5 Things About Working With Difficult People

What I’ve learned from working with difficult people in call center work so far the past few weeks:

  • Some people don’t realize that their survey responses are directly about me and not the service.
  •  Some people do not realize that they have a difficult time asking for help. And so they don’t really ask for help, they just kind of get angry that they couldn’t figure it out right away.
  • Some, in their confusion, use tactics that make it harder for them to be helped. This plays out in these ways (my interpretation of whats going on in their head)
    •  Anger, inadequacy projected onto me-the helper. “Do you know what you’re doing? Let me talk to your supervisor” (supervisor is never available)
    • Deceived, mistrustful, not really wanting to be helped. “Do you know what you’re doing? You should have the answer right away! Verify my information!? Why!”
    •  Inflated view of self. Service people are inferior. Cannot be helped because being helped would change the story that service people are inferior.
    • I want to figure it out myself but I’m just calling so I can sound like I know what I am doing while I just listen to you ask me questions but I keep changing things without you telling me to but I think I know what I’m doing but I called to get your help so thanks for your help but I don’t think you’re helping me really, click, click, click.
  •  Difficult people, they exist, they don’t go away. Kindness works 99% of the time. The other 1%, well, they just have some bad trauma that makes it necessary to make other’s feel like crap and get angry in order to help themselves feel better. And for this 1%, kindness still works, its just that they don’t really get to help themselves feel better.


90% of people have generally been very patient and courteous; and 50% of the 90% don’t fill surveys. The 10% is what makes or breaks, as 100% of the 10% of difficult people, will respond to surveys.


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