Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Be Polite

There's a scene in the movie 'The Fifth Element' that I love. The girl, Leeloo, played exquisitely by Milla Jovovich, is cornered in Bruce Willis' taxi, and she says, very meekly, 'Be Polite.'
Well, I tend to have somewhat of a meek character on the phone. If there are things I need to tell the customer, I tend to soften this up, by using terms like 'it looks like...', "it appears...',  'Let me look into that...,' when all the time I know what I'm doing. I do it because not many people like being brusquely told what to do or what I'm doing.
I didn't used to be that way, I used to be very blunt with people, and it wound up getting me into trouble.
Well some people take that meekness to mean I don't know what I'm doing and the advice I give them, which is correct, to be something to be tossed aside. 'Can I speak to someone else?' 'Sure, but they'll tell you the same thing', only maybe they will be more blunt about it.
The bottom line is, I'm trying to be polite and soften the way that I speak and the way that I appear to the customer, and some are seeing it as a sign of weakness, and they, in turn, rather impolitely, make me feel worthless.
'You can't please all of the people all of the time.' Truer words were never spoken.