It is always best to have a lesser but certain advantage, than the possibility of a greater one that more than likely will come to naught.
In other words, a bird in the hand is worth two in the bush. Definitively, it is better to hold fast to something than to risk losing it by trying to increase its numbers or striving for something better.
Very simply, those within warm lines should always strive to remember that the very most important person is the one with whom they are speaking, not those waiting in line.
To set parameters that define a time frame in which the caller has to speak is to begin with a negative. It is never known just what is the subject matter of the call until the conversation ensues. The caller may in fact only need ten or fifteen minutes.
Often times the caller may be in a mild state of turmoil. To limit the caller’s time could quite easily escalate the caller to a state of exacerbation. I recently recall pouring my heart out to this “peer,” my eyes swollen with tears, only to hear this very abrupt interruption, “I’m sorry! Your time is up!” This is utter disrespect and a real slap in the face of the caller.
To advertise a warm line as “free of judgment” and then set limits to the topics of discussion, such as no talks of politics or religion, is self-defeating and judgmental. Has it occurred to anyone that these topics may be of importance to the caller, and may well be one of the reasons for their call?
I’ve been calling a particular New Mexico warm line for about a year now, day in and day out, and have spoken to everyone in such candor and depth that they know as much about me as did my parents.
I recall one evening when I asked this very innocent and simple question: “why can’t someone there be my friend?” I was summarily reminded by a woman “host” that I am the “clientèle” and they are the “professionals!”
One of the reasons given for the avoidance of discussions on politics and religion is that warm lines do not wish to engage in topics that could promote arguments. Are we to believe that reminding a caller of their subservient status in the call does not instill or promote arguments?
My question hardly warranted such an inimical and arrogant response. Apparently it seems to have opened a Pandora’s Box of emotional arguments on a broad range of topics, totally unrelated to religion or politics. Ah, the best laid plans of mice and men…
It always amuses me how they answer their phones: “New Mexico ‘Peer-to-Peer‘ Warm Line. My name is Yascha Heifetz. How may I support you this evening?”
First, the inference that they are our peers: according to vocabulary.com, “A peer is someone at your own level. If you are a 10th grader, other high school students are your peers.” How can this be when we are the clientèle and they are the professionals? Are not two different levels implied here?
Too, what of all these rules and regulations handed down by them? If we are on an equal level with them, then how is it they set and enforce the protocol of conversational engagement before the conversations even begin?
Is it unreasonable that in a peer relationship, one of equality, each side would have the moral duty and responsibility of explaining their intentions and seek the other’s approval or disapproval on any given matter?
Additionally, when the caller is mandated to follow these strict guidelines for conversation, how is the statement, “how may I support you this evening” relevant? Are we not in fact supporting them? How do they justify any of this as “warm?”
To tell a caller what cannot be discussed, with the exception of personal aspersions toward the warm line host, is very judgmental. The caller, however, never has a right to personally attack the person at the other end of the line. This should never be tolerated. Simply hang up!
Whatever the reasons for your rules and regulations, are irrelevant, as are your personal points of view, politically or with respect to your religion. You are not on the phone for you. You are always there because of the caller. The caller is the customer and your bread and butter.
Limiting calls because of hard or harsh language and cursing should never be. Again, this is being judgmental. The person at the other end of the line is not you. You are two completely different people, more than likely from two totally different backgrounds, morally, ethically, monetarily, socially and genetically.
Because a caller may not possess the conversational skills of the host, hardly justifies the host abruptly hanging up. If your ears are too sensitive, then you should seriously consider another calling (no pun intended).
Would love to hear your comments.