Monday, January 13, 2014

how may i assist you?

when i find myself biting my tongue at work, it's usually because i'm dealing with a customer of the water department who's distressed because their water has been turned off for nonpayment and the city didn't show up on the day they finally paid to turn it back on. (inevitably, they have their grandmother and at least three children in the home, and every one needs a bath or to flush the toilet or something.)

i have a terrible time resisting the urge to point out that such a crisis could be averted simply by paying the bill on time, but somehow i do.

i had a call this morning that tested me for a slightly different reason.

we also answer for several mental health facilities and practices, and a woman called in the wee hours of the morning to seek assistance from the office. she said her issue "wasn't really an emergency", but she was still quite upset, so i asked what was going on, in an effort to determine whether or not she actually needed to speak with a counselor.

without using the derogatory term she uttered (unless she was using an old term for a cigarette), this woman's issue was that she wanted assistance finding a place to live simply because she met her new male neighbor, who happened to have dating preferences that were alarmingly similar to her own. 

it was all i could do to keep from pointing out that she clearly needed mental health assistance. somehow, i was able to very politely suggest that perhaps the office had the right resources to help her out if she called back when they were open. 

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