Tuesday, June 3

Being nice

I went to a customer service center for a particular communications vendor. I chose that location for convenience. I probably should have called beforehand to be sure they had the product for which I was looking in stock, but I made an assumption that they would have at least some minimum number in stock. It's not as though they've got a lot of products. (Oh stop trying to figure it out; it was Comcast.)

Anyway, this customer service center did not have the product and the customer service person didn't exhibit an attitude or behavior I would characterize as customer-focused. She was rude. Just rude. And how did I respond? Not well. I was irritated by her behavior and her attitude, and her pointed question snarled at me, "Did you call first?" really torqued me. What I wanted to say was, "No because if I'd called first, I probably wouldn't be here so you could show me just how terrible at providing service to customers you are." What I said, tersely and not very nicely, was, "Obviously not." Yea, I made her day even better, didn't I? I can't help but wonder if I could have made things a little better for her and for customers who came after me if I'd just been nice.

Being nice isn't really that hard. It doesn't hurt. In fact, being nice can feel pretty good.

Being nice can change someone's perspective of themselves and their day.

Being nice can have lovely ripple effects for others who come in the wake of your niceness. Sure, that sounds treacly, but you know it's true.

There's a Facebook page for niceness: Random Acts of Niceness. I would not lie about this. Feel free to check it out, even like it if you're so inclined.

Sure, there might need to be boundaries for being nice, but that's a different conversation. I'm talking about situations like the one today, when I could have been nice but returned rudeness. I'm thinking about my response to the young woman at the drive-through window when I got my coffee (Dunkin' Donuts) who seemed a little stressed but who rewarded me with a brilliant smile when I thanked her and wished her a good day.

Being nice. Being kind. Making someone's day.

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