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‘You do not have to tell me the whole story’: Customer service worker shares PSA for customers who ‘over-explain’

'Customer service, not therapist.'


Braden Bjella


Posted on Jan 11, 2023   Updated on Jan 12, 2023, 5:56 pm CST

A customer service worker has gone viral on TikTok after sharing a PSA for customers who go into heavy detail about their issues.

In a video with over 233,000 views, TikTok user Lynese (@ssharkkbait), who works in customer service, reminds users that customer service workers will be happy to help them—but they are not your therapists.

“When we’re on the phone and you’re explaining to me what your problem is, you do not have to tell me the whole story,” Lynese says. “You don’t have to over-explain. I know that’s your trauma talking…but you don’t have to over-explain to me. I’m not your parent. Just tell me the problem, and have a blessed day!”

@ssharkkbait Yall be over explaining EVERYTHING #fyp #customerservice #customersbelike #customerserviceproblems #retailproblems #officelife #officejobsbelike #foryoupage ♬ original sound – Lynese

In the comment section, users who claimed to work in customer service shared their perspectives on the issue.

“I work with the elderly and most of the time the issue is fixed in 2 minutes but they just want someone to talk to so i just let them,” alleged one commenter.

“I had to tell a lady on the phone the other day that I can’t fix her problem if she won’t let me speak,” recalled another.

“I always say ‘what can i do to fix the problem’ and then let them tell me the whole story while I do what i need too,” stated a third.

However, other users said there may be valid reasons for the occasional over-explanation.

“Lies… Cause I try to keep it short as possible so I can go bout my day & y’all ask a million + 1 questions. So,I gotta tell the full story from jump,” observed a commenter.

“I over explain bc if I don’t I have to answer a million questions for the rep to get on track,” offered a second.

That said, some users admitted that yes, they were simply using customer service workers as an analog for therapy.

As one user wrote, “I can’t afford a therapist, so that customer service rep is gonna have to hear everything, sorry.”

The Daily Dot reached out to Lynese via Instagram direct message.

Update 5:55pm CT January 12:  In an Instagram DM exchange with the Daily Dot, Lynese expanded upon her ideas from the original TikTok.

“Over-explaining does waste time,” she wrote. “I’m sure we’ve all seen how short-staffed and slow everything has been since the pandemic. It’s my job to support customers and deescalate calls, but when they’re trauma-dumping and over-sharing, it doesn’t benefit the situation.”

“Lots of people get customer service and therapy confused,” she continued. “I am not a therapist; I don’t not have a degree in psychology. It’s not mandatory that I counsel these individuals. I empathize with a lot of them, but this can always be too much of an emotional burden on the customer service representative, because we’re all going through things and just trying to make a living. I can thoroughly do my job and do a GREAT job at my job without having to listen to what feels like an 8 hour audio book.”

She also noted that many people were misinterpreting her original video.

“I just see a lot of people in the comments making it seem like I don’t do my job. And that’s not the case! Everyone complains about their job or has at least once!” she exclaimed. “I can’t help that I complained and my video went viral! I’m grateful for the views, but I am in no way saying I don’t do my job because I do.”

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*First Published: Jan 11, 2023, 9:07 am CST