You won’t find this technique in the employee manual.

Working in customer service, if a customer calls with a complaint you’re dealing with one of two types of people. The first is someone with a legitimate problem who’s looking for some kind of reasonable help. They’re the easy ones to handle.

But then there’s the second type, which is someone who’s just calling because they want to yell, fume, and otherwise make noise to show how angry they are. Since they’re not looking for any kind of feasible solution, you can’t do much to call them down, so when Japanese Twitter user Hayahiro Uki (@hayhironau) was working in an office and got a call from an extremely pissed off customer, he didn’t try to fight the guy, but instead figured he’d just go through the motions of pretending to listen to him.

As Uki recalls:

“When I was working in an office, I was on the phone with a super angry customer. For about 30 minutes, I didn’t say anything other than a loop of ‘That’s correct,’ ‘I see,’ and ‘Yes, that’s true’ while he kept yelling.”

It’s an understandable tactic to protect his own mental well-being…until Uki got a little too comfortable in his response pattern.

“But then he suddenly asked ‘You think I’m stupid, don’t you?’ and I said ‘Yes, that’s true.’”

Regardless of whether or not it was an honest answer, Uki hadn’t meant to comment on the caller’s lack of intelligence. Luckily, it turned out to be the perfect response.

“There was a really awkward silence, until the guy softly said ‘I see…so I was acting stupid?’ and hung up.”

It’s a happy ending, and also a reminder that sometimes the only way to deal with someone who’s riled up is let them tire themselves out.

As for Uki, he’s since become a manga artist with two currently running series, Kirenu Pai Nado Anmari Nai and Yurumi-chan.

As for the guy on the other end of the phone, no one knows what he’s up to, or if he ever got any smarter, but at least he’s now a little more self-aware.

Source: Twitter/@hayhironau via Hachima Kiko
Top image: Pakutaso
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Follow Casey on Twitter, where, for the record, he doesn’t think you’re stupid.