Saturday, December 31, 2005


Customer Service and Telemarketers

First off - let's get 2 things out in the open.

1. If you're paying attention to the time stamps on these posts, yes, I'm doing this on a Friday night. But I'm resting up for New Year's Eve...

2. I probably won't usually post this many times in one day, but I had an interesting week.

Now on to the topic...

Customer Service people are a necessary evil. That being said, at least pay attention to what you are doing, and try to make sure you understand how the world actually works.

This is an actual conversation, recreated to the best of my ability. I have changed the names to protect the mentally deficient. Except for mine, because you already knew it.

Me: Hello, this is Josh.

Her: this Josh?

Me: Yes.

Her: Josh, this is Stacy from **** Staffing agency, and we saw your resume online. Are you still looking for a position?

Me: No, I've already taken one, and I'm quite happy with it, but thank you for your interest.

Her: Oh, well, we wish you the best of luck, Stephen, and keep us in mind in the future.

Me: (to myself:did she just call me Stephen? That doesn't even rhyme with my name, or begin with the same letter!) I'm sorry, I didn't quite catch that, my cell phone broke up on me.

Her: We wish you the best of luck, Stephen, and keep us in mind in the future.

Me: (Holy crap. She did call me Stephen) I sure will. Stacy, right?

Her: Yes.

Me: Linda, have a great day. *click*

editor's note: I chose Stephen with the "ph" rather than the "v" because I think it looks more sophisticated

Then there was the lady from a place that rhymes with "Delirious Satellite Radio." (Hopefully that is ambiguous enough to avoid litigation.) I called in the beginning of December to cancel my subscription because since I'm not on the road as much with my new job, it seemed pointless to pay for the radio anymore. The guy I spoke to informed me that my service didn't end until January 19th, but he would go ahead and remove my credit card information from my account so that it didn't accidentally renew automatically. Great, taken care of. Imagine my surprise when, while checking my online balance on December 19th, I saw that $132 had drawn out of my account for said company. I think I speak for everyone when I say that nothing makes the holidays brighter than unexpected extra expenses. When I called to complain and get it straightened out, I was told that the money would be credited to my account within 5 days, but they would go ahead and turn my radio off right then. get to keep drawing interest on my money, and I no longer get your services. Then, just to make me hate her a little bit more, she told me I was lucky that the original guy had not removed my credit card information, or she wouldn't have been able to process the refund so quickly. It never quite clicked when I told her that if he had actually done his job, there would have been no refund for her to issue, becaue the money would never have drawn out of my account in the first place. Oh yeah...and she was a "manager."

Let's cover telemarketers next. The obvious: very few, if any of us, want them to continue breathing. The not so obvious: some of these people are actually human, and chose this as a job because:

a. they lost a bet
b. they secretly hate themselves
c. (fill in your own reason here)
d. they are fulfilling community service obligations for probation

I'm sure many of you have your fun little games you play with these people...pretending you don't speak English, faking a bad connection by making static noises with your mouth, asking if you can call them back at home...

I also have a fun little game I play, but recently I met my match. One of my games (and my favorite) is, just when they have started into their sales pitch, and are starting to think I'm interested, I'll start quietly singing to myself. I prefer power ballads. My ballad of choice is Hold On Loosely by .38 Special. (You know the one, in fact, 90% of you just started singing it out loud. I know for a fact (and I'll try not to address any one of my friends directly too often) that Leighton is singing out loud at work as he reads this.)

Usually this alone will fluster them, and they will lose their place or hang up. If it doesn't take right away, I gradually increase in volume, passion, and lack of ability to carry a tune. I have never had anyone make it past the chorus a second time without hanging up...until recently. As I was launching into the chorus a second time (at this point I could hear my dogs in the backyard barking at me) the guy on the other end of the line started singing along with me, matching my volume and passion, while exceeding my lack of ability. SO far, this guy had 2 major things going for him: I almost always give to this particular charity anyway, and he was awesome. I would have bought him a beer if we were in the same room. Needless to say, I gave more than usual. So Jim, from St. Jude's Children's Hospital, if you read this, well played, my friend...well played.

And my mind goes back to a girl I met some years ago,
Who told me
Just Hold On Loosely
But don't let go
If you cling too tightly
You're gonna lose control
Your baby needs someone to believe in
And a whole lot of space to breathe in

.38 special is a girl?

love it man...please keep 'em coming. mine is comptonchronicle and it has not been updated in 6 internet connection at home will force one to prioritize what happens online to e-mail an porn.

happy new year brother!
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