The Meddler

Bad customer service – aka the Seventh Circle of Hell

I have the utmost respect for customer service workers. It is not an easy job, no matter what industry you’re in.

Because let’s be honest – the general public can be a**holes, and no one actually wants to deal with a**holes.

Whether it’s that impatient man who thinks the woman scanning their groceries isn’t worth more acknowledging, or the woman who screams at the sales person in a retail store because they’re out of stock of whatever item, customer service workers can do it tough.


I remember this, and I always try to be as respectful as possible – I even managed to keep my cool that time I was 8 ½ months pregnant and the McDonalds ice-cream machine wasn’t working and I really wanted a McFlurry.

However, I do not like it when this respect isn’t returned to me. A prime example of this occurred the other day, when I entered the Seventh Circle of Hell, more commonly known as my local Centrelink office.

I had some things to sort out with my son’s Childcare benefits, and I was tired of dealing with the glitchy Centrelink website, and tired of arguing with the robot on the Centrelink phoneline (which is okay to say because robots don’t have feelings yet).

So I packed up my son and the 10-tonne of accoutrement that comes with babies, and we bounced into the centre hoping to talk to a real person.

But the woman who greeted us did so with a steely glare that managed to stop my toddler mid-toddle.

After explaining my situation and the arguments with the robot on the phone, she began to berate me for not trying to sort out my problem online before coming into the centre, because they were “having a very busy day”.

She didn’t want to hear about how the website was down, because in that case, I should’ve “just called them on the phone”.

And she certainly didn’t want to hear that their phone service had proven to be unhelpful, because I could “just do this all online anyway”.

I was amazed at the hostile attitude of this woman. In less than a minute, she’d made me feel dumber than a box of rocks.

It just goes to show: customers can be a**holes, but so can customer service workers.