You know how you feel when you have to make the customer support calls? Something isn’t working like it should, but you put it off as long as possible because you really don’t want to be put on hold for two hours, there is no guarantee that you’ll speak to someone in the same state, let alone the same country, and let’s face it, you can tell 90% of the people you call really just don’t like their job.
Then of course there’s “slow technology silence.” Those several minutes when the support representative enters in information and you have to wait for it to load leaving you with that weird silence. They tell you it’s going to be a moment, but they don’t put you on hold; there is no music, you can’t hear them breathing, and you sort of wonder if they just hung up on you. Well, I like to make these silences as pleasant as possible, and 98% of the time the service providers on the other end are pretty receptive to it. So while we are waiting for information to load on the computer I start chatting. Just about the basics; where do you live? how’s the weather? let’s go ‘Niner’s, what do you do? type stuff.
Today, I made such a call. When I told the woman I was a teacher there was this breathless pause and then . . .
“Oh, I’ve got a 12 year old son,” she said. “I am just so thankful for people like you. I couldn’t do it, I don’t know how you do. You have to have something very special to be a teacher. I hope you realize how much of an impact you have on the kids. Thank you.”
I was momentarily surprised, and not exactly sure what to say, but that’s when the warm fuzzies came.
As a teacher you hear a lot of negative comments from people; some who have students, some who don’t, some who are connected to the world of education, and some who aren’t, but feel like they could do a better job of it.
It is a rare thing to hear the positive comments. I love my job, working with the students makes me really happy and I get excited knowing that sometimes, just sometimes, they actually acknowledge that they’re interested in what they are learning about. (I work with middle school students, so trust me when I say if they show any emotion other than derision toward an assignment, I know I’ve hit a home run). But the little surprise thank you’s along the way help bolster the in-betweens and more than that, it is so nice to hear that another teacher is doing such a great job that a parent wants to thank a complete stranger who happens to be in the same profession. It’s an odd cycle, I know, but still so gratifying.
It’s often said that the impact a teacher makes on a student today won’t always be seen until tomorrow. Well, I just received the impact of someone’s tomorrow. And it was nice and I’d love to pass it on.
So thank you to teachers everywhere, at every age, and every level. You’re impact is being felt.
This was by far one of the best customer support calls I’ve made–and I’d love to hear your stories about the odd or interesting things that have happened to you. And don’t forget to thank your local teachers!