Being Customer-Centric

Tuesday, April 20, 2010
You know that stupid Myers-Briggs personality test? The one managers make you take to determine what "type" of personality you have when they don't know what else to do?

Yeah, I hate that test.

But every time I've been forced to take it, it's been "revealed" that my first dichotomy is "X," instead of "E" (for extrovert) or "I" (for introvert). This supposedly means that I'm equidistant from these two places - that I'm equally likely to want to be alone or with others. What it means to me is that I'm uniquely suited, from a personality point of view, to the job I have. Technical people are usually introverted, but sales people are usual extroverted. Since I do aspects of both jobs, I need to be able to find contentment in both aspects of the job.

But here's the problem.

I also have a distinct lack of patience, which sometimes translates into a less than customer-centric attitude. My tendencies toward introversion means that, occasionally, when my customers need my help, I'm less inclined to ask them how I can assist them, and more likely to wonder why the Hell everyone appears so damn helpless. Don't get me wrong - it's not like I tell my customers to die in a fire when they have the temerity to ask me for help. I know who pays my salary, and a large part of my job is customer service. Most days, I do want to help my customers - if they're successful, then I'm successful, and I want them to think of me as someone who's there to help them.

But some days, especially days when I've had to spend a lot of time with other people (as opposed to living, cave-like, in my basement), I want someone else to help them, and for everyone to go away and leave me the Hell alone.

I've been working on that patience thing for years, like my whole life. It's a never-ending tug-of-war between the "E" and the "I." I'm hoping once I'm retired I can just drop it, become a curmudgeon, and tell people to get off my lawn.

A girl can dream...

17 comments:

Jim Wright said...

Please Die In a Fire. Was this answer helpful (Yes No Maybe)?


I hate that stupid MB test. I'm always the one personality malfunction that supposedly comprises less than .5% of the population. I don't fit into any of their idiotic classification categories. I'm the guy who breaks the test, this pleases me.

mom in northern said...

No hassles in retirement..?????

HA HAA HAAA.

Please stop you are killing me...

Fathergoose said...

Every time I take it, results; Ted Kaczynski, not the bombing part, just the living deep in Montana alone writing a manifesto part.

John the Scientist said...

I get a different result every time because I'm like you, and introvert who can turn it on for defined periods of time.

And because I'm naturally one way but trained another way.

That test is a huge pile of unvalidated, irreproducible steaming poo.

Janiece said...

Mom, you bring your hassles on yourself. Because the lesson that you have evidently not learned is that "No is a complete sentence." :-)

And Fathergoose, Parker is a long way from writing manifestos in Montana. Just sayin'.

Mrs. Bitch said...

Oooh, is that the one that goes on for pages and asks the same questions, worded slightly differently a page or two later? The main problem I have with those is that I see NOTHING in black and white terms. I always want more information and/or answer options. Also, with any amount of life experience at all, you can usually choose answers that will hide your sociopathic tendencies quite well.

Oddly enough, I consider myself a loner, too, but have always done well as a retail sales clerk, and people usually describe me as friendly and pleasant. Huh. Maybe I'm more Ted Bundy-ish than Kaczynski-ish.

Random Michelle K said...

I'm also usually halfway between E and I.

I've always taken it to mean I CAN do the social extroverted bit (and do it well), but after long periods of time it's exhausting.

And the problem with customers, is the stupid ones are the ones that call most frequently.

Stacey said...

I don't necessarily like any of the 'stick you in a box' tests, but of all the ones I've taken, it gives the most info and is little more on the psychology side of things rather than the 'run away from her she's a bitch' tag; I'm not saying you shouldn't...I am a bitch. I'm an ESTJ, that's right I said it. For the most part it's all true. Of course if I read ENTJ, it's also true. OK, my head hurts now.

WendyB_09 said...

--You mean that did not fix the problem? I do not understand why you cannot find the ANY key.

You are too stupid to own a computer. Please put it back in the box and send it back to the vendor.--

Oh, many times I was so tempted to say that whilest I was working tech support a the hospital.

Hate those MB tests, been awhile since I've done one but seems that on several occassions I've been essentially a square peg in a round hole. Makes me a little unpredictable.

Eric said...

Hmm... "E" or "I"...

"E"... "I"... "E"--"I"... OH!

!!

AND ON THAT FARM HE HAD SOME CHICKS, E-I-E-I-O! WITH A BOKBOK HERE AND A BOKBOK THERE HERE A BOK THERE A BOX EVERYWHERE A BOKBOK! OLD MACDONALD HAD A FARM, E-I-E-I-OHHHHHHHHHHHH!

(Sorry. Guess that's not that "helping" thing I'm always hearing about. But it was exciting! I sang a song!)

mom in northern said...

Ah...but if I said "NO" all the time, I would have no life. It isn't the work that is the problem. It is a few people that provide the headaches.

Anne C. said...

I'm in the same boat as JTS and Mrs. Bitch. I get different results each time I take it, partially because I see the questions as totally lacking in context, so I answer arbitrarily. If I'd had a pleasant day thus far and a good night's rest, I might show up as an E. If I'd had a crappy morning on the phone with a moron, I might show up as an I. I actually am close to the middle on every single indicator.

It's this lack of consistent results that shows up the test as a mere indicator of my current state of mind and not my gestalt personality.

Dr. Phil (Physics) said...

The biggest problem with the MB test is that they people who put it together carefully explained what you should NOT do with the results -- and that's what many companies do with the results.

I've run across the test a number of times -- I come up as INTP every time, which pretty much screams physics professor, and I'm married to an INTJ. When Mrs. Dr. Phil was working at Michigan Tech, we had a road trip where we listened to these tapes made by a married pair of consultants and what the tapes were about were discussions of the dynamics of pairs of people with different ones of the 16 combinations. Their analysis of an INTP/INTJ marriage was frightening close. (grin)

I remember once reading that an XXXX would be the perfect spy -- adaptable and not memorable.

Not that I'm a huge fan of a pseduoscience like psychology to begin with...

Dr. Phil

Tom said...

Ha, ha! I've never taken the test, so I can make up any answer I want, and no one would know for sure.

But they would know, if they had half a brain in their head. Because people can see your personality with just a little interaction. I'm an introvert and spend most of my off-work time alone. But I can get up and do karaoke with the best of them.

By the way, sign Eric up for the next round of UCF karaoke. I love his typing voice.

So am I an I, an E, or an X? Yup.

Janiece, when I met you face-to-face, I was pleasantly surprised. You didn't seem introverted or extroverted. Well rounded is what I got from you. And that seems to match the web personality that was the only thing I had to go on for 2 years.

But I also notice a pattern here. UCFers seem to be not one thing or the other, but many things. Maybe that has something to do with why we all like each other.

So to hell with the tests! I also tested high in IQ, but I've done a whole lot of really stupid things. Some lessons didn't get learned even with lots and lots of repetition. Oh well.

Plus, I've changed. I'm not who I used to be. Hopefully, I've improved, but I wouldn't argue to hard if a long time friend said I hadn't.

I am who I am, test or no test. But that can change...

Tom said...

Ha, ha! I've never taken the test, so I can make up any answer I want, and no one would know for sure.

But they would know, if they had half a brain in their head. Because people can see your personality with just a little interaction. I'm an introvert and spend most of my off-work time alone. But I can get up and do karaoke with the best of them.

By the way, sign Eric up for the next round of UCF karaoke. I love his typing voice.

So am I an I, an E, or an X? Yup.

Janiece, when I met you face-to-face, I was pleasantly surprised. You didn't seem introverted or extroverted. Well rounded is what I got from you. And that seems to match the web personality that was the only thing I had to go on for 2 years.

But I also notice a pattern here. UCFers seem to be not one thing or the other, but many things. Maybe that has something to do with why we all like each other.

So to hell with the tests! I also tested high in IQ, but I've done a whole lot of really stupid things. Some lessons didn't get learned even with lots and lots of repetition. Oh well.

Plus, I've changed. I'm not who I used to be. Hopefully, I've improved, but I wouldn't argue to hard if a long time friend said I hadn't.

I am who I am, test or no test. But that can change...

Steve Buchheit said...

What Dr. Phil said. "You're not supposed to use the test the way they're using the test."

And it just means that in retirement, your actual phrase will be, "Here, kid, have a nice butterscotch hard candy. Now get offa my lawn. And take your wrapper with you."

Janiece said...

Steve, you don't know how close you are.

Except I'll probably be giving away jars of apple butter instead of butterscotch candy...