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I’m a retailer, a supplier, just another B in the B2B world. But most days I’m also a consumer, a customer, a Ms. Jones in heels and in a hurry. I’ve been on both sides of the customer service counter.

That’s why it really-I mean, reeeaaaaaallly-irritates me when I get bad service. I have zero tolerance. On the other hand, I have a fairly high level of compassion because I’ve helped my share of mad Ms. Joneses. And I love, love, love good service when I can get it. I’m first in line with a comment card or thank you letter.

We recently found ourselves in the middle of a mess with a local service provider. We were both wrong, but that didn’t make it right.  As a business owner, I could see their side. As a customer, I didn’t care. The situation didn’t end nicely, no one was happy, neither one of us ever wants to see the other ever again. Thinking about it still makes me grit my teeth.

Part of me wants to make a big stink, tell all my professional friends how badly we were treated, Tweet a bad review and post my gripe on Facebook. Another part of me, a smaller but wiser part, says to just lump it, take my toys and go home.

What do you do when you get bad service? Are you less patient with service providers because you are one yourself? Or do a million hours behind the service desk make you magnanimous when you’re in front of it?

My small, wise part won. This time.

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