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Do y’all know Helen Waite? She runs the Complaint Dept. If you have any complaints, concerns, or urgent needs, you can just go to Helen Waite.

I am laughing here, but I am so Helen Waite and I totally run the Complaint Dept, but I am getting a bit cranky in my old age, get off my lawn kind of cranky. Like, suck it up butter cup and get over yourself. The world is in desperate need of grown ups right now, not whiners who seem to believe the whole world exists to cater to them and serve their needs.

And that my friends, is the fruit of too many years spent in customer service, especially at this time of year. Tis the season to, totally insist other people joyfully meet all your demands.

Customer service is not so much what job you do, as it is a calling and a skill set. I never realized that until I had to try to teach it to other people. Woah boy! Let’s just start with the fact that the F word should not be a regular part of your customer service vocabulary, nor should such words be used anywhere within earshot of customers….

You have to be the grown up. You have to set the tone. You have to take charge and defuse the situation.  While it amuses me no end to dream of just throwing myself on the floor and kicking and screaming right along side other people in this kind of mutual shared tantrum, it’s just not done.

One of the biggest challenges in customer service is that Helen Waite has the solution to someone’s problem, the fix if you will, but they don’t like it, they don’t want to do it. In fact, the reason they come to you is actually just to lament, rant, complain, grieve, and actually be heard.

People don’t want to fill out and file form 4798B and be done with it, they actually want someone to love them, to walk alongside them through life, to commiserate, and to listen to them in a way that let’s them know they are not alone, that they aren’t crazy.

There is a huge, huge listening deficit in the world right now. I am really aware of it because I have stood in the complaint line for hours waiting patiently and I just cannot get a word in edgewise because there are so, so many other complaints. In fact, when I finally get in to see Helen Waite myself, it’s quite likely she’s actually going to need to just unload on me. Like just back up a dump truck and unload on me….

Did you know the version of Helen Waite you may bump into in life actually has mother issues and her cat is allergic to tuna and her two children were both stillborn, her husband was killed long ago in a car wreck, all huge sadnesses she has never recovered from? Also, she totally blames God for her sadness and walks in deep fear of what He might take away from her next. Well, if you don’t know any of that, you should know, because God gave you two ears and only one mouth and we’re supposed to be listening to one another twice as much as we are murmuring about our own selves.

It really is a calling and a skill set, and there are many different roles and skill sets in the world, but unless you are one of the unfortunate ones who was born with only half an ear and two mouths sticking out of your head, it is your calling too.

And one reason why it’s a calling you want to embrace, is because it is the path to more joy and peace in your own life. Always, always when we are focused on our own selves and our own complaints, our own needs don’t get met either, because we are operating from a place of scarcity and negativity. There isn’t enough attention to go around and I am being ignored here.

People will actually minister to you personally, when you can stop and just take the time to listen to them. God is good that way. He is faithful to put a good word in your ear, even when you are serving others by simply listening to them.

When my own kids were having struggles and I felt so very alone, people I didn’t even know, people who didn’t even know me, just mysteriously sat down to suddenly talk about their own kids and their own sadnesses. That is often how God works, the people you take the time to listen to will minister to you in supernatural and mysterious ways.

Myself, I am prone to seize control of the crazy train and just drive it off the other side of the tracks and down into the ravine. I will become so focused on everyone else’s needs that I will completely ignore my own until I get so frustrated and resentful, I finally get angry and withdraw. Most people however, many people really, are actually coming at life from the complete opposite side of the tracks.

And that side of the tracks is always going to leave you miserable and unfulfilled, because we were actually made to love one another, that is where our purpose and our mission lives, that is what gives our lives meaning and richness. That is what creates relationship and connection.

Just saying. Take it from Helen Waite who has watched a whole lot of trains try to plow down a ravine, even driven a few herself, and trains were just not designed to plow down ravines, they were designed stay on the tracks because they really do have a mission and a purpose.

 

 

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