notquiteold

Nancy Roman

Kindness

I was mean yesterday.

Not mean like making someone cry, or repeating malicious gossip, or (worst of all) slapping the dog. Not mean mean.

Just a little mean. I was rude on the phone.

I heard from my doctor’s office that Medicare had my coverage screwed up. This was the first time I have used it since turning 65. And my claim was denied.

So I got on the phone with Medicare. That alone brings my blood pressure up. Not Medicare per se, or even the hold time, which was considerable. But the phone. I hate talking on the phone.

So after my required 13 minutes of hold time, listening to unpleasant music and promos for Medicare’s Facebook site (I wonder if they post pictures of kittens?), I finally got a real person and explained the issue.

While trying to explain, the dog of course was alternately barking his crazy head off and chewing up some recent mail.

But I managed to get the gist from the Medicare representative. She told me that in order to correct the coverage discrepancy she needed me to get one piece of information from my previous employer. And then call back.

Hang up, make another phone call to get a required date, and then make another phone call to give that date to Medicare.

And I said, “Well, that’s a pain in the ass.”

As if this was some horrible unacceptable huge terrible disgusting task.

And I bitched about it on Facebook too. (Although not on Medicare’s page… only to my own, always-sympathetic, friends. Friends who might actually have REAL problems.)

By the way, after I had made that unpleasant comment, the Medicare rep responded, “I’m sorry.”

I think 2016 may go down in history as “The Year of Nasty”. The year that it became acceptable to be mean. To let our basest, least civil instincts rule. To be proud of our nastiness. To stop trying to rise above our prejudices and petty hatreds. To stop trying to become better people.

We’ve been given permission to be mean. Some of us would like to elect someone who enjoys incivility: rudeness, contempt, blame, name-calling. Millions of Americans think that it is time to have a leader with these so-called tell-it-like-it-is traits.

Yesterday I caught myself being unnecessarily rude. And thinking it over, being rude is pretty much always unnecessary.

So today I resolved to do better.

I called Medicare. And I listened patiently to their Facebook promos as their five-minute hold became seven-and-a-half.

And I finally got a nice woman on the line.

“How can I help you today?” she said.

And I responded:

“Yesterday I called about a coverage issue, and I was rude to one of your co-workers. And I am sorry for that. You aren’t the person I talked to, but I’m sure that someone else like me owes you an apology too. So you can help me today by accepting my apology.”

It’s a start.

be-kind-whenever-possible-it-is-always-possible-quote-1

 

60 Comments

  1. I may have to vote for you! Medicare does incite rudeness. I try to remember they are only people. We are limited in the number of walls we can build.

    Liked by 2 people

  2. I love that you took the time to call back to apologise. I can only imagine how many times a person in this line of work, is yelled at, sworn at & most likely hung up on. It doesn’t take a whole lot for us to express kindness, yet it is something we could all work on.

    Recently a dear friend bought me a bracelet with this saying on it: “We are here to be good to each other”. Each morning when I put it on, I say the words out loud.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I’ll have to remember to be kind when I call my insurance to complain that in spite of paying 30% of my salary for insurance including dental insurance, they consider a broken front tooth repair to be “cosmetic.”

    But I promise. I’ll be nice. So I’ll have to complain in writing — there is something about those long waits for a human that brings out the worst in all of us.

    Like

    • I truly believe you can show tenacity and even righteous indignation and still be civil. At least we can try.

      Liked by 2 people

  4. You are amazing!!!

    Liked by 2 people

  5. Awesome! I bet that was a first for that call-taker!

    Like

    • She just laughed and said, “We get a lot of frustration, but we understand.” I hope it made her day, though.

      Liked by 2 people

      • I’m sure it did. Having worked with the public in several different jobs, believe me: an encounter with one rude person will stay with you much longer than all the pleasant ones. And that’s sad.

        Liked by 1 person

  6. That is a great start. If we’d all make such a start, maybe it would be contagious. I’m sure you made that person’s day. Kudos to you.

    Like

    • It was a small step, but maybe it made the Medicare person’s day a little better. It certainly helped make my day better.

      Liked by 1 person

  7. Jude

    I was rude to someone on the street last week, they pushed past me and I shouted after them very rudely, I should have been the bigger person and left it. Instead I made the rudest person me. I’m embarrassed at how I behaved, and am lucky it didn’t turn out worse as they rounded on me aggressively. I have never behaved like that before but was stressed, fed up, over worked – no excuse I know, it’s made me look at my life and what I need to change to not behave like that again.

    Like

    • I am hoping that all this nastiness that seems to be seeping into our very beings will subside, and perhaps even have a boomerang effect – that we will try harder after all of this to be a little kinder to each other.

      Liked by 1 person

  8. Sonia Ribaux

    You GO girl!!! You will be part of a story that begins, “you’ll never believe what happened at work today…”

    Like

    • Yeah, I hope that Rep at least says… what a crazy day!

      Like

  9. Have you been watching the “debates” again?

    Like

  10. I love that you did that – what a great idea! ❤
    Diana xo

    Like

    • I just realized that perhaps it was the part of me that is a little bit Canadian… it felt good to apologize.

      Like

      • haha I may be Canadian, but believe me, I have been rude many times!

        Like

  11. Good for you. I worry that some people feel liberated from civility and even proud of being rude and unkind to others. If only more people stopped to think, as you did.

    Like

    • That is what I am seeing too – that people are acting proud of their hatred.

      Like

  12. Reblogged this on talktodiana and commented:
    Ahh kindness…

    Love this post and what Nancy did to make up for a moment of rudeness. ❤
    Diana xo

    Like

  13. I Love Love Love this and your resolution at the end. Thank you!!!!

    And… so not to be rude by omitting how I came here today — Diana sent me! ❤

    Liked by 2 people

  14. Thank you. This is how we can change the world, by choosing to change ourselves, being and doing Good. Yes, we are free to say whatever we want, but I choose to say things that bring happiness (I hope) 🙂 Conscience searching, not enough of that in this world.

    Like

    • I feel so much better being kind. I wonder why some people seem to feel better being mean? I think perhaps they just haven’t given kindness a chance.

      Liked by 1 person

      • I think it has to do with wanting to dominate others and get revenge. But that is a downawrd spiral whereas kindness lifts us up.

        Like

  15. So much of life is becoming automated. Organizations intentionally make it difficult to reach someone and there’s no actual person capable of understanding and fixing your problem. I would get mad at people more if only I could find the right people.

    Like

    • I remind myself that eventually, at the other end of the phone, is a real person. Years ago my niece worked in claims for an insurance company. Her training consisted almost entirely of different ways to say “No.” She left that job as soon as she could. But other employees might not have a choice.

      Like

  16. What a timely reminder! I bet the rep nearly dropped her headset when you apologized!

    Like

    • Well, she did laugh in a very surprised way. And graciously accepted my apology, with the comment, “It’s okay. We get a lot of frustration… but we understand.”

      Like

  17. I was nodding along…nodding, nodding, nodding….and then you called them back and I cried. Because you just made someone’s day, and so few people who answer phones anywhere ever have good days. Your small comment, not even directed at anyone was nothing compared to what they hear regularly. And your call back probably got spread to more than one person as she told someone and that person told someone. You might even have made the weekly or monthly newsletter that big companies like to send out internally. I hope so.

    So what do we do to move our country closer to kindness? We write things like this. You are inspiring Today I am not going to be rude. Not that I was planning on it, but you never know when you have to call some big conglomerate about a problem. Comcast comes to mind.

    And the next step is going a bit further, more than just not being rude…how about today we each are kind to one person…that we go out of our way for one person. I have the receptionist at the doggy groomer in mind. I dropped off the dog this morning, she seemed unhappy. When I go to pick up the dog I’ll talk to her. Really talk to her.

    She’ll have you to thank for that.

    Have a kind day.

    Liked by 1 person

    • What a nice thing.. to have a real conversation with someone you don’t know. I hope you find you have a lot in common. You probably do. You are both human beings trying to cope with the world… we all have that in common.

      Like

      • I just wrote a post on kindness, inspired by you. See? Kindness is contagious!

        Like

        • Maybe we can get a Kindness trend going.. wouldn’t that be nice?

          Like

  18. Wow. I could relate to this post on so many levels. I am in the midst of applying for Medicare (I become eligible, i.e., turn 65, in a couple of weeks), so I too have been on the phone with them a lot. (Oh, usually I do get a nice person; surprisingly often!) Anyway. I’ve been trying to spread a little kindness around myself lately. It started because I’m terrified to fly and think it brings good juju before a trip to be randomly nice. But then I thought why not just do this more or less all the time (or when I think of it). So glad to hear your story!

    Like

    • It is definitely good juju. I have been on a high all week. Nice feels very good.

      Like

  19. Elizabeth

    I know she appreciated it and it was kind of you to call back. Good Karma I say!

    Liked by 1 person

  20. It is so hard to be kind when we are frustrated, but it is still important. Thanks for the reminder!

    Liked by 1 person

  21. Pam

    Apologies are rare. Take it from a person who spends all day answering phone calls from the angry public. I work at traffic court, and hardly a day goes by that I don’t have to listen to a rant from a caller who doesn’t want to hear the bad news I have to tell them. It is rare, but I have had people who were rude call back and apologize to me, and it really did make my day to hear it. I don’t take their insults personally unless it is directed at me. When you said, That was a pain in the ass, you didn’t say YOU are a pain in the ass, which is an attack on the person. Now THAT would be mean. Huge difference, so no need to feel too bad about it. You did the right thing, though, by apologizing, and believe me, the lady appreciated it.. Kindness rules!

    Liked by 2 people

    • Thanks. I don’t think it is a good excuse, though, that I could have been worse. That I could have been better was what made me call back.

      Like

  22. You are my human hero 💛

    Like

    • Aww, thanks. But I don’t think I should be anyone’s hero. But I would like to think I am a good example once in a while.

      Liked by 1 person

  23. It was very nice of you to call back and apologize. Most people would never do that, but it sure means a lot to people who work in customer service when this does happen.

    I really enjoyed this post. Thank you for sharing it!

    Like

    • Thank you, Lydia, for your kind words. We all need a little more kindness in today’s world.

      Like

      • You are very welcome. 🙂

        Like

  24. Amen to this post! You mention the millions of Americans who may be influenced into accepting meanness as a way of life. But it all starts with one person, doesn’t it? I love that you apologized. 🙂

    Like

  25. WOW!! I’ll say it again, WOW! Not only was your post awesome but your readers comments were awesome too. I think I may have found a whole new group of people who value kindness that I want to share with. Thanks for making my day. Go you!! 😊

    Like

  26. in any moment we can choose to be kind and self improve! the fact that you had the realization of your behavior and made the change is very admirable!!

    Like

  27. I just read ” tikkun olam” today, its a Jewish saying about how you yourself need to repair the damage or the imperfections of the world. It’s so true , we lost our kindness act. We’re forgetting that if aren’t kind to ourselves first how can we pass on the kindness to others.

    Like

  28. Good reminder that we ought to be kind and considerate to one another.

    Liked by 1 person

  29. This is inspiring…❤❤❤

    Like

Trackbacks

  1. Inspired to be kind | Change Is Hard
  2. Kindness — notquiteold – sanctuary5014

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: