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I’d make a good data crisis counselor

Posted by Cyn | Posted in Geekery | Posted on 23-04-2007

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I won­der if Dri­veSavers hires any telecom­muters? Maybe I should get in touch with Kel­ly Chessen.

In any case, she has some very good advice in this Com­put­er­World arti­cle, How to calm some­one in a cri­sis

Chessen is alert for cer­tain words and phras­es that might indi­cate a per­son is in pro­found dis­tress. “Some­times I’ll hear some­one say, ‘If I can’t get my data back, I don’t know what I’ll do,’ and that’s a tip to me,” she says, as are oth­er state­ments such as “This is hope­less” or “My life is over.” In every case, Chessen asks the per­son direct­ly, “Are you con­sid­er­ing sui­cide?” Whether the sit­u­a­tion involves a life event or the loss of a crit­i­cal work prod­uct, it’s cru­cial to ask. “If they’re not think­ing about it, they’ll say no. And if they are, the fact that some­one asked them to talk about it will be a relief and a release for them,” she explains.

Her tech­niques sound very famil­iar, as I did sim­i­lar things to man­age calls when I worked in a call cen­ter. She uses dif­fer­ent ter­mi­nol­o­gy thank I would, which is under­stand­able — she’s a for­mer sui­cide hot­line coun­selor.

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