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Sometimes it's good to be obsessive...

It's not always a bad thing to be an obsessive person who hyper-focuses: I may not get around to doing my tax return and the sink is (quite literally) going to collapse before I buy a new one, but I have used my tenaciously obsessive side to tame the beast of the call centre.

I was due some money and it didn't come. I've dealt with this before and knew the likely reasons so I buckled up my courage and rang the call centre. I was quickly tossed from a reasonable person to someone who acted as if it was my fault I hadn't been paid and insisted on explaining my own situation to me, as if I didn't understand.

Readers, I am usually good at call centre beasts. I find if you visualise them as a human being with a job to do then your voice doesn't degenerate so quickly into a tongue-biting growl. But no, I was to be told things I already knew in a scolding voice, then told to wait every few seconds while she read my file and caught up on the fact it was their fault.

I was fending off the cat at the time, my head was fuzzy with unspent sleep and I was trying to sell dressed bears on my computer game; I was too busy and preoccupied to be treated like a willfully stubborn three year old.

I told her the situation and then each time she broke off to read my file, I dressed bears and waited for her to speak so I could tell her again. She came back, explained the next thing I already knew and I told her my situation again. I was careful to rephrase it each time so it didn't sound like I was just repeating myself.

After quite a few breaks and many bears, she started to sound a little worked up and had the tone of voice which implied I was just being difficult. So I told her the situation again, spelling it out carefully with my own tone (and not the one I use on three year olds). Now that she was fully up to speed with why it was their fault, she was more defensive and wanted to end the call. I twiddled her round and back into the loop of the conversation, then told her the situation again (again, again) and she finally listened.

It shouldn't take this many explanations of the same thing for someone to listen, but being an aspie and having experience of others trying to avoid listening to me telling them the same thing many times, I was adept at keeping her in place until I had finished. If people who know me can't escape the monotone of my sharing, then a complete stranger doesn't stand a chance.

Instead of being brushed off, we ended with her promising to help and also promising to call me back today. And she did! It seems to have been sorted out too. Also, by today her attitude was a little better (she had discovered it was totally their fault, surprisingly) so we were able to end our short but interesting relationship on an amicable note.

Back to dressing bears and fending off cats, both of which are more fun than taming call centre beasts. But still, it was great to use that obsessive glint for good and know that without it, I would still have been waiting for answers and my money.


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