I DON"T CARE!" (*screeching banshee sounds*) when I told her that she actually had to talk to someone else first. She was just so darn unpleasant. I found myself giving her the least amount of help that I could as a quiet and probably fruitless act of retaliation. My favorite part was when she tried to threaten me by stating that she works for BYU and trying to scare me with her position, but, like everyone else in the 21st century, it turns out that we have caller ID so I could see exactly who she actually was and it wasn't really scaring me. So in the end I told her the name of a person to talk to and hung up as quickly as possible. And then I judged her for fighting her daughters' battles for her. Maybe this whole "being married and standing on your own two feet" thing is getting to me a little.

So, the moral of the story is: be nice to student employees. Cuz we can help you and be nice if you're nice to us. And also bring us Blimpie subs (another story altogether).

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