Well towards closing the second month of her stay with us here at the Brothel, Gnome Idiot is not any closer to knowing what the hell is going on than the first day she got here.
…Her dormant posed dead-eye reaction to things being communicated to her is now beyond landing on our last nerves. We have very few left these days as it is, what with all the covering for a position now no longer in existence, since Boss went by way of extinction.
With four times the work, we could really use the help of…you know…”the help.” But being frozen from replacing her whilst the branch is still in limbo, we are stuck with this minion who seems humanly incapable of making any choice, save the worst-case-scenario one. The worst of it (beyond inability to take notes and follow simple repeatedly reinforced directions) is that she is the first point of contact with the outer world.
…And the outer world ALSO thinks she’s an idiot.
Tons of complaints rush in daily…etiquette and stupid mistake, misspeaks, and unfortunate choice of verbiage being such a varied finger pointing in this instance (and she being SUCH a literal-concept person), that even if we manage to get through to her cavernous brain-parts on why “this” was not the greatest idea of a thing to say, she will go on and fuck it up again by doing the same mistake with different words and not understand how one is the same issue as the other.
The problem is: her brain is not connected to her mouth in any way. This is a dangerous animal to put in a customer service position (I think you will agree.) It’s like her voice is on a vomit-spew setting, that no matter how frequent you attempt to customize and educate it, just refuses to process and update.
…What do I mean by that? I mean things like:
Idiot Gnome: Um. Yeah. Um, I have a rep on line who wants to buy a display…so um, what do I tell him?
WHS Pimp: We aren’t selling any of those displays right now. We have to wait until they have more road time, and break down a bit before the cost will balance out to sell and build a new one.
Idiot Gnome: Okay. (Back on phone with Rep.) So, um…yeah…we don’t sell the displays n’ stuff until they get more wrecked…
(She hangs up.)
Me: (To Idiot Gnome) Alright, so you REALLY need to choose your words more wisely when communicating with people.
(She looks at me blankly.)
Me: No “ums.” Think before you speak, not while you are speaking…try not to abbreviate words like “and” to “n’.” And “wrecked,” when talking about selling product, is not a good choice of word.
(Still blank. The phone rings. It rings again. And again.)
Me: You wanna get that, maybe?
Idiot Gnome: Okay.
Idiot Gnome: (On phone leaving mssg) Um yes, this is [Idiot Gnome], we are just calling to verify what repairs you need, or whatever, to give us a call here at [number] but not at the corporate location at [number], okay? Thanks. Bye.
Me: Okay, so here’s a thing…you really need to keep working on your professional phone etiquette, here. And your choice of censorship. Just, think what this call is about…and phrase it in a more positive way. For instance: we are calling to verify they are happy with their product and if there are any questions or concerns, to please call us direct at this number. We don’t want to plant the idea right off the bat that repair needs are such a frequent happening that we make calls after every build to find out what we did wrong THIS time. And for the sake of professionalism, things like “ums” and “whatevers” and “okays” aren’t solid choices. Also, the main point of this call is to get them to contact us directly. Giving them the Corporate number at the end of the message as the last thing they hear and write down, is not the greatest idea.
Me: You know what I mean?
Me: Seriously. Do you?
Idiot Gnome: (Still blank.) Yeah. Sorta.
(As she passes back and forth ‘tween offices, hacking, coughing and sneezing for over an hour, open-mouthed and without cover.)
Me: [Idiot Gnome]…can you please do me a favor…just for the sake of the office at-large…since you touch every piece of paper and go in and out every office, is there any way you can do that “cough into your elbow” thing they do in school. To help with germ spreading and things?
Idiot Gnome: (Cough, cough, hack, sniffle) No, yeah…I totally am.
Me: Actually, you’re not. This is about the tenth pass through my office, where you just hacked out a bunch of phlegm over my coffee cup.
(Idiot Gnome stares blankly, and openly sneezes, coughs, coughs and hacks again.)
Me: See. Like right there, for instance.
Idiot Gnome: (As if in explanation.) I have a cold.
Me: Yes. I know. That’s what I’m saying. The rest of us would like NOT to. If you cover your mouth, that might help with that.
Me:…Is what I’m saying.
(Blank stare. Idiot Gnome coughs again.)
Idiot Gnome: Well. I’ll do my best.
Me: That’s all we can hope for…
…Then there are things like:
Gnome Idiot: …Um, I dunno, but I think black is our darkest color…
Gnome Idiot: …Yeah, I think it’s prob’ly depending on the rain. Cuz if it rains it’s wet, and I don’t think we paint in the rain. Really. All that much.
Gnome Idiot: …Um, that’s a really good question, hang on and I’ll ask…(to me) what’s the power source for?
…If I kept a tally roster of her stupid choices and comments in a single day, it would be a full time job, just to log it. And I have enough jobs at the moment. Including dealing with her customer complaints:
Customer 1: Yeah…your reception girl is an idiot.
Me: I’m sorry, she is currently in training at the moment, and we are working with her. Is there anything I can help you with?
Customer 1: No. She’s just an idiot. She has no idea what she’s saying, she lets huge pockets of dead air space on the phone when you ask her something, and she sounds like she’s about twelve.
Me: We are working with her on that.
Customer 1: On being an idiot?
Customer 2: Hello?
Me: Hello, how may I help you?
Customer 2: Is this that girl again?
Me: I’m sorry?
Customer 2: Didn’t you just put me on hold?
Me: No, sir, that was our receptionist.
Customer 2: Why the hell have I been on hold so long?!
Me: I apologize, I was on another call. How can I help?
Customer 2: You could fire that girl. She kept picking me up and putting me on hold every time I asked a question, and each time she would come back and have no answer for the last one.
Me: I’m sorry about that, she is currently in training, and as I was on the other line, I wasn’t able to answer her questions at the time.
Customer 2: Well, as her supervisor or whatever, I think you should know, she sucks at her job. Even an idiot knows better then to keep picking up and putting people on hold all the time.
Customer 3: This is the fifth call I have gotten from you people in three months. What do want, now?
Me: I’m sorry, I was just passed your call from reception, is this regarding a build or repair or…?
Customer 3: It is regarding nothing. I keep getting a call from some teenager at your store. She leaves these random voicemails I can’t understand. Our thing was built, we signed the paper, what is the deal?
Me: I’m sorry, there is a multiple procedure call system we have to go through for booking and verification. You’ll get the original sales agreement call from Corporate, the install booking call from us, as well as the confirmation call, and a final wrap-up confirmation, in case you have any questions or concerns. It sounds like she was attempting the final call, and had left you a message.
Customer 3: I dunno how I’m supposed to get THAT from what was left on my cellphone, but…whatever.
…And so it goes.
It goes and goes and goes, with new surprising dumb choices, every day. Sometimes we become so frustrated by it, that we wanna punch a wall. Sometimes, we are able to have a moment to appreciate the humor in just how bad she really is, and share it, in wild gesticulations in our office, miming the play-by-play of her most recent fuck up, until we have the other one laughing so hard, they are crying.
…Either way, the unified signal of “dead behind the eyes, and vacant in the brain” that we have assigned to mean both that and our every frustration with her, has long-since been solidified. And it will almost always at least register a smirk in response when given in passing.
Whatever gets you through the day, I guess.