Isolation is hard on everyone. COVID concerns keeping friends and family separated can have all kinds of impacts on the mental health and overall mood of people. Anyone who has been mostly cooped up, lo, these many months, can certainly attest to that.

In general, people are more stressed, depressed and anxious, so that obviously wears at many social niceties and can have a tendency to make people short and curt. Well, they have a tendency to make me short and curt, anyway.

But I do try to keep this in mind during customer service interactions and be on my best behavior because I can only imagine the horrors and intense grouchiness the average customer service agent must be dealing with right now.  But on Wednesday, I got on a service chat with Sprint and I admit I was caught a little off guard. Here is how it started.

“That’s a nice name [I] have there?” Jim Schneider? I mean, I like it just fine, but it’s not exactly poetic or particularly unique. As a matter of fact, I went to high school with another Jim Schneider, who is a great guy and I’m sure receives many compliments, but I’m going to wager he has never gotten this one before, either.

And the whole conversation went that way. The agent was helpful, but just nice to the point of awkward. I’m from Wisconsin, a place known for its unrelenting, grinning friendliness, and even I was like, “What is up with this person?”

Not seen here is that I had said a few lines up, “I appreciate your help.” That flowery statement inspired Mabella here to say, “Thank you for the awesome compliment!” I can only conclude that she is trying a little too hard, or was raised by Vulcans and is unaccustomed to simple displays of gratitude.

And by the way, I honestly feel bad that she complimented my “cooperation and support throughout the chat,” because I was absolutely multitasking and at one point completely forgot about the chat for a solid ten minutes. 

But hey, she helped me out and I give her a lot of credit for putting forth all the positivity in a world drenched with darkness and insanity right now. Not to make a corporate endorsement, but back when I had Verizon, I had a few interactions that were at the exact opposite end of this scale, so I’m going to give a kudos to Sprint for being so nice, helpful, and for liking my name.

Other than that, I’ll just add in a quick coda to say that Amelia has been asking to help me make guacamole, so that we did. She was super helpful sprinkling in the salt, mashing the avocado and squeezing in the lime juice.

When she first tasted it, she remarked it was too garlicky. That is both an excellent testament to her palate and her honesty, and also further evidence that my own culinary inclination is to over-garlic everything, always.

We corrected with another avocado, and all was well. Thanks for reading, and if I haven’t mentioned it before, you have a GREAT name.