Saturday, May 26, 2007

Stuttering Succotash

Here's a general tip for any of you who run a business that requires a telephone-based customer support line. Do not hire someone with a severe stuttering problem. I just wasted a good amount of time on the phone with a customer service agent when I called in about a problem with my cable box.

It started out normally. But, within a few sentences, there was a stutter or two. No big deal, I could understand what he was saying. Unfortunately, his stuttering problem got progressively worse quickly. At one point, it took him almost 30 seconds to give me the address of a local office. And, yes, I really did stay calm and not once did I bring up the stuttering, though I did ask him to repeat a few things, because I couldn't understand him. As expected, that made things worse. Anyway, by the end of the call, he resorted to spelling out his words, because he could no longer say them any more.

That's really ridiculous. Why not have him work on their 'live online chat' support line and not on the phones. I'm not really here to bash those who stutter, but it would make a lot more sense to find a job where the stuttering would not come into play. I can't blame him as much as I can blame the person who hired him. That's just a bad management decision.

Suh-, Suh-, So, Coh-, Coh-, Com, Comcassss, Comcast. Li-, Li-sten up. Muh-, Muh-, Moooove thhh thhh this guy tuh tuh tuh to a muh- muh- more appropriate place within your company.

1 comment:

Bud said...

Read the tips from The Stuttering Foundation so you will know how to talk to those who stutter and help them. Slowing your own speech down and making sure that your tone of voice doesn't acknowledge your frustration with them is one of the best things you can do. I give the person with a stutter much credit for taking on a job that is making him practice his speech.

Next time you come in contact with someone who stutters, let them know about The Stuttering Foundation and their web site where there is a wealth of information including brochures of helpful tips, online videos, referrals to speech specialists trained to work with stutterers, and public libraries that shelve their books. The one that has helped our family of stutterers is "Self Therapy for the Stutterer."

My compliments on your not mentioning the stutter and trying to be patient.