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A French-Inspired Garden and Home by Judith Stringham

4 Lessons of Spirit of Christmas in my Heart

Sunday, May 15, 2016

This Spring a large technology company has truly been testing my patience... and goodwill... and understanding... and pleasantness... 

New purchases from the company came with promises of a good time in the year. The upgrades will make your life a movie life where parking places always appear right in front of where you are going.

No circling the block.

Your new services will be faster, better, C H E A P E R.

Yes, just a perfect movie life is coming my way.
However, the promised good time has been dampened by a series of mistakes by the company's employees. Was there a script rewrite in my movie life? 

What have I learned from this? 

4 Lessons of the Spirit of Christmas 
In My Heart 

I have questioned if this company were not composed of another race of creatures bound on their journeys...

Sent to this earth to conquer earthlings by wearing us down with a ... 

A multitude of billing errors... 

L E S S O N  1... be forgiving of the multiple errors... 

All four of the company's agents were apologetic, with assurances all is well now. They sounded like they believed it in their hearts.... each of the four times I had to call after receiving another bill with a mistake. 

Surely the company will be forgiving of my payment errors in the future... 

Wearing us down with wait times... due to an unexpected volume of callers... listening to the same melody over and over...

I think I can play it on the piano by heart now. Free music lessons!

L E S S O N  2 ... be charitable to the agent who put you on hold for 45 minutes, then upon coming back to you immediately transferred you to another agent because this is not the billing department...
even though the option selected was B I L L I N G.

Be charitable... just think how many irritated customers the agent has had to transfer to another agent.

Wearing us down with erroneous O V E R D U E statements.

L E S S O N  3 ... be kind to the agent supervisor who promised your credit rating is not affected by the company erroneously reporting that your account had been cancelled due to nonpayment of $4.83 when in fact it had been cancelled because of a change in services required by the company.

Be kind... bless their hearts; you are on a first-name basis with many people, including supervisors,  in the company now.

Wearing us down with yet another billing mistake...

Has any billing statement been correct yet... in the past eight weeks?

Do you suppose they are checking my math skills? Did someone tell them I am a retired math teacher who has taught calculus? Is this race of creatures searching for intelligent life on earth capable of doing the math?

L E S S O N  4... be pleasant with each new agent. She isn't the same person you have spoken with about the same issues for the past eight weeks.

Be pleasant... you can do the math by heart; no calculator needed.

Yes, I will honor Christmas in my heart and try to keep it ALL the year.

Even when exasperated with another race of creatures bound on their journeys...

From A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens 

Let me open my shut-up heart freely. Being pleasant is so hard sometimes.

I must think of this company's agents as fellow-passengers to the grave...

Fred to Scrooge in A Christmas Carol
But I am sure I have always thought of Christmas time, when it has come around - apart from the veneration due to its sacred name and origin, if anything belonging to it can be apart from that - as a good time; a kind, forgiving, charitable, pleasant time; the only time I know of, in the long calendar of the year, when men and women seem by one consent to open their shut-up hearts freely, and to think of people below them as if they really were fellow-passengers to the grave, and not another race of creatures bound on other journeys.
~~~~  ~~~~ 

Please join me at these inspiring places for more joy of living. 

Dishing It and Digging It @ Rustic and Refined




  1. This is such a wonderful reminder, Judith. We may not all be dealing with the cable company but these issues seem to pop up periodically. I'm having one now with the lawn spraying company that won't go away. My thought is to be nice every step of the way but insistent and stick to my guns.

  2. Your lesson has taught me to use email instead of calling. But the thought expressed is truly a good one and I will keep it in mind.

  3. The easier things are promised to be, the more complicated the begin to seem. I like your attitude though!

  4. The spirit of Christmas is for all seasons, because LOVE is the gift and it never runs out. Oh, that we may all remember these lessons!

  5. Judith,
    Being tried to the limits of one's being by unorganized and ill communicating individuals is indeed enough to make one scream.
    However, it sounds as though you have handled it with much grace and patience!
    Thank you for sharing these gentle tips with us, at one time or another we will all need them.

  6. Judith, you made my day! I too am convinced that there are creatures from another planet amongst us, sent to conquer earthlings by wearing us down with multiple phone transfers, eons listening to, and thus memorizing "on hold music and company recordings of how important your call is and then being disconnected. It's been a very long time since customer service was a reality and not just a mission statement. Your post is a reminder that we are all embassadors of our planet and need to remain calm, kind, yet assertive with these creatures, and make our commercial transactions with intelligent, service oriented small business owners as yourself! Keep up the good fight!
    Ginger--fellow Texan, planet earth.

    1. Ginger,
      I am laughing out loud... fellow Texan, planet earth...

      Thank you so much for your kind comments about my little business. You are a great customer!


  7. What a beautiful post with such a touching sentiment. thanks for the reminders. Enjoy your week.

  8. Now we if could just spread this post over the internet and make it go viral, we might make a dent, right?

    I just had this sort of thing happen to me today, and I sure am glad that I didn't loose my mind at the service counter. I guess I did the right thing, because they called me unexpectedly 3 hours later, apologizing for the inconvenience and a wrongful service charge:)

    Have a great day, Judith!

    1. Cindy,
      If only we could spread Christmas goodwill ALL year, we could make a dent. I just have to keep reminding myself, "Remain calm, breathe, talk slowly, be patient." The post is really to keep reminding me of how to respond to stressful situations.


  9. It's not easy...we get tested all the time. And the older you get, the more patient you are? Wouldn't that be nice! lol You've given us lots to think about. Hugs, Diane

  10. I'm so sorry. What a pain in the neck for you.

  11. Patience and persistence are key to this kind of situation and documentation of everything.

    I had a situation that took 7 months to rectify which included in-person visits with my documentation. I took notes after every phone conversation ( including date, time and person's name)and kept every piece of correspondence. I put all documentation into a 3 ring binder and took that binder with me during all in-person visits.

    I was victorious in the end but it all boiled down to determination, documentation, patience and persistence!

    Marilyn (in Dallas)

  12. Oh my goodness! You definitely are patient and kind. Thank you for sharing your "test". I don't know if I could have been as kind. Bless you! Thanks again for sharing at Dishing It & Digging It!

  13. We can all relate and those are such good reminders for us all!


  14. I love your plan...would you like to take on Scott and White Hospital for me??????
    Blessings to you,


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