My story with Dave, the kids, Cooper, VW's & rugby

When Things Go Wrong Never Shout

The “never shout” when something has gone wrong rule is one of the main things that keeps you in control if something has gone wrong. This may sound quite simple really as it is common sense, but when something has gone wrong which is going to cause you problems your natural reaction is to blow your top and take it out on the person you think is to blame.

Today has been a typical Monday, with lots to do and after having a great weekend you always know it won’t last and you’ll get some problems. I don’t really know where the morning went, but I didn’t get a chance to do anything that I had on my list …. but I did get other important “non-list” jobs done. Then lunch came where I found out that the Hilton on the Isle of Man had called and left a message to say that the big family room we had booked back in January for the upcoming Easter break away wasn’t available. Typical that the call came in the half an hour Dave and I were in town grabbing a sandwich. I had to go into a meeting just after lunch but did get a quick chance to look for an alternative hotel should it come to it, but we’re talking Easter weekend and needing to check in 3 days away. As you can imagine I wasn’t having much luck, plus the main reason we opted for the Hilton is that we can stay on hilton honors points Dave collects from his travels and this one had a swimming pool which gives the kids something to do.

During the afternoon Dave had tried to contact the hotel, but with no luck so I decided to leave it until I could focus on it and work it out. When I contacted the hotel from home they explained that the part in the booking that said that the room was for 2 adults and 2 kids had been missed and that they had only allocated a double room. The initial response would probably to completely go off on one and lay into the person on the end of the phone who was relaying the information. I asked to speak to someone in reservations and got through to the reservations manager, and without shouting, but by being assertive managed to get it all resolved. Instead of the large room which would have a double bed and a sofa bed for the kids we now have 2 adjoining rooms and will only need to pay the original £20 a night supplement that was agreed originally to get a bigger room. So its worked out quite well really that we get 3 nights at the Hilton for £60, and for that have 2 rooms so that we get the extra space too.

I always try to make sure that if I need to get anything resolved by staying calm but assertive works a whole lot more than shouting at someone. In my experience over the years in various positions, if a person hasn’t got what they wanted, and feels the need to take it out on someone, that shouting down the phone at the person who is trying to help certainly doesn’t make them want to help you, more like they are likely to stop listening and stop caring.


  • Richard Hunt

    Spot on, you can understand why people explode when someone messes up an order or booking but reasoning with the person at the other end of the ‘phone often works. Shouting at them usually means they put the ‘phone down.

  • Dan Harrison

    It’s too easy to lose your cool. However, when customer service fails, I find that the initial representative usually is unable to come up with a solution, or they’re bound by strict policy. Speaking to a manager usually yields a comprimise worth having.

    Any tips on staying cool?


  • Becky

    @Dan, the best way to “stay cool” is to keep saying to yourself to stay assertive rather than aggressive. Try not to rush into the argument and have the discussion logically. You don’t want to come across as a walk over either so you need to be one step ahead of them and plan the conversation.

  • Liam

    Thanks for taking time to write your views on control and management. I have to say TOTAL BOLLOCK!

    Next thing people will be saying you have to wear a hat to ride a push bike or shouldn’t protest in case you are a thug!

    Look at the greatest insitutions this world has ever seen:

    1, Alexander the Great (left handed) never suffered a fool for longer than a minute

    2, Til the Hunn, Killed his brother for being weak. The worlds first meritocracy.

    Up to date

    3, Jack Welsh

    4, The British Empior – Yes we killed more than the Nazi’s ever did.

    SCREAM – SHOUT – SWEAR – SHOOT PEOPLE (The most important thing to do….)

    Darwin demands it.

    Bucanan, Nash and Lang.

  • Elaine

    wish I’d read this a few days ago – could have saved a lot of shouting and slamming down of phones to the staff at PC World – (I’ve already been donw the quiet but firm route) but hey-ho – I no longer lose my temper – I giggle at their ludicrous responses – and that really riles them 🙂