Sunday, September 04, 2011

No Phone

    I have worked in the service industry for a long time, Company, and as such I have developed a set of rules by which to abide, because somewhere along the way when I was entering the service industry I began to take notice of what pissed me off as a customer, and I made the effort to not do those things to anyone else.  And one of the rules that places the highest - one of the things that makes me more angry than anything at a store, office, etc - is that a customer in person should always come before the customer on the phone.
     Oh yeah, and everyone does this, and I hate it.  A guy did it to me the other day, and I was so angered by it that I am going to name the store.  I was at a Verizon store.  Actually, I was at a Verizon-authorized retailer, not a corporate store.  But I was still there, and I was trying to pay a bill.  This was the second time that I had tried to pay this bill, and it actually took me two more attempts to get it paid (which is a whole different story..I have never met a company that made it so hard for me to give them money, except of course for the electric company if you remember that one), but this one was thwarted by a clerk who would rather spend fifteen minutes on the phone talking some woman through how to call customer service than actually helping me, who had walked into the store.
     I have come to feel that people who walk into the store, office, etc should always come first because they actually took the time to get off their ass, get in their K-car, and tool on down to wherever to talk face to face.  I know that a lot of them do it because they feel more comfortable face to face, or that they communicate better face to face, but it doesn't matter the reason why.  What matters is that they put forth a lot more effort than the person on the phone did because they actually came to see me, and so they should always, ALWAYS come first.
Don't you dare fucking pick that up...
     For some reason, however, we have this thing about the telephone, this sort of half-fear/half-addiction/half-fascination, which you math majors will notice adds up to one and a half, which is appropriate because we are into the telephone just that much.  The hardware clerk could be up on a ladder, getting down a garden claw and bottle of Draino acid and sixty-one sheetf of plywood for a customer who actually came into the store, and they will drop everything, sprint across the store, leap the counter like a gazelle, dive through the air like a football player trying to score the game winning touchdown in the AFC championship game and grab the phone just because some lady out on Sycamore St wants to know how much for a 25 ft long extension cord.  Well no, I just won't have it, and I just won't accept it. 
     Now I can hear all of you telephone lovers and telephone apologists out there saying "Well it makes good sense, because you can help more people in less time by answering the phone because those are going to be short, easy questions."  Well how about I take the middle finger I am flipping you off with and jam it up your nose so you get a sort of back alley lobotomy because you don't deserve to be able to think anymore.  That could not be farther from the truth.  Because you don't know.  You just don't.  Sure there is a pretty good chance that it is something simple that someone is calling about, in which case it would work out just great.  "How much does the permit cost to open a hair salon?"  Then boom, they can get their answer and everyone can move on.  It works great in that situation.  But there is an equally good chance that the person calling could want step-by-step instructions how to erect a ship in a bottle, and so the clerk will spend 27 minutes on the phone explaining something to someone who was too lazy to get off their ass and come that could be explained in like 6 seconds in person.  Meanwhile the 80-year-old meter maid in her little cart is outside giving me 9 tickets because the time has run out in the meter while I was waiting for the asshole clerk to answer the questions of a bunch of lazy bitches on the phone.
     Sorry, I get a little worked up.  So as you can see I am not a fan of the whole "putting the phone first" philosophy, and I won't do it.  That is why there is voice mail on almost every phone in America today.  If they want to know so bad they will leave a message, and if they leave a message I will call them back.  That is how business works.  Or at least how it should work.  So put down the fucking phone guy...

1 comment:

BradPerala said...

My friend in Florida also complained about Verizon and not being able to give them money. what's with that? Must be a company-wide thing?