The Baby In The Background

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A few years ago, I was on a call with a prospective client and an older consultant. My babysitter was running behind and I needed to start the call, so I do — with my six month old daughter in my arms. I’d done such calls many times but this was one one of the first times with the consultant on the line.

On this particular day, my daughter was fussy. I tried to mute myself when I wasn’t talking but she was crying in the background quite a bit. Walking around the home with her didn’t help, feeding didn’t help, patting on the back. She wasn’t happy at all.

After the call, the consultant mentioned how I was unprofessional and that I should fire my babysitter for her being late. I turned tomato red after that comment. He didn’t remain a consultant for us much longer after that.

I thought about this incident as many around the world are shifting to working from home. Offices are closing and so are schools. Kids home and working from home is hard to mix.

Over the next few weeks/months, if we encounter calling customer service and the connection is worse than usual, the agent seems more distracted, or there’s a baby or other children in the background, let’s express some additional patience. We’re all in this.

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