Customer Service and Life Tips

Those of you in my arena know there is no other way of saying this. I have the best job in the world. For me. I have the honor of providing tech support to WordPress users around the world. And I have an amazing company behind me (Automattic) that understands that the way to provide the best support is to provide support for the supporters.

Support gets tough sometimes. Like today. My brain just wasn’t up to par. My heart wanted to help people, but my brain wasn’t spinning at warp speed, and I was out of sorts.

I know why.

In the past two days I was informed that one young person in my world-circle had an untimely, unexpected death, and another person who is greatly loved, was diagnosed with terminal cancer.

And I received a message about some unsettling behavior from others close to me. Behavior that dredged up a lot of past hurt and unfairness, making me want to retaliate, even though I knew that wasn’t the answer.

Bottom line? I was plain ol’ distracted, even while trying to focus.

I usually am very patient and have a knack for empathy. Today I was lacking in both. Really not cool for customer support. It was unsettling, and I felt like a failure.

But guess what?

My team had my back.

And my faith gave me support. By the end of the day, I was all right (and I even helped some people in the meantime).

How did this happen? By having caring people in my life.

When I was stuck (even on simple issues), my teammates backed me up, offering helpful answers and tips to help the people I was helping. And they never ridiculed me or made me feel sub-par. When I commented on the tough day I was having, they responded with cyber hugs and cyber coffee 🙂 (We work in places all around the world so it’s all cyber). No judgement at all.

This is an amazing thing in the work force, I am finding. In a world where the underdog is crushed, it’s incredible to find a space where everyone’s goal is to be kind and helpful. Amazing. And inspirational. I certainly hope I give that help to others.

While I never reached top-notch performance in the day, I was able to move on and provide quality support thanks to my knowledge that I had a team behind me.

I found out that one of the more difficult people I was dealing with today was really not mad at me personally. They were frustrated because of a work situation they were in. I really struggled to be patient with them as they swore at me through an issue they were having, and after we fixed their issue, they stayed on the chat line, venting to me about the pressure they were under. Thanks to my co-workers, I was able to have the patience and empathy to listen and support.

Because really, while we love WordPress and support it, the bottom line is that we care about the people who use it even more than the product itself. Thanks to my team and their support, I was able to dredge up the patience and understanding to convey that, even on a tough day.

When the work day ended, and the realities of life one again hit my brain, I went to my ultimate source of comfort. A daily devotional with Bible passages. Coincidentally, today’s section of reading was one of my absolute favorites, and it ties in with dealing with the harsh realities of life as well as customer service. Great stuff.

I have this color coded passage hanging on my wall at home. It’s from Galations 6 in the Holy Bible. I use the version called The Message:

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  • As always, thanks for helping me keep my sanity is also due to my greatest friend –my husband, Chris, who is always there to listen to me vent, remind me of passages like the one above, and point me back to the path of helping others when I go astray.

Smooth Sails on Sunday

 

A week-and-a-half late on this one, but better late than never. My favorite part is the end 🙂

It was very windy that Sunday, but we were determined to go fishing again since time was running out on our trip. So we hit the backwaters.

It really wasn’t a very successful day for fishing dinner-wise, but we still had a lot of fun. Highlights of the day included seeing some sea turtles in the distance. According to Mary Beth, that’s a pretty unusual sight for those backwaters. I didn’t get any good pictures since we kept seeing their heads but not much else, and they were quick with diving back down. We think there were two of them, but it might have been one — playing tricks on us.

Another highlight of the day was brainstorming with Jen about possibilities for her next book, now that Been There Done That is complete.

We caught several fish, but after measuring them, had to throw them all back since they were to small. Oh well.

On the way back to the house, we had a treat. A pod of dolphins decided to play in our wake.

 

Nothin’ Like a Good Book

You know those books that haunt you for days, weeks, months, even years after you read them? I finished one of those a few weeks ago. A recommendation from my friend Kelley. The problem is that I would really love to talk with a group about it and get a discussion going, but nobody in my local circle has read it. Yet.

The book I read is Me Before You by Jojo Moyes, and I have so many mixed feelings about it. The summary on Amazon doesn’t do it justice, but I guess it has to go light since saying more would give away too much of the conflict.

Not wanting to give you any spoilers, I won’t say too much, either. But I will tell you that the writing, in my opinion, is strong and engaging. All the characters showed growth and were relatable. Reality smacked the reader and characters in the face, and responses were genuine. It was particularly poignant for me since one of my favorite friends ever was a quadriplegic.

This isn’t a great summary or post, I know. But the book has really been on my mind, and I just had to state that publicly. I do highly recommend it. In fact, I’m going to sign off now to read the sequel – After You: A Novel. Thanks for suggesting it, Kelley!

If you’ve ever read these books, please let me know what you think. And feel free to suggest other fabulous books that get you pondering. ‘Cuz there is just nothing like a good book.