The weather has been pretty nice here in Vermont lately. Summers are short and we need to soak in all the sun we can before winter returns all too soon. Quiet weather generally means accurate forecasts, which usually means happy viewers, but its not always the case. I got an email from a viewer yesterday who was furious I was standing in the middle of the screen. He said a lot of mean things, but I wrote him back anyway. I hadn’t realized I was hogging the chroma-key, but apparently it was very clear to him.
These things will happen. They happen to everyone no matter how long you’ve been doing this or how good you think you might be. There are always things we can do better, but sometimes you just need to realize that there are people who are just having a bad day. Here are a couple of suggestions for your first few nasty-grams.
You take the bad weather with the good – You might get undeserved blame when the weather is bad, but you’ll also get a lot of undeserved credit when the weather is good. Just roll with it. Viewers are usually just giving you a little hard time. Its not a big deal.
Almost all viewers are great – In my experience 99.9% of all viewers I meet in public are nothing but kind and respectful. I try to give them that same courtesy in return, regardless of where I am or who I’m with. It comes with the territory. Where you’ll usually get complaints is through email, which are easier to consider a tactful response, and send out a prompt reply.
Angry viewers are usually just frustrated – When viewers get upset over the phone or an email, its usually because they’ve got some financial or personal stake in the weather. People make plans around the weather, and when the weather doesn’t go the way it was supposed to, people loose time and money. Listen to them and be polite, even if you don’t feel like you are getting the same in return. I’ve found that you can settle down most people and reason with them, but others will refuse to come around. If you get to a point where you are just getting berated, just thank them for the feedback and move on. Always remember that its not personal.
Viewers are just neighbors whose names you don’t know. They see you every night and listen to what you say. When when they get the chance to meet you in public, you both should walk away with a positive experience. Without viewers, we’d just be talking to ourselves, and that would be kind of weird.
Have you ever had any crazy encounters with your viewers?