The world just hits us harder: Calling customer service

So, I don’t intend this to come off as complaining. But the reality is that much of life is harder for us as ADHDers. Owning that hardness is a key to succeeding, which can be counterintuitive. I guess it is sort of a Buddhist ideal of accepting reality and not fighting it. But I won’t get too Zen with the whole thing. I will say that it is often the things that society labels as “easy” that we find hard. So it can be much harder for us to let go of the feeling that those things shouldn’t be hard. 

But once we let go, we can decide to create new strategies, new ideas, new ways to work around the shackles of the traditional world and make it bend to our needs. Wow. That sounds kind of grandiose now that I’ve written it. But I’m going to leave it in. Why? Because I just spent 1:07 on the phone with my mortgage company for our rental property because they didn’t pay the insurance out of the escrow and I got an email that the policy lapsed. Exactly what I wanted to deal with today. Actually it was my second call. So, “all day” I’ve been on the phone for about an hour and a half and I’m a bit punchy. 

But that was part of my inspiration for this post. The other part of the inspiration came from a conversation I had with a client last week. That conversation crystalized in my mind how difficult it is for so many of my clients to make “simple” phone calls. There are so many reasons why. If I remember, I think I’ll do a whole post on that soon. But here I just wanted to give a quick tip about the dreaded customer service phone calls. 

We live in a society where most of the things/services we use are beyond our own ability to fix. We interact with enough products that there will be problems. We use enough services that we will need help. And, the corporate world, with very few exceptions, has not made it easy for us to speak to the person who can help us. It was easier for anarchists to breach the Capital than it is for me, a paying customer, to get a person on the phone from YouTubeTV. 

Of course a neurotypical person might find one of these customer service calls annoying. But for many of us ADHDers, it might feel like climbing Everst. Technically possible… But I like my skin and all my toes. So, I employ some very simple tactics to make it more manageable. 

  • I never try to make a customer service call if I don’t have at least an hour free.

  • I have all the things I need with me/open on my desktop before I dial. 

  • I have an hour’s worth of office work to do while I wait on hold or an hour’s worth of stuff to do around the house.

  • I’m in a good headspace to make a decision about whatever the issue is. 

  • I ask myself if it is truly with the time and energy and if I’m likely to get any useful answer. 

  • I also have a great wireless headset. I’m hands free and roaming. 

So while I was on the phone with my super annoying mortgage company today I: 

  • Started this entry,

  • Refilled a prescription,

  • Emailed two clients,

  • Rescheduled a client,

  • Cleaned out my inbox,

  • Reorganized some of my business bookmarks,

  • Ordered something on Amazon,

  • Printed some paperwork, 

  • Ran to the bathroom,

  • And watered some seedlings.

That way, I only really wasted time while I was actually talking to the person on the phone, which was about 7 minutes out of the hour and a half. Not too bad. Takes a little planning. I had my list in front of me to keep ripping things off of. But, if you’ve got that… You should be golden. Try it.

Standard Disclaimer:  In an effort to foil my own perfectionist tendencies, I do not edit my posts much… if at all. Please excuse and typos, mistakes, grammatical errors, or awkward phrasing. I focus on getting my content down. In my humble opinion, an imperfect post posted is infinitely better than a perfect post that goes unfinished.

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