Sunday, March 13, 2011 to handle an abusive phone call

Handling Abusive Phone Calls 101

•1 Try to calm the idiot in the initial phases of the phone call. Once it escalates you will have to follow your company's policies. Many companies do not allow you to call the person a fucking moron. If they start right out of the gate acting like a prick, hold the phone in the air to get others to witness their asinine behavior.

•2 Some companies allow you to hang up as long as you warn the person first with, "If you continue to call me a fucking faggot, I am going to hang up." The next four-letter word spoken, or six-letter word, hang up. The person may call back. Ask if they are prepared to be calm. If they say they are, remind them again, you will hang up if they repeat the foul language and then continue your discussion. Usually, one hang up is enough. If the person is married to an asshole, a second phone call will definitely arrive.

•3 Sometimes, the angry person will ask to speak to your Supervisor. Again, follow company procedure, but in most places, you will refer the call, explain a little of what has transpired then pass the call through. Once a Supervisor is on the line the foul language usually ends.

•4 If your company has a policy of you will complete the call no matter what the person calls you, you must remain calm. When foul language is used, just become silent. Do not respond in anger. Simply, do not respond. This usually quiets the foul language. Sometimes, nothing works and you just must get through the conversation. Repeating back what they have said such as, "you said that I am a fucking moron because I did not approve your application, is that correct?" may stop the foul language. But use this method as a last resort and be sure you are perfectly calm as you repeat the sentence. It is often good, at this point, to Google the callers phone number or perform a 'Reverse Phone Lookup'. In many cases this will provide you with their home address. You can take it from there. Wearing black and arriving after dark is best.
On this day in 2005 Terry Ratzmann shot and killed six members of the Living Church of God and the minister at Sheraton Inn in Brookfield, Wisconsin before killing himself. Whether he was provoked by an abusive phone caller I do not know.

"Nobody can give you wiser advice than yourself."
Marcus Tullius Cicero