Monday, April 18, 2011

Christian Pragmatics from Titus

Post subtitle: With Special Application to Interaction with CSRs

I heard a sermon on the letter to Titus today, and at the very end Titus 3:2 caught my attention: "always to be gentle toward everyone." That's the NIV. I really like the KJV here too: "shewing all meekness unto all men."
This verse caught me because I  had plans afterward to go visit a store to handle some details on my cell phone contract. I got a new contract and smartphone a week and a half ago, and as might be expected from completing the order online, several unpleasant surprises came up over the past week. Now, I don't mind paying my bills; it doesn't frustrate me in the least. Maybe this is weird, but I enjoy paying what I know I owe and receiving what I pay for. This is also my view of taxes, believe it or not. But when I have contractual or performance issues (with my phone, my electricity, my treadmill, my weed eater, my municipal park), I do start to stress a bit. And in regard to online or phone orders, it can be too easy to slip into a mode of speech with customer service that is less than meekness-unto-all-men. So that phrase from Titus grabbed me and made me realize (sorry if this strikes you as trite) that customer service representatives are people too, whether I'm chatting with them online or talking to them on the phone or working with them in person. And of course, they bear absolutely no individual responsibility for whatever problems I may have.

So I took that verse with me to my local service store, and I think that it served as an extremely timely reminder to speak kindly, patiently, and meekly to the woman who helped me--and greatly improved my tone and body language, which are a huge part of meekness.

I can happily report that all of my cell phone issues have been promptly taken care of, saving me money and hassle.

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