Posts Tagged 'Customer Service'

Thank You (Now Get Out) – 7/13/10

So guys.  I’ve been a slacker this week and haven’t been keeping good notes, so everything this week is coming from memory.  Yikes!  So, what I remember of it (and if I don’t remember, it’s probably not worth my time, ja?)… the good, the bad, and the ugly.

Cruisin’ Through Confusion
Confusion comes in a few shapes; this last week, I saw it in two:  snobbery and panic.  Confusion tends to be rude because the answers are elusive, and it doesn’t have the patience to be confused.  Panic!Confusion was a woman who bustled into the store half and hour before closing, saying she needed UPS overnight.  There are a few problems with that, one simply being that our UPS wasn’t going to be picked up again until the next day’s afternoon… which wouldn’t fit in her schedule.  In explaining this to her, she said “I don’t understand” and “that doesn’t make sense” a lot.  I’m generally pretty good at explaining things, so after about seven tries, and me apologising that I couldn’t do her a favor… it’s not that I’m a terrible person, it’s that I can’t call up UPS central and tell them to send down an emergency truck, someone has to get something somewhere stat… after all that, she grumped off.  Snobbery!Confusion was similar in giving me angry/confused glares and interrupting in the middle of an explanation to declare “I don’t understand”.  There aren’t many ways I can explain that I can’t bleed off a page; the machines require a small margin and changing that is completely out of my control.  He stuck around to badger me long enough to hold three other people up in line and complain about the price (after I gave him a nice break).  Oh, and Snobbery!Confusion… don’t jump over my counter and grab stuff.  That’s really rude.  Honestly, though, I sometimes wonder if Confusion declares “I don’t understand” as a testier way of saying “I don’t like what I’m hearing.”

Sleaze
I received a phone call last night that went like this:

SLEAZE:  How much are your copies?
ME:  49-cents.
SLEAZE:  That’s outrageous.  That’s absolutely absurd.  That’s robbery, that’s what that is.
ME:  Well, sir, we can price match.
SLEAZE:  Excuse me?
ME:  Price-match.  Basically, if you find another brick and mortar store anywhere in the world that is making the same exact thing… same size, same materials… if you can get a photocopy or a print out of their price, we’ll match it for you.
SLEAZE:  What do you mean?  You mean you’ll match another store?
ME:  Yes, sir.  But it’s can’t be like, freecopiesonline.com, it has to be a brick-
SLEAZE:  That’s so sleazy.  You’re a sleazebag.
ME: I’m so-?
SLEAZE: *slams down phone*
ME: O.o

Yep.  Um, I’m not trying to sound cynical, I’m genuinely asking here… doesn’t every store in the world price-match?  I’m not just talking, like, copies.  I mean everything.  If WalMart has Joe’s Sausage for $4.99, but Price Chopper has that same package of Joe’s Sausage for $3.99… don’t they price match?  Is what we’re doing so evil?  …  Besides, we’re not telling you to ditch the other store.  And I don’t make the guidelines.  Sleaze really bummer me out last night.  I mind his name calling and accusations less than him hanging up in my ear, though.

Hey, ‘Sup?
This guy was featured week of June 22, but I’m bringing him back again, because I really want to underline his progress.  Recently, there was a lot of drama in this guy’s life.  He redefined the phrase “the shit hit the fan”.  Last night, he was practically giddy.  I don’t think he’d like me using that word, but it’s true.  He was smiling, laughing, helping, having good conversation.  Whatever high road he’s on, I hope that he stays there for a while.  It’s true that a smile rubs off, if you’re open to letting it.  It was sure nice to see him smile last night.

BFG
Unlike Roald Dahl’s BFG, this Big Friendly Giant lets  people see his “friendly” as infrequently as possible.  Granted, this may be because I generally see him in a situation where he is unhappy, so he’s more of a Big Grumpy Giant.  But I learned something about him a few days ago that touched me.  He’s getting married in the fall, and he’s selling his motorcycle to help pay for the honeymoon.  He loves that motorcycle, and I was touched by his gesture.  It seemed like a really selfless thing to do.

A Need for Public Phones
There’s this guy who comes in every once and a while.  He makes me really uncomfortable.  He’s just a really dirty person.  He smells, and he looks very obviously dirty and decrepit.  And no.  He’s not homeless.  He waves big bills around like crazy.  He decided to come in and use the telephone on our fax machine to make a personal call.  We usually don’t mind, as long as people make it quick, since it ties up the fax machine.  This time, though, he was using the phone for an hour.  And there was a line for the fax machine (of course, right?).  We were trying to thin out the line… when… shazaam!  Our incoming fax machine broke.  We fought with it for about half an hour before giving up and throwing it away.  Meanwhile, there’s a line of angry people who want their faxes sent.  Public Phones won’t get off the phone.  And we can’t ask him to leave, because technically he’s not doing anything wrong.  Even though he’s a non-paying customer holding up paying customers.  So we’re stuck.  Getting fussed at from the people waiting in line while we try to set up a new fax machine for incoming faxes.  Getting fussed at by Public Phones, who doesn’t like being rushed.  Yarr.  Sometimes, you can’t win.

That’ll be all of interest or consequence that I can remember.  Three really frustrating things in the last six-seven days, not too bad.  I hope everyone else has had a fabulous week, full of delightful people.  And hey, if you’ve got any shining angels, I’d love to hear about them!  Share your stories: good, bad, and ugly.

P.S.  I just learned the difference between motels and hotels.  Motels you enter your room from the outside, hotels from the inside.  Learn something new every day.

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Thank You (Now Get Out) – 6/29/10

Sunset By Albany

Tonight, as soon as I get home from work, I took my shoes off and collapsed in the living room for a good ten minutes.  Just the idea of putting my feet up made all the difference.  Physically, standing for eight hours is tiring.  But that’s not why I’m tired.  I have spent the last four days being squelched.  Squelched- it’s that thing you do to mosquitoes sitting on your living room window.  You take a tissue and squish them until they’re two-demensional, then you squished them a little more, wrap them up in sixteen more tissues, and flush the package down the toilet.  These last few days, ladies and gentlemen, I was the mosquito.  People have been a very special level of rude and selfish lately, for reasons that I cannot pinpoint.  Let me give you a few examples of the worst of the worst:

I Can Yell If I Want To
I had a lady a few days ago who was unfamiliar with the copier, and she loudly stated this while I was on the phone with another customer and couldn’t get to her to help.  Out of the goodness of her own heart, another lady went to help her, and when things didn’t go exactly the way she wanted (or more importantly, the price she wanted) the irate novice unleashed her wrath on the good-hearted tutor.  I apologised fervently to the tutor (after being ripped apart by the novice myself) but the damage had already been done.

Cleansliness is Next to Godliness
Strawberry Sorbet (one of last week’s angel’s) had the misfortune of dealing with this lady.  She was making large sized copies for a customer, and because they are so big, occasionally one may tumble to the ground.  We do our best to prevent this from happening, but we are only human.  Sorbet tried to catch the copy, but to no avail.  Cleansliness was appalled and informed Sorbet that under no circumstances would she accept the tumbled one.  I understand apprehension, she doesn’t know how clean our floor is (very, we vacuum several times daily) but she did not politely ask for an unsoiled copy.  She made it clear that she thought the entire place was a cesspool and that Sorbet was incompetent.

Can’t Be Bothered With Children
This is another one of Sorbet’s customers.  She wanted three-dimensional lamination done, which Sorbet made clear wasn’t possible.  After struggled “negotiations” she hands Sorbet an item about an eight of an inch thick and will not take “this will only ruin your original” for an answer.  Meanwhile, as Sorbet does her best with the impossibility, one of Can’t Be Bothered’s children pulls on her sleeve and asks quietly for a trinket (as children will).  Can’t Be Bothered turns and screams at her child… and well, it just escalated from there.

F-The-World
F-The-World made an appearance a couple weeks ago, but he’s back this week.  This week, he had pencils to return.  He hated them, he wanted me to know that “he was going to be nice to me because I’ve been more respectful then many others in this dump, but the company should be ashamed to sell these.  The cashier who rung them out should be fired, the salesman who presented them should be fired, the manager should be fired, and the general manager, and the president of the company that manufactures the product”.  He went on to tell me all the flaws of his 99-cent pencils (most notable of which was that the lead breaks if you push down really hard, which in my eyes is human error, not product malfunction) for about fifteen minutes.  When he finally found the receipt for the item, he realised he had purchased them elsewhere.  Embarrassed, he switched his complaint to a different item.

1-800-Cell-Phone
This evening, I met a gentleman who wanted my time and attention, but didn’t want to give me his. Apparently, he wanted me to be psychic. He came to my counter, slammed a bunch of stuff down, pointed to my copier, then called someone on his cell phone, opening with the line “Hey, I’m not busy right now, what are you up to?” He proceeded to talk on the phone, pausing only twice to wish my manager and one of my male co-workers good evening. When I finished his job, he hung up, paid, and as he was leaving, called what I think was the same person, and said “sorry, I can’t remember my pin number when I’m on the phone.” He completely ignored me, expect to point at my machine, no matter what I said to him.

Strawberry Sorbet
She’s back this week as my one and only extraordinary angel.  She deals with all these insufferable people, and still smiles.  She doesn’t complain, and makes the most of it.  Honestly, I thought that Can’t Be Bothered With Children and Cleanliness is Next to Godliness were some of the most remarkably unfortunate human beings I have encountered in a long time, and she handled it all very professionally.  She has also been incredibly nice to me these last two week, and I’m a lot more relaxed around her because of it, because it makes all the difference in stressful environments.  I’m looking forward to going to an amusement park with her sometime this summer!

That, ladies and gents, was the worst of the worst this week.  I wish words could adequately show you how inappropriately the negative people acted, and encourage the world not to be that person.  As for me, I’m going to bed, and here’s hoping that next week turns around!

Got any remarkable stories about people since last Tuesday?  Someone you wanted to punch in the face, but didn’t?  Someone who brightened your day?  I’d love to hear about it!

mv77@kent.ac.uk

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something to think about

"You know, I don't know if you'll understand this or not, but sometimes, even when I'm feeling very low, I'll see some little thing that will somehow renew my faith. Something like that leaf, for instance - clinging to its tree despite wind and storm. You know, that makes me think that courage and tenacity are about the greatest values a man can have. Suddenly my old confidence is back and I know things aren't half as bad as I make them out to be. Suddenly I know that with the strength of his convictions a man can move mountains, and I can proceed with full confidence in the basic goodness of my fellow man. I know that now. I know it." ~ End of Act I in the musical You're a Good Man, Charlie Brown.

competing for the house cup

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