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Archived Scowl

It's annoying enough when one has to deal with answering the phone at work at all, never mind when one of the partners' wives calls and I happen to pick up the phone because it's ringing off the hook for some reason and every time she calls she always assumes that I am the receptionist ("Hi Receptionist! It's Mrs. Partner"&#41 even though my voice sounds nothing at all like the receptionist's, or when the close-to-retirement-age Luddite that recently started working there puts down his abacus and ventures over to ask you when "those faxes go off," to which I dumbfoundedly reply "What??" to which he responds "The faxes? When do they get turned off?" and I finally realize that he wants to know what time I turn the fax machines off and put on my "Can you believe this guy?" face and say "They don't get turned off. They're always on." Even though those things are annoying enough, there is still something substantially more annoying: Customer Service Representatives.

You may think I'm going to say something about LaQuisha and Tanishwa and Co. who man the National Car Rental Reservation Line, and who are ever-so-helpful,  in between their giggling and gum-chewing and soda slurping, but I'm not. Last week I had a question about a certain charge on a bill that our company received, and since this particular buck got passed all the way around the office to come to rest on my desk, I figured I would just put this puppy to bed. So I call the person listed on the bill as our Customer Service Representative and leave a voice mail message. She called me back and told me that the charge looked incorrect and she would look into it and get back to me, blah, blah, blah. I make a follow-up call a couple of days later since I was getting sick of looking at it, and find out that she had just left for a nearly two-week-long vacation. Two weeks pass and she eventually calls me back, gets my voice mail, and leaves me a very long, very detailed message that basically said that everything was taken care of, but that I should call her so she is sure that I got her message.

Since the only thing that I cared about was that someone was alerted to the problem, I was in no hurry to call her back just so that she could repeat what she said on her voice mail message to a live person. Well, that's obviously not what she had in mind, because in the course of one day she called me every two hours and left three voice mails, all of which allude to the fact that she is sorry that we're playing phone tag, and all I can say is that it must not have been a very exciting game because she was the only one on the field. Realizing that if I didn't let her repeat her original voice mail message to me that she would haunt me with repeated phone calls until my dying day, I decide to call her back. She screams – literally screams into my ear with joy that she is finally talking to me. Of course, she repeats the exact same thing that she left on the first, second, and third voice mail messages, like I knew that she would.

Now, I know that I only lasted but a short few months in the Customer Service arena, but I was always overjoyed when I got someone's machine, because to me, that basically that meant I could leave them a message and rest assured that I had done all I could to get the ball far, far away from my court. And I realize that maybe the all really, really good CS people don't condone that behaviour, but come on! I felt like I was being stalked by an overzealous obsessive compulsive with a Type A personality. ("I must talk to a real person! By any means necessary! I must, I must, I must!"&#41 I shall now propose the Non-Life-or-Death-Issue 24-Hour Rule which, in a nutshell is: give it a day, 'kay?

Posted in Scowls.

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