Kind Words

I hate dealing with tech support (I know, hate is a strong word). To begin with, it invariably means there's a problem, which is never good, and then I'm prone to get the tech who insists on treating me as though I don't understand the word "and" (which is frustrating)...and he/she tells me to go through steps A,B,C when I went through A,B,C before contacting support, and I made that clear in my initial correspondence, (which is frustrating) and  that just makes me think nasty thoughts like: can this technician read? (I know, not a very Christian attitude) and  then I have to repent...and Oh, how I love having to do that instead of just having a right mind to begin with! Can you relate?

But, today I had to contact tech support and the tech not only helped me solve my issue, but he was courteous, prompt, and answered my questions. (See, I do understand the word "and" LOL.) When the issue was resolved (lickety-split and painlessly, I might add), I thanked him and told him how courteous and prompt he was. I really appreciated that.

I didn't expect a response. Our business was concluded, and my closing email letting him know that everything had worked out didn't really require a response. Yet, he replied and thanked me for my kind words.

Now, first of all, I didn't realize I had been kind. I mean, I wasn't "mean," but I didn't think he would consider my words "kind." I was just being honest and appreciative, partly because of the many negative experiences I've had with tech support. But his response made me think. We deal with people every day. If you're like me, many of your dealings are via email to strangers or to people with whom you don't really have a close relationship. It's easy to shoot off a curt response that may sound rude to someone who doesn't know you so can't "hear" your voice, or even to blast someone. (It's so much easier to be rude when you're not looking into someone's face, don't you think?)

But, it's just as easy to say something pleasant. It didn't hurt me at all or take any extra time to tell the support tech that I appreciated his efforts; yet, judging by his reply, it did make a difference in his day. Maybe he hadn't gotten any kind words thrown at him for a while. Maybe he was having a bad day--or week.  Maybe, he was just being courteous back, which was nice in itself. Who knows? What I do know is this: I appreciate getting kind words said to me, and so I should be willing to dish out a few kind words every now and again--often, even! So I urge you, the next time you have to deal with someone on the phone, via email, in person: Smile, think of something encouraging to say and uplift someone. Even if they are being nasty to you. You never know what someone is going through. Maybe your kind word will lift their spirits and they'll be nicer to the next person they deal with.


  1. I live in the IT world and have been in some sort of support role for longer than I care to admit. Hardly anyone says thank you anymore. Whenever anyone helps me, I thank them. If they've gone above and beyond even a little then I'll email my gratitude to their supervisor. It doesn't cost me anything and the payback is amazing. Yes, they are just doing their job. I am just doing my job. But adding a smile to someone's day is priceless.

    Thanks for the reminder!

  2. I was just reminded again of the power of words. It's always fascinated me how often the Bible tells us to watch what comes out of our mouths. Curse or blessing, words have power, and tonight I turned on Joel Osteen and he was speaking about the power of speaking blessings. You're so right, Elizabeth. Adding a smile to someone's day is priceless. It may be the only smile they get.

    And to email a supervisor on a good note is a great idea, too. I try to do the same. Thanks for that reminder. :)

  3. That's a great article and reminder. My stepson worked in the call center for a major phone provider and only lasted a few months--people were so mean on the phone.

    It's also important to word things well in an email--as you said, you never know how it may be interpreted : )

  4. Thank you for the wonderful post. This is an area God's REALLY been working on in me this last year and I so appreciate you sharing. A good reminder that in ALL our dealings, we should be ready with a kind word. (I'm so bad behind the wheel) I just know God is always shaking his head at me, saying, "Okay, let's try this lesson again." Errgh. Thanks so much, Nicola.