‘Normalize hanging up on rude customers’: TikToker captures the stressful reality of working in customer service

·2-min read

Working in customer service can be a tough gig — one that can regularly test your patience and, sometimes, even cause you to lose your faith in humanity. A recent TikTok from Abigail Opperlee (@abiopperlee) has reminded us all of that very fact after she shared a video of her coworker getting so incensed by a rude customer that she literally hung up on them.

“Normalize hanging up on rude customers!!” Opperlee wrote in her post caption. “Working in customer service takes alot out of you, especially dealing with people like this. I will not tolerate being spoken too like that. Neither should you. Be respectful over the phone because 9/10 the person you are speaking to did nothing wrong and is just trying to help.”

While it’s unclear what exactly was said, the video text implies the customer on the other line was becoming argumentative and even cursing at the employee before the call ended. Clearly, that was where things crossed a line.

In the comments, many people empathized with the customer service worker and shared similar work experiences of their own.

“i wasn’t allowed to hang up on rude customers unless they swore,” one person shared. “fun fact ppl can be reallyyy mean without swearing.”

“I told a patient once ‘you can call me back when you’ve calmed down,'” someone else recalled. “They called back a few minutes later and apologized.”

“no one is paid enough to deal with rude customers,” yet another person added. “people seem to forget … we just answer the phones we aren’t the ones screwing up their accounts.”

Even people who don’t work over the phone or remotely said that dealing with customers can be brutal.

“I’m a bartender so I have to hang up on people in person by walking away from them,” one commenter shared. “My coworkers call it physically ghosting people.”

Another woman said she deals with “face-to-face customer service” and has drawn boundaries for herself.

“Now I just walk away whilst they’re talking,” she said.

At the end of the day, several people noted how this all really comes down to a bigger issue that plagues millions: emotional regulation.

“The amount of adults that CAN NOT process anger and frustration WITHOUT taking it out on someone else is alarming!” said one user.

Others said that even though these experiences are uncomfortable, frustrating and even at times infuriating, they have been humbling.

“Working with customers has definitely made me be a better customer,” one person admitted. “I Can always tell who has never worked those jobs.”

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