After I read the life hacking/white privilege article (or maybe it was a supporting response piece) I immediately started noticing it at work, that black customers just get shut down a lot (though Latino customers don't, which is different than in the article). I don't think its the yellow car phenomenon; I think it is really happening. This made me feel a little helpless and sick, so today I started actively extending the benefit of the doubt to black customers, they way I do naturally for really young earnest people and also people who are really terrible and aggressive. In the case of very young people, I know that they are navigating something new and I want them to succeed. I mean, any roadblock I can easily remove for a pregnant 19 year old with a handwritten page of things she learned from our call center is gone, and the same goes for an 18 year old who is the only person in his family with a credit card (I know because they all come with him and counsel him). For the aggressive folks, I just appease them as little as possible to avoid making a minor issue/absolute non issue my boss's problem. So as an experiment I am just extending that discretion to more people. Like, today someone returned a Rug Doctor after 49 hours instead of 24. Normally I would charge him for two days instead of the three that I could technically charge, but his contract notes showed that he had been keeping our call center informed about his efforts to turn it in after we closed yesterday and as soon as possible after he got off work today, so I charged him for one day.
To make a long story short, I don't know what to do, ever! But I am trying.