Tag Archives: customers

Gnome Idiot, The Spew

1 Nov

image

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:

Scenario 1

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.

Scenario 2

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.

(Blank look.)

Me: You know what I mean?

(Blank look.)

Me: Seriously. Do you?

Idiot Gnome: (Still blank.) Yeah. Sorta.

Scenario 3

(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.

(Blank stare.)

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…

…And…

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.

…Or…

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?

…Or…

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.

…Or…

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.

~D

Advertisements

Fuzzy Wood

19 Jul

image

So this is our current biggest problem at the brothel: fuzzy wood.

…No, it’s okay, it’s been a shit-week…by all means, read it again and giggle like a teenage boy all you want.

…Anyway…fuzzy wood is a kinder way of saying “mold and mildew.”  It happens because our kits are cut and pre-packaged, still green, on the east coast.  For those not in the industry, that means unseasoned…basically butchered before the last signs of breath were even completed, and wrapped up in a giant plastic condom with other still gasping, mostly dead pieces of wood, and put on a truck, then a train, then another truck…west-bound (to the lumber capitol of the entire fucking world.)

Why do we do it this way?

In the words of our multi-millionaire Corporate President: “Because.”

…Now, due to the temperature changes, these babies basically humidify themselves with a good claustrophobic self-steam, and arrive in our yard to sit anywhere from 30 seconds to 3 months, depending on the current kit demand.  For the shorter-lived stock, the seal is broken and built before any compromises can take place.  For the more seasonal goods, this can be a problem.

…Say, for instance: a playset.

There are two times per year where the market for these $2K -$4K systems are sold: Christmas and Summer.  Our company will only build these kits on demand based on territory sales specs, the previous year, along with our open order manifest. However, upon occasion we will get a cancellation, and thus turn into a holding-house for said already ordered and shipped kits.  Sometimes we will get several cancellations: thus, several kits.  Kits which have lived in our warehouse now for just over 7 months to date. 

…Problem is: because we technically have these kits, Corporate will not allow us to order new ones until the old ones have been sent out.  Only we over produced these sets last Holiday season, so were shipped more than we needed to begin with…then with added snow storms, got more cancellations than average.

…In short: we currently have dozens and dozens of sealed sets of wood, happily growing their own little eco-systems in the back of our warehouse, snugly tucked in the top corner of the Pacific NW.

…Which is what we found out directly after this last sales ad just hit.

Over $33,000 in playsets have been sold this month, and every cocking one of them we open, looks like it was bundled in a rainforest.  And BECAUSE Corporate is so very on point with things like communication, we have no time to prep the kits before the ads hit, as we had no idea which ads for which systems would be done at which time. 

…Prepping these kits basically requires breaking the condom, laying out each individual piece in the yard, spraying it down with a wood treatment wash, giving it a good scrub, and letting it bake like a flat of grapes in the direct sun. Only we are currently simultaneously receiving two to three containers of build  product every seven days, loading up to 11 builders per day, and erecting around 34 structures per week.  One single playset kit, being prepped for build, takes up about 1/4th of our yard space…and we had 3 to build, just this week, alone.

Mathematically, it just can’t be done. 

…Any idiot can see that.

But we work with a special brand of idiots, who don’t seem to understand that.

Which is why the WHS Pimp and I have been consistently yelled at all week long, due to corporate promises, trying to accommodate parents wanting their kids’ new toy NOW, but being asked to wait for a two to three week build date.  No matter of explanation we give them seems to satisfy their outrage.  It is somewhat understandable due to the fact that said kids in the Pac NW only GET about three weeks of good summer weather to begin with, but short of erecting a wooden chia pet in their backyard, I don’t know what the fuck they expect us to do about it.

In the end: people can only achieve what time, room, shipping schedules and weather can permit.  We are not wizards.  And we are dealing with a still-breathing commodity that was basically still growing in a forest less than nine months ago.

…And this is all to say (after a truly grueling and especially bitchy week of phones and contract work) what I never ever thought I voluntarily would, after 13 years of living here:  I wish it would put us all out of our misery, and just…freakin’…RAIN.

~D

Ship Edge & Pea Gavel

27 Jun

image

So, a reprieve to the day.  About fifteen minutes in all, where the entire office just hydrogen-exploded with laughter, after snorfling giggles as quietly as possible through a series of phone calls with a new customer.

…We will call her “Helen.”

“Helen” is one of 21 new contract-customers whom I called for bookings today.  One of the 14 I Ieft voicemails for, with the usual schpiel of info about requirements and ya-de-ya-duh…and one of the 9 who have since called me back. 

…But apparently “Helen” didn’t know why she was calling, or whom, or for what, or really much of anything. 

To be fair, “Helen” is of the elder generation…possibly beyond the generation you would think of as the eldest, now living on the planet.  If she was 110, I wouldn’t be surprised.  If she was on the Mayflower, I wouldn’t be surprised, either. 

…And though I haven’t the slightest idea how a person with severe mobility issues, and self-proclaimed near blind and deafness could or would, go out alone into the world and purchase one of our products, she did.  Then promptly forgot all about it.  Until she remembered it again.  Then forgot again.  Necessitating several conversations tag-teamed by the WHS Pimp and myself, ending in tears of total gut-wrenching laughter.

…We did try to be professionals about it.  And we managed, on the phone.  Sort of. But that is all.

Here is an approximate run down of the scene:

WHS Pimp: (On phone) [Blah-blah,] this is [who-de-ha]…and how can I help you?

“Helen”: (On phone, screaming so loud that I can hear every word even from my office.) WHAT?! WHAT?

WHS Pimp: Hello, this is [blah-blah], how can I help you?

“Helen”: I CAN’T HEAR! YOU HAVE TO SPEAK UP!

WHS Pimp: HELLO!  THIS IS [BLAH-BLAH]! HOW CAN I HELP YOU?

“Helen”:  I SAID, “I CAN’T HEAR YOU!” YOU HAVE TO TALK LOUDER.  AND SLOW DOWN!

WHS Pimp: OK. CAN YOU HEAR ME NOW?

“Helen”: WHO IS THIS?  WHAT DO YOU WANT?!

WHS Pimp: MA’AM, YOU CALLED *US.*  IS THERE SOMETHING I CAN HELP YOU WITH?

“Helen” : WHY DID YOU CALL ME?

WHS Pimp: AH! YOU MEAN WE LEFT A VOICE MAIL?  HAVE YOU BOUGHT A [BLAH-BLAH] LATELY BY ANY CHANCE?

“Helen”: WHAT?! WHAT?!

WHS Pimp: A [BLAH-BLAH.]  HAVE YOU BOUGHT ONE.  LATELY?

“Helen”:  WHAT ARE YOU TALKING ABOUT?!

WHS PIMP: I THINK YOU PURCHASED A [BLAH-BLAH] RECENTLY, AND WE HAVE CALLED YOU TO SET UP A BUILD DATE.

Helen”: WHAT? WHEN?

WHS Pimp: ONE MOMENT AND I’LL PUT YOU ON WITH THE OFFICE MANAGER AND SHE CAN HELP YOU.  ALRIGHT?

“Helen”: WHAT???!!

WHS Pimp: ONE MOMENT, PLEASE.

(WHS Pimp puts phone on hold.)

WHS Pimp: Uh. Yeah.  We have a screamer.  She doesn’t hear well, and seems really confused.  You’ll have to talk slow. And loud.

Me: Yeah.

Me: (On phone) HELLO, THIS IS [BLAH-BLAH] HOW CAN I HELP YOU?

“Helen:” WHAT?!? WHAT?!?

Me: I THINK YOU NEED HELP BOOKING AN INSTALL, IS THAT CORRECT?

“Helen”: I DON’T KNOW. I WAS TALKING TO SOMEONE AND HE JUST WENT AWAY. WHAT IS THIS?

Me: WE SELL [BLAH-BLAHS.] I THINK YOU BOUGHT ONE. WE JUST CALLED TO–

“Helen”: (Apparently to herself. Or her invisible friend.) –WELL, I JUST DON’T KNOW, I CAN’T HEAR THEM! WHY DON’T THEY SPEAK UP?  WHAT DO THEY WANT FROM ME? WHAT?!

Me: …I’M SORRY, I…CAN YOU HEAR ME?

(WHS Pimp begins to giggle.)

“Helen”: …I JUST DON’T KNOW.  THEY WON’T TELL ME…

Me: …MA’AM.  IS THERE SOMEONE THERE I CAN SPEAK WITH WHO–

“Helen”: –WHAT?!  ARE YOU TALKING TO ME?!

Me: MA’AM, HAVE YOU PURCHASED A [BLAH-BLAH?] WE ARE THE PEOPLE WHO BUILD THEM.  DO YOU HAVE QUESTIONS ABOUT THE INSTALL DATE?

“Helen”: SPEAK! UP! I CAN’T HEAR YOU!

Me: (Veins popping out on neck.) OK. CAN YOU HEAR ME NOW?

“Helen”: WELL IT’S ABOUT TIME!  NOW.  WHAT DO YOU WANT?

(WHS Pimp giggles harder. We begin the process of confirmation and build dates. It is a longer process for having to scream and re-scream every sentence of it. Finally:)

Me: …SO YOU HAVE THAT ALL DOWN, THEN? ALL THE REQUIREMENTS?  AND DATE?

“Helen”: WHAT?

Me: YOU HAVE THE DATE?

“Helen”: THE DATE?  IT’S WEDNESDAY. JUNE SOMETHING…

Me: YES.  I MEAN THE DATE OF THE “INSTALL.”

“Helen”: THE WHAT?

Me: YOUR INSTALL.

“Helen”: 14TH.

Me: NO, THAT’S THE 10TH.  WEDNESDAY THE 10TH.

“Helen”: WHEN?

Me: WEDNESDAY.  THE 10TH.

“Helen”:  TODAY?

Me: NO, YOUR BUILD DATE.

“Helen”: 14, JULY.

Me: NO, THE 10TH OF JULY…WEDNESDAY.

“Helen”: WEDNESDAY.  THAT’S *NOT* THE 14TH!

Me: 10th.  10th.  WEDNESDAY THE 10TH.

“Helen”: THAT’S WHAT I SAID!

Me: OK. WEDNESDAY THE 10TH.

“Helen”: …AND WHAT WAS THAT ONE THING CALLED AGAIN?

Me: THE BLOCKS? OR THE DRIP EDGE?

“Helen:” YES.

Me: BLOCKS OR DRIP EDGE?

“Helen”: YES! ARE YOU HAVING PROBLEMS HEARING TOO? DO YOU NEED ME TO SPEAK UP?

(WHS Pimp snickers louder.)

Me: NO, THANK YOU. NO. I’M JUST TRYING TO FIND OUT IF YOU MEAN THE BLOCKS OR DRIP EDGE?

“Helen”: YES.

(WHS Pimp snorkles.)

Me: WELL…THE BLOCKS ARE JUST…”BLOCKS”…FOR UNDER THE BUILDING.  THE DRIP EDGE IS FOR THE ROOFING…HELPS GUIDE WATER AWAY FROM THE–

“Helen”: –SHIP EDGE?!

Me: NO, “DRIP.”  “DRIP” EDGE.

“Helen”:  SHIP?! SHIP?! THAT CAN’T BE RIGHT.  WHAT DOES IT HAVE TO DO WITH A SHIP?

(Whs Pimp starts getting tummy giggles.)

Me: NO, “DRIP.” “DRIP” EDGE.  “D” AS IN “DOG.”

“Helen”: WHAT?! 

Me:  “DOG!” “DOG!”

“Helen”:  WHAT?! DOG?!?

Me: “D” AS IN “DOG”…”DUH-RIP EDGE.

“Helen”:  WELL I DON’T KNOW.  BUT YOU’RE COMING ON THE 14TH, SO I GUESS I’LL SEE WHAT THIS IS ALL ABOUT, THEN.

Me: THE 10TH.  WE ARE COMING ON THE 10TH.  WEDNESDAY.

“Helen”: WELL, I WROTE IT DOWN *SOMEWHERE.*  ONLY I CAN’T SEE.  MY GLASSES ARE…WELL…I DON’T KNOW WHERE THEY ARE.  BECAUSE I DON’T HAVE THEM, YOU SEE.

Me: AH. YES.  THAT MAKES IT ROUGH.

“Helen”: WHAT?!

Me: THAT’S ROUGH!

“Helen:” SO.  YOU ARE COMING TO MY HOUSE.

Me: WEDNESDAY THE 10TH.

“Helen:” : …TO DO WHAT, NOW?

Me:  TO BUILD THE [BLAH-BLAH] YOU BOUGHT.  FROM [YA-DE-YA-DUH.]

“Helen:”  OK, DEAR.  WHATEVER THAT MEANS.

(She promptly hangs up.  WHS pimp busts a gut.  I glare at him.)

Me: Thanks for that.

(About thirty seconds later, the phone rings.)

WHS Pimp:  [Blah-blah] this is [Who-de-ha], how can I help you?

“Helen:” WHAT?! WHAT?! WHO IS THIS? WHO ARE YOU?  SOMEONE CALLED ME FROM HERE.

Me: (With a grin.) Ahhh…sweet, sweet karma.  The instant fast-food gratification kind….

WHS Pimp: YES, MA’AM.  I REMEMBER YOU.  “HELEN”, RIGHT…?

“Helen”:  HOW DO YOU KNOW MY NAME?! WHO ARE YOU?!  WHAT DO YOU WANT?!

(A near carbon copy of the identical conversation I just had, takes place.  The longer it goes, the harder I giggle…eventually necessitating a bathroom visit so as to not literally mess myself with laughter.  By the time I return, we are at:)

WHS Pimp: …LEVEL.  NO, “LEVEL.”  THE GROUND.  “EVEN.”  “EVEN.” SO IT’S…”EVEN.”

“Helen”: WITH WHAT?

WHS Pimp:  WITH…THE “GROUND.”  SO WE CAN BUILD.  WE CAN BUILD ON ANYTHING AS LONG AS IT’S LEVEL.  DIRT, GRAVEL…

“Helen”: –WHAT?!

(I immediately start snickering again.)

WHS Pimp: DIRT. OR GRAVEL…LIKE PEA GRAVEL…?

“Helen”: T-GAVEL? WHAT?!

WHS Pimp: NO, “PEA.” “PEA!” PEA GRA–

“Helen:” —I CAN’T HEAR YOU?  WHAT ARE YOU SAYING?  SHIP EDGE AND T-GAVEL???

(I laugh harder. WHS Pimp with quivering voice tries *not* to.)

“Helen”:  …NEWFANGLE WAYS. I DON’T KNOW…

WHS Pimp: “PEA!”  “PEA!” AS IN…”PEAS IN A POD!” PEA! GRAVEL!  GA-RAAAAA-VEL!!!!!

(I am crying and holding onto the desk, open-mouth drooling on it, freely. No sound at this point is even coming out.  I am sincerely glad I have already peed. “Peed.”  “P”…as in “Piss myself silly”…)

“Helen”: P-GAVEL?!?

WHS Pimp: NO.  “PEA.” “GRRRRRAVEL.”

“Helen”: …WELL I DON’T KNOW.  IF YOU WANT TO. 

(I whoop a belly laugh.  WHS Pimp smiles and shakes his head.)

“Helen”:…I GUESS I’LL SEE WHEN YOU GET HERE ON THE 14TH.

WHS Pimp & Me:  THE 10TH!

“Helen”: …WELL, I KNOW I WROTE IT DOWN. SOMEWHERE…

WHS Pimp: THANK YOU!

(He hangs up. We totally bust a gut, crying all over ourselves.)

WHS Pimp: I bet she calls every day until the day we build it, wondering who the fuck we are and what we want from her.

Me: No takers.  Too easy.

(Long pause as we calm to silence.  Staring into the depressing abyss, after the one bright spot of our day.)

Me: You know? I’ll prob’ly end up just exactly like that. And this is just karma having a good premonition fuck with me right now.

WHS Pimp: …Yep.

The End.

~D

Snippets

15 May

image

Writing from the Farty Chair

…The “Importance of Being Earnest” soundtrack is in the background…cuz it’s fun, and strangely eclectic…purchased off Amazon MP3 app for the purpose of inspiring hair creations yesterday. 

The costumer requested I arrive with something quasi-styled so as to play with the hat placements during my fitting.

…The California Cousin and his lady have just vanished with Ma, back to her house, and I’ve time for a quick write-up before bed.

Random associations of the day, coming back to me.

…What to write about?

California Cousins grow up from kiddom, and become super interesting, intelligent human beings. Even in our family. 

…Had that one customer who talks to you like they were the dictator of a small third-world nation, whom you have just been annexed in with via “you work for me now” association.  I let them have their five minutes of glory…and by “let them have” I mean, “continuously reiterated the requirements for product prep with zero lee-way as to how much extra free work we were planning on doing for her.”  The call itself (I’ve been told) lasted another 48 minutes.  I wasn’t there at the time, as I had evilly put her on hold and passed her onto the WHS Pimp for “materials and hardware spec” info. 

It was mean. 

I know. 

…And he had even just bought me coffee and everything. 

…Which just shows you the kind of people we are, I suppose. I am the one who would buy or bribe their way onto the lifeboat, and He is the one who would probl’y go down with the ship, in honor of the “women and children” rule.

You know what, we’ve already discussed how he’s a better person than me, and I don’t think it’s kosher for you to just always bring it up, every time I do the tiniest slightly dickish thing!

…I prob’ly owe him some beer or something…

Cleaned house after work.

…Gave Daphne and Niles a much-needed bath, and cleaned up the kitchen.  New smelly thing plugged into the wall, accidentally set on ballistic level and left there to try and counteract the mass-chemical-cleaning smell. 

It worked. 

Sort of.

…Even though my nose hairs are still kinda tingling from the residual warring battle.

Windows all closed up since the last storm. 

Heater back on again.

A bit of a bummer, actually.

…Also, Harriet had just finally gotten all the bird poop washed off of her before it all began.  In keeping with every car-owner fate, ever.

Off book for the second tea scene. 

…Three more to go.

Rehearsal tomorrow and Friday, then off for the weekend.

…Must remember to buy more TP.

…And milk.

I may have had one 20 oz black coffee too many, today.  While it helped with the sheer exhaustion and general anxiety pit-of-despair I had worked myself into the evening before, I don’t think it’ll be so great at this particular point. 

…Or maybe I’ll be passed out within 50 seconds of my head hitting the pillow. 

…It is almost impossible to know.

I am, however, willing to undertake the experiment, and give it a shot.

Night, all.

~D

Greetings, From An Asshole

10 Apr

image

There is no amount of coffee that can fix the evils of this day and lack of sleep coming into it.

From the get-go, I have been a complete asshole to everyone, non customer-related.

…It just pours out of me like toxic sludge.  I can see it and hear it, but my ability to sensor it is completely shot.

…So I just sit here, tossing papers around, researching Boss cock-ups, dealing with Customer fires, screaming at the contractor bunnies, constantly resetting frozen computers and living under this eternal black cloud of frustration which seems to be permanently stuck to me…following me around from printer, to lobby, to warehouse and back again…like a super bitchy Eeyore.

…Even the WHS Pimp has cleared out.

…I think I can vaguely recall him saying he needed to do a stock run anyway, but I’m sure I helped the ASAP need of it.  At 10 in the morning.  On a Wednesday. While it was pissing down rain at the time.

…And yet he STILL stopped long enough to perk a thing of coffee before he left, and poke his head in my office to announce that caffeine would be coming to my rescue in T-minus 5 minutes.

…Because he is a better person than me.

Obviously.

Oh God. 

…How in the hell am I gonna make it through the rest of this day, and then the traffic, and shoving food down my face in five minutes, and then more traffic, and then show prep, and then fight call, bows blocking…never mind the actual performance??

I’m three mugs of coffee in.

…I don’t even think it’s helping.

…Maybe I’ll take five minutes, silence the phones, and have a good cry in the bathroom. 

Sometimes that helps.

Have OD’d on too many things at once, and not enough of others.

Let this be a warning to all of  you.

…And also, to everyone I talk to today: I’m sorry.  Ahead of time.

…Unless you are a dickhead. 

…In which case: I meant every word I said.

~D

Dear Customers Of The World

12 Mar

image

We are in the middle of the beginning of a ridiculous sales year on the road. 

The builder bunnies are out in full force, the mass of product trucks are hitting nearly every day, our reps still haven’t figured out how to work a fax machine without shredding nearly every P.O.,  and The Boss is typically MIA.

…This time from an Ulna fracture.

…Because he fell over while playing basket ball with his kids.

Everyone knows that this totally incapacitates you from answering phones or logging into the internet…so it looks like we have 6-8 weeks of totally on our owness, here at the office.  This changes nothing really. It’s just a different excuse from the other ones.

Meanwhile, all those early purchasers who bought around the Holidays to take advantage of sales, are starting to pop up for install dates.  Put on hold of their OWN doing, it now exasperates them without end that they cannot cater-pick the EXACT date that they want to be built.  Because, “Didn’t you know we get first priority?  We bought this 5 months ago!”

…Explaining to these people that “first come first serve” means that people have meanwhile been booking up the calendar as they purchased THEIR buildings, (without putting them on “hold.”) This is a totally foreign concept to the leg-draggers.  Apparently we should have no customers other than themselves, leaving a wide-open range for any date of their choosing from now until June, whenever they get their shit together and finally prep their land.

…Also, we are apparently idiots for building in the rain.

…Though the climate lasts for nine months of the year and always has.  You’d think people would know this, owning land here, but it seems that they don’t.  Or rather, they just don’t care, as long as we don’t build in it, but still on the day they want, so we should not inconvenience them, by making sure that this happens.

…And don’t even get me started with the Bouncers.

(A “Bouncer” is a customer who calls repeatedly, swapping dates back and forth, inevitably getting pissed off when sometime ‘tween change 5 and 6, someone else takes the earlier slot they’d already given up, but now want back again. Mostly only because now, they can’t HAVE it.)

All of this just further proves that people (most especially “customers”) are by and large, hissyfit-throwing-assholes.

(Those of us who work in any kind of sales industry already know this.  But for those who don’t: here’s your little FYI.)

Everyone wants what they want, when they want it, and because we are a Capitalistic society…having all been taught that “the customer is always right,” will be thrown in your face no less than 700 times in any given week.

…But I am here to tell you, that this is a load of shit.  And let me tell you why:

Because no one person is the center of the universe.  Which is bad enough to negotiate on it’s own.  But in our societal frame of mind, we EACH think that we are that “one” person.

…So, apply that concept to the entire U.S. population, and you would have 315,480, 016 centers of the universe, just right now. (according to the U.S. and World Population clock.)

…Which is 315,480,016 people, too many.

In this mode of thinking: money and a hissyfit will buy you anything. And it won’t. It can’t. Guess what, even Bill fucking Gates has to wait for an Amazon box to arrive. Just…like…you.

…And when that Amazon box happens to be an entire building, (for instance)…sometimes that takes even more time to wait for.

BECAUSE IT’S A BUILDING.

We’re not constructing cardboard boxes here. We aren’t filling bottles with Coke products on an assembly line that we can FedEx out to you tomorrow. These are two-ton and more dwellings. They are made by hand. From wood. Cut from a tree. In a forest. And shipped here. To our warehouse. Where we then re-load it. And drive it out to you. And a contractor stands outside all day long. In the rain, and/or snow. To build it. With their hands. For you.

THIS TAKES TIME.

And when you have 549 orders on the books…and 7 contractors…that takes MORE time.

…If you can see what I’m saying.

…Which I’m frankly starting to think would be a bloody miracle, as seemingly not one of our customers seem to be able to.

We have 549 suns who all want individual orbits according to their own laws of physics, time, place and schedule.

Which is not possible. Ask anyone.

…So this is what I’d like to call an open letter to the customers of the world. (Most especially mine, but even your average restaurant-patron will do.)

Dear (Enter Your Name Here),

We know you bought this thing. We know you want it now. But your hotdog/dvd/motorcycle/carpet/computer/garage/Hummer/imported-cigar doesn’t grow on trees. (And even if it does, it still needs to be cut down or picked by someone first.) Someone has to cook/package/build/make/deliver this item to you. This takes “time.” “Time” is this thing which requires scheduling. A schedule, means booking product-per-customer. A customer is one of many people…who also have schedules and times…and…(not to blow your mind here)… but prob’ly customers of their OWN who have times and schedules, as well.

…Taking this into consideration: you all are just going to have to man-up like a 5-year-old, and wait in line, like everyone else. Stop pissing your pants with rage-fits. Be responsible enough to pre-plan your potty visits NOW. And when I tell you our lead times are 4 weeks out, when you tell me you want to “hold it for a couple of weeks”…consider that the equivalent of: “Do you have to go to the bathroom now? Cuz the next rest stop isn’t until: ___.”

If your child can do this, I have full confidence that you can to.

Signed,

A Contract-Processing Representative, in the Building Industry

~D

Dear SWAL 3.0

31 Jan

image

Welcome back to Dear SWAL…our monthly installment of where Marty fwds me her Customer Service woes and I answer them the way we would all want to, if it wouldn’t get us fired by doing so. For last month’s episode, click here. For the rest of us, let’s move on to a review of a common problem: Blatant Customer Stupidity, or BCS.

…A lot of us who deal with BCS on a daily basis, have figured out a variety of trouble shooting exercises and go-tos that can help, when their common sense has all but failed them. But sometimes, you’ll get someone in such an advanced stage of BCS that even the tried-and-true tricks of the trade are beyond their capabilities. And sometimes those people aren’t even customers really, their whole purpose is to review your product and write about it. These people are called just plain BS’s. (Conveniently this abbreviation works for both the placeholder of what they are AND what they DO, for a living.) And this is Marty’s exchange (in edit form) with them.

…SWAL’S comments are bolded for your convenience.

***

BS: I’d be interested in checking out a review copy of “X” so at least I’d know how to promote your new book…I doubt I’ll make it to your top ten list on this promotion. Since I haven’t started a list of my own yet. But, I do get over 1,800 visitors a day…so, I may be able to sell a few.

Thank you for the heads up about this

~BS

Marty: The first link is for the sign up and the second is to an affiliate copy of the program

(Link 1) (Link 2)

Login: “login”

Password: “password”

~ M

***

SWAL: …So far, so good…

***

BS: Oh, you’re such a tease. (SWAL: Uh, what??) If you didn’t want to send me a review copy why did you bother sending me this e-mail? (SWAL: She fucking sent you a link. TO THE COPY.) Clicked your first link and signed up, fine, I went through your first hoop like a trained puppy dog. (SWAL: Ummm…) Second link, put the e-mail and the password in you sent me and NOTHING! NOT-A. A waist of time.

…So, I’ll tell you what. If you’d like for me to get the review copy so I can promote the book then jump through the hoops for me and the download link should end up in my e-mail box. (SWAL: Woa buddy, excuse me?!) Or better yet just send me a download link and not waist each others time with this busy work non productive stuff.

~ BS

***

SWAL: …Oh HELL no…!

***

Marty: I am very sorry but when I click on that link and type in the below, I get logged into the program no problem. What problems did you have? There is no need to be rude, I will help you.

login: “login”
password: “password”

~ M

BS: Hey, I apologize, I didn’t mean to sound rude! (SWAL: Coulda fuckin’ fooled me.) I’m just frustrated now. My e-mail address is (“his personal email”) Right? The password you give me was (“password”) Right? It still doesn’t work for me. So, when I click lost password it says there is no such e-mail address in your data base or something along that line.

…I’m really getting tired of playing around with something so simple yet still won’t work for me. (SWAL: **facepalm**) Can you just send me a download link PLEASE? I don’t know what else to do.

~ BS

Marty: I am very sorry for any confusion, but I now see what the problem is. You need to use the login I gave you, as well. The (“login”) login.

login: “login”
password: “password”

~ M

***

SWAL: Its one thing when you “hear” something and mix it up so can’t follow it properly…but when the fucker is IN TYPE, what is your excuse then??)

***

BS: I know we are both speaking English here, (SWAL: ARE you though? ARE you?) maybe I’m just too stupid to do this… (SWAL: Well, OBVIOUSLY. Yes.) …but when I click login: and login…It takes me to a screen to write an e-mail. Is that what you want before you send me a download link? An e-mail with the password you gave me? Well here you go: “Account” (SWAL: **Double facepalm**)

…Now, it may be on my end (SWAL: Yuh think?!) …but, we are having a really bad misunderstanding of each other here. (SWAL: Only YOU, buddy, she understands you perfectly. Unfortunately.) All I asked for was a download link for the preview of this book so I could read it to get the jest of this book to know how to promote it without making promises to my readers the book won’t fulfill. Saving us both refunds and hurting our rankings in clickbank. (SWAL: And I believe that is exactly what she did.)

No other marketer has made me jump through this many hoops to promote their book before. (SWAL: What is with the fucking “hoops” crap?!) I’m confused and frustrated now. Skip the password stuff and PLEASE just send me a download link because I’m tired of these games where I’m on the losing end. (SWAL: She can only help your incompetence so far, pal…) …Maybe you’re getting paid to play e-mail tag but, I’m NOT. The time I’ve spent in our correspondence with this issue could have been spent writing a blog post promoting something else. (SWAL: And based on your performance here, no doubt with efficiency and intelligent, educated judgement.)

I’ll tell you what, if you can make your link work for you and the password work for you (which it doesn’t for me) I’ve tried it. Do me a favor and do it with using my e-mail address…
(SWAL: **Triple facepalm.** Have run out of faces and palms and am now borrowing other people’s.) …and I should see the download link in my e-mail box.

…One thing for sure is my blog readers will ask for a refund before they go through this much hassle to get a download. (SWAL: I would hope your blog readers are smarter then this, but then if they follow your blog, we can only hold out so much hope.) … And I’ve never had a return so far and don’t want to start now.

My goal of this e-mail was to be a simple thank you note to express my appreciation to you for even bothering to deal with me (SWAL: As well it SHOULD be.) …and say I got the download link and I was able to read the book now.

…But instead I have to admit I’m a stupid asshole that had to bug you again still without a clue what the heck I’m suppose to do to get a review copy. (SWAL: JUST FOLLOW THE INSTRUCTIONS! ) Oh sure I could have just said still can’t get the book to download for me (but where’s the fun in that?) I never made it to a download page to begin with. (SWAL: HOW?! HOW?! HOW can you STILL not figure it OUT?!) …And I’m not known for short and sweet anyway. I hope I didn’t sound too bitter or offensive with my comments here though.

Your Frustrated Buddy,

~ BS

***

SWAL: Dear Lord…how does she DEAL with this shit…

***

Marty: Am very sorry if any of this isn’t clear and will do my best to make it more clear. Apologies

Please click on this link

(“Link”)

That link should take you to a page where you are asked to type in a login and password. For the login please type: (“Login.”) For the password please type: (“Password.”) Do not type in your own personal email for the login. Please use the login and password I have given you.

I cannot send you a download of the book to read because we don’t have a direct download link for the book. The book is separated into modules and we do not have a link for all the material that we can give out right now. I hope those instructions are clear.

~ M

***

…And he was never heard from again.

That concludes this month’s edition of Dear SWAL. Here’s hoping all our retail friends in Customer Service, here and abroad, have less BCS and BS’s in their lives this month. And if not: at least you now know: you ain’t alone.

~D

%d bloggers like this: