Monday, March 20, 2006

this is going to make a lot of Germans really happy

Being friendly to customers makes you ill

20 Comments:

At March 20, 2006 4:45 PM, Blogger cncz said...

I think that is the problem with my job :)

 
At March 20, 2006 4:49 PM, Anonymous Belinda said...

that's just what the service industry here needs. affirmation that being huge grumps makes everyone feel better.

lol scary

 
At March 20, 2006 5:19 PM, Blogger christina said...

cncz - you should try being really cranky for a change and see if it makes a difference. :-)

Belinda - Yup, as soon as they get wind of this it'll be all downhill from here.

 
At March 20, 2006 9:19 PM, Blogger Claire said...

This explains a lot!! Someone should remind them that they have health insurance.

 
At March 20, 2006 9:45 PM, Blogger Haddock said...

Thats why I'm really healthy then! :)

 
At March 20, 2006 10:49 PM, Blogger Dixie said...

Smiling and being friendly to customers isn't the only thing making these people more sick. It's being friendly when the person on the other end isn't being friendly. When you're being screamed out for something out of your control or you're unable to give in to a customer's unreasonable request and you still have to screw a smile on your face - that's what makes you sick.

I worked in customer relations when I lived in the US and I saw the same results in a similar study done with similar occupations, only this time the study was done with Americans. Same results.

 
At March 21, 2006 1:39 AM, Blogger Mr. Fabulous said...

That settles it! I am considering this a license to be a jerk!

 
At March 21, 2006 4:07 AM, Anonymous farangmum said...

That would make Thai people the most depressed nation in the WORLD. Are they ? NO. Do more germans/swiss have depressions than Thais, YES. What a load of crap....

 
At March 21, 2006 11:32 AM, Blogger christina said...

claire - Thanks for dropping by! You're right, some people don't know how good they have it.

haddock - Aww, c'mon, you go around smiling all the time, don't you? ;-)

Dixie - Yes, I agree. They've chosen to research jobs that have a high stress rate anyway and where the customers can be awfully cranky themselves. But then I think they should teach people in these jobs coping strategies to deal with the abuse.

mr. fabulous - I can't belive you've ever had a grouchy day in your life. :-)

farangmum (nice new name!) - it seems like they're trying to make the smiling itself seem like something bad, when really it's the stress of the job. Germany has a really high depression rate but they try to keep it under wraps.

 
At March 21, 2006 1:21 PM, Anonymous wendi said...

that is very interesting.....

 
At March 21, 2006 5:14 PM, Blogger Crystal said...

Dixie pretty much sums it up, when you are forced to deal with abuse (as many people who work directly with customers are) on a daily basis then depression is unvoidable, and that can lead to actual PHYSICAL sickness. I quit my job because my boss was abusive, and really there is no "coping strategy" when dealing with abuse, you just have to remove yourself from the abusive situation. I agree with the article that we need to do away with the "customer as King" philosophy, just not take it to the extreme and exchange that for "customer is crap"!

 
At March 21, 2006 5:40 PM, Blogger Just another American Expat said...

LOL…Yup,,,the Germans will be jumping for joy! Of course the only thing that I question is..well…it is a German study. That might cause a credibility problem. Ya Think?

Germans defending rude behavior as being healthy. You gotta lov'em for try'en.

Sounds like “Bild” material to me. LOL

 
At March 21, 2006 7:55 PM, Blogger Expat Traveler said...

I'm not buying it. If those people are in the service industry, they are more likely to have more contact with people, thus more risk at getting sick...

Do they ever think about other factors?

Besides positive thoughts and expressions never did any harm, especially since studies in athletes have proven this...

Show me the scientific data first...

 
At March 21, 2006 7:56 PM, Blogger CanadianSwiss said...

Then I'd have to be dead by now! ;-) I'm sure you can tell a "rude" person off in a nice way (make him/her believe it)... And it usually works. Frustration is probably the bigger stress factor.

 
At March 21, 2006 8:55 PM, Blogger christina said...

Crystal - the customer has never, ever been king in Germany so I don't know why the service industry is whining about it all of sudden.

Duncan - Yup, they'll try anything - how much do you want to bet that this is going to appear in Bild am Sonntag this weekend?:-)

expat - I saw that argument somewhere else as well - that it's the close contact with people that's causing illnesses, either as a flight attendent or in a call centre with a group of other people. Might be a valid point. We'll see if they come up with any scientific data to back it up.

candianswiss - Frustration would add to it too. I don't think they're considering all the factors here.

 
At March 21, 2006 10:51 PM, Anonymous Clarity said...

Who would have thought? The Germans were right all along! LOL

I like your Diary, thanks for dropping by mine and saying "hi!", It's always nice to correspond with another Expat in Germany. I didn't realize there were so many other blogs from people going through the same experience until I viewed some of the links on your side bar! I'll definitely be back to visit your site again. Have a good night!

 
At March 21, 2006 11:51 PM, Blogger traveller one said...

I love being in customer servic! I've never felt it led to illness at all. And grumpy customers are just a good challenge to try to turn the situation around. (Grumpy bosses are another story!)

 
At March 22, 2006 4:36 AM, Blogger Elemmaciltur said...

"We have to get away from the 'customer is king' attitude..."

Hello?? Excuse me, but can anybody tell me where that attitude even EXISTS in Germany?

 
At March 22, 2006 1:05 PM, Anonymous Sally said...

GRR... They need to get a clue. Though I've toned down since living in Germany, I smile quite a bit, and I think that's precisely part of the reason why I am so healthy... I am more often in a good mood than a bad mood - contrary to a lot of the Germans in the public service sector. BTW, Christina, I have been reading your blog for ages. I thought I had already commented here before, but maybe I used my ID, which cleverly says "ME" or maybe I was anonymous!

 
At March 22, 2006 1:42 PM, Blogger Lisa said...

I love it! :) That is classic.
I dunno about their theory, though... I'm a smiler and have always been. It's my self-defense against the unknown. I think I'd suffer more stress if I were forced to stop.

 

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