That’s right, this title says it all. Today, I was told that I should be fired.
I am a customer service representative for an animal pharmaceutical company. I work for at least eight hours a day, sometimes more, answering phone calls mostly consisting of employees of veterinary clinics or veterinarians placing an order for the products that we sell. I would be willing to say that about 95% of the calls are great people. Cheery, happy, pleasant, kind people who simply want to place their order and move on with their busy day. However, there is that 5% of calls that don’t turn out quite that easy.
Today, I answered the phone and a veterinarian called to place an order for his clinic. The call was going just fine; he was rolling through his list of items he needed and I entered them into our computer system. It was a completely normal call until he asked me about a product that has been on an extreme shortage where only select veterinary clinics are allocated for a specific amount of the product. When I informed him that he was only allowed one bottle of one size and two bottles of another size of this product, he became livid. For a long approximately three minutes following my statement to him, I listened to him yelling at me how he is an older veterinarian having been in the business for many years and smart enough where if he was the CEO of the company I work for, he would fire every one of us due to the inconvenience we have caused his clinic and many others from the shortage of this one product. I attempted to transfer him to one of my supervisors per his request but he hung up before I could complete the transfer.
I just chuckled to myself after the call.
That’s really all that could be done. I didn’t feel angry at the veterinarian. I didn’t feel like I should be fired for an issue that my position isn’t directly involved with and has no control over. My feelings weren’t hurt. I just laughed it off.
To anyone who may work in a similar situation, this is something we must face nearly every day. It doesn’t matter if you are a cashier at Walmart, a bank teller, a restaurant server, or the CEO of a pharmaceutical company: learning how to work with people is a challenge. It is something that is learned how to master a little bit more as time goes on.
The main rule of thumb to keep in mind here is to be as pleasant as possible, be confident in yourself and your work, and stay focused. Some customers might get into your head to make you believe you are worthless at your job and even go as far as saying that you and all of your hard-working coworkers should be fired. Be confident that you are an asset to the company you work for and that you come in to work every day with a positive mindset. Shake off the negative comments and start fresh knowing that you are being the best you can be.
Needless to say, I am very much still employed and will walk into work tomorrow ready to take on my calls for the day. I look forward to the 95% enjoyable calls, especially those who like to crack jokes and have fun on the call. Working with people is as enjoyable as you allow it to be. Stay positive and keep in mind that you are worth respect and worth being regarded as an exceptional employee.