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This is how you DON'T do customer service

Or, why you should order directly from a small, local business.  Even if it can be a pain in the ass and cost a little bit more.

We decided to get Shelby flowers for her graduation, because this is A Big Deal.   She's the last kid in the family to graduate high school (at least until/if this generation has kids.  But we've at least got an 18-ish year breather, unless someone turns up who goes the Ashe route and skips line by getting their GED at 16. Anyway, it's a big thing   And, honestly, there was a while there that we were afraid she wouldn't make it.)

So, flowers.  Went online, found a place with nice stuff that we could afford, placed the order.  Okey-dokey.  They were supposed to arrive Sunday.

Got an email notification that they couldn't find a florist to deliver Sunday.  Not ideal, but fine.  Monday it is.  Then it was not until Tuesday.  I called, got someone who was obviously pissed at working the holiday and pretty much snapped "Okay, you'll get an upgrade and it will be there Tuesday.  *click*"

I am already sick to death of this process, because Kent has been so wrapped up in the family issues surrounding this but has expected me to do the legwork.  Then I thought for a moment.  That is NOT how you handle customer service!  Hell, I would have been cranky about working yesterday has Terris not caught me before I started walking up the hill (no buses.  And I had cramps.  And it was raining) to tell me to not even bother because we were blowing labor at the "sucking chest wound" rate.

(I love Terris.)

That being said, I would still do my job...and then bitch about it in my paper journal or on social media.  So I called back and said I had an issue on the way things had been handled, and would like to speak to a manager.  I got the "Well, it's a holiday, so there aren't any managers here.  But I work closely with them and will be happy to help you out today..."

(Do you smell bullshit?  Me, too)

I outline my problem with the order and the way I was treated (note to self:  next time remember the name of the person you talked to!).  So this guy starts in on how he is a man of faith and a Christian and will treat my complaint in the spirit of Christ and....

I...wait.  WHAT!?!?!?  I thought I had hit the upper limits of weirdness in the name of Christianity the day that my bus driver stopped to pray over the ankle of a woman who had tripped going up the stairs boarding the bus.  You're invoking Jesus when all I want to do is get my neice her damned flowers.  I don't care if you're sacrificing a fucking goat!  That's NOT the point.

My response (because I didn't for one second believe that they didn't have a single manager on duty at the call center)  "Don't prevaricate with me or proselyize at me.  That is NOT professional.  Who trained you?  Bringing up your faith on a service call is NOT OKAY.  Your job is to FIX THIS."

[Kent's take on this "That's when I took my beer, my copy of Squirrel Girl, and locked myself in the bathroom.  I figured that was the safest point in the house from the blast zone that was about to occur."]

I think he might have actually heard me, because I couched it in terms of professionalism.  He seemed a bit shocked that someone would not welcome his profession of faith, and might actually be made uncomfortable by it (which is problematic for me in retrospect.  Because I wasn't uncomfortable;  I was PISSED.  And yet I found myself protecting his feels.  Kent also pointed out that I didn't swear at all, which is...a bit unusual for me on a GOOD day).

Long story short, Shelby got a ridiculously large bouquet (and today wasn't so bad, because she had a job interview today and got it.  The flowers were waiting for her.  She called and said "You guys know it's a job at Kmart, not the Miss Universe pageant, right?")  and we got a $10 credit.  Yeah.  Like that's going to get used.

And Mr.  I Need to Be Retrained finished the call with "You're one tough cookie."


Needless to say, I have spent a good chunk of today drafting out a letter to the business explaining where their call center people could use a little more training.  Oy.

One tough cookie?  Who says that to someone they don't know?  Oy.

Thing is, I have some positive memories about that term.  Grandpa would say that when I would do something he didn't think I should do (the older he got, the more I would lift or move things he couldn't). He would just shake his head and say "Leeshee, you are one tough cookie."

I also had a friend who helped save me at one of the lowest points in my life by bringing over Oreos and a hammer.  I smashed the hell out of them and she said "See?  Those Oreos are toast.  You're one tough cookie."  And then we made the best Grasshopper pie.

So, yeah...Random Dude, you don't get to tell me that.  It's probably code for "You're a total bitch" anyway.

Today has been much more pleasant.  This was my actual day off, so I'm at the end of an unexpected three day weekend.  I woke Kent up and started doing the morning routine.  I noticed he was making up a bed on the sofa and asked him about it.  He said "You were whimpering in your sleep and clutching your stomach all night.  And you elbowed me in the ribs twice when I tried to comfort you or wake you up.  I think you should consider just staying right here all day."

Sofa!  And coloring books!  And my journal and tea!  And drugs!  (Okay, my last painkiller from the tooth drama, but it was a lifesaver.  When do I go into the stage of perimenopause where I start MISSING periods?)

Maybe it's weakness or a latent propensity for spoiled brat-ness, but getting tucked in always makes me feel a million times better.  Granma and my great-grandmas would always fuss, and there would be a bed in the living room, and tv and books, and warm orange jello.  It puts me back in that little bubble where I was safe.  I never had that when I got older (and certainly not with the ex).  Kent has a beautiful way of knowing how I need to be cared for, and I think it's vice versa.

Of course, I have the living manual.  It's called his mom.  ;)

So, my work week starts tomorrow.  I'm curious to see who has left or been fired in the last three days (is it a bad sign when being off for three days makes you nervous about the state of the store?).  And Saturday, I go straight from work to haul amps for the We Aren't Dead Yet tour!  I'm told I have a birthday surprise waiting for me.  <3  Heck, I just want to get a good picture of all of us that I can enlarge and frame.

That's my big project.  I've been organizing the bazillion pictures on the harddrive, and have SO MANY pictures of me with women whose work or writing has influenced who I am as a writer/artist.  I want to get them printed and do a collage to put over my writing desk.  If I ever get the Room of Doom arranged so I can set up my writing desk.

I'm setting August 1 as my deadline for at least getting started on some of the changes I want to make in the house.  We sign the new lease then.  Hard to believe we're starting our fifth year in this little corner of weird.

And I think it means I need to get proper hardware to put up my lavender sheers in the living room.  And figure out where to put my Labyrinth poster.


( 26 comments — Leave a comment )
May. 31st, 2016 10:39 pm (UTC)
Ugh, I hate bad customer service. I have sent so many letters to corporate headquarters about bad customer service experiences. And not just, like, inept service - weird people like you encountered and mean people!
May. 31st, 2016 11:35 pm (UTC)
I'm glad it didn't come down to "we were going to get you flowers. But, we got you this goat instead."

I have had far too much of the "OK, we gave you a discount so things are OK" school of customer service. That never works on me.

It is good the flowers worked out.
Jun. 3rd, 2016 11:38 am (UTC)
The scary thing is that Shelby would have probably LOVED the goat. :)
May. 31st, 2016 11:42 pm (UTC)
Face. Palm.

I don't get people. At all.

Customer Service always brings out the most interesting stories, though.
Jun. 1st, 2016 12:58 am (UTC)
I firmly believe that things like "tough cookie" are nasty ways to whack on women who are perceived to be to strong or forceful. I get things like that a lot. It annoys me.
Jun. 3rd, 2016 11:59 am (UTC)
I took it a compliment at first, because my grandpa used it as such. It just took me a minute (after I hung up) to realize it was NOT.

I've decided to translate it as "You were able to make my testicles shrink by your vocabulary." Much happier ending. ;)
Jun. 1st, 2016 02:06 am (UTC)
Oh my word. I can't even imagine treating customers that way, whether it was a holiday or not - and I've worked in some adverse work conditions (like the time my work was a crime scene for a triple homicide, I shit you not). That's just... That's not ok. Ever. Good for you for calling them out on it.
Jun. 1st, 2016 02:29 am (UTC)
As someone who has worked for a call center before I can assure you that there's always a manager/supervisor able to take a call. We just make you wait for like 10 mins for the manager to "prepare" himself which is a ploy to just wait for you to hang up. Anyways, that was INDEED some bad customer service. Tough cookie his ass, it just sounded condescending to me and lol at him for bringing up his faith. As if that's gonna help his case. Glad you got the flowers anyways! <3
Jun. 2nd, 2016 02:16 pm (UTC)
Gotta say it isn't true for every call center. We often don't have one onsite evenings and weekends, or if they're in a meeting. I've played "supervisor" more times than I can count under those circumstances.
Jun. 3rd, 2016 02:22 am (UTC)
Generalizing is one of my off habits. I forgot to consider how it varies in every call center but yeah, circumstances as such happen too. I more than liked it when my supervisor was not around so he wouldn't badger me on stats lol. So glad im over that haha
Jun. 1st, 2016 05:20 am (UTC)
I have the same argument with my sister every time we order flowers for my mother. When I do it, I call the wonderful local florist who has done flowers for us for family events for years, who I can call up and say "I want to spend this much money, they're going to this address, please use whatever is in that looks nice right now," kind of thing and I know that unless there's a bizarre floral truck accident or something, she'll get a gorgeous arrangement in a timely manner on the day that we chose.

My sister, on the other hand, prefers to use whatever online florist she has a coupon for that day. We've yet to get flowers to Mom on time that way.
Jun. 3rd, 2016 12:01 pm (UTC)
And I KNOW better. That's what I'm kicking myself over. Unfortunately, I've only ordered flowers for recipients in/around my hometown, so I know who to go to. I thought this was a good idea since I didn't know a local florist.

Lesson learned.
Jun. 1st, 2016 09:26 am (UTC)
I thought I lived in a conservative area, but no one has ever prayed over me...

Hope your work week is good to you.
Jun. 1st, 2016 02:39 pm (UTC)
I've heard of one news report about certain born-again fundies leaving gospel tracts that resemble dollar bills on the tables of restaurants where they were situated. So instead of a cash tip, the waitstaff and servers get preached at O_o NOT COOL!

Jun. 3rd, 2016 12:03 pm (UTC)
I haven't gotten the one that looks like money, but I have gotten tracts.

I'm always a little insulted that they aren't Chick tracts. Those are at least collectible and fun to color. (Yeah, I probably need help)
Jun. 3rd, 2016 01:23 pm (UTC)
Chick tracts come in handy when one's toilet paper supply is low XD
Jun. 1st, 2016 03:07 pm (UTC)
Yeesh, that isn't proper customer service, AT ALL! Glad Shelby got her flowers eventually, though. :-)
Jun. 1st, 2016 05:28 pm (UTC)
*blinking stare* Are you kidding me? How does that person still have a job? You. Just. Don't. Do. That. Full. Stop.
Jun. 1st, 2016 06:38 pm (UTC)
That is absolutely code for you are a total bitch, and he's totally wrong. You were 1000% in the right there. That's so far beyond professionalism! :(
Jun. 1st, 2016 11:44 pm (UTC)
Oh man, that flower guy sounds like a bunghole.
Jun. 1st, 2016 11:46 pm (UTC)
Yep...using religion as part as a customer service call is unprofessional. You're not calling him about faith, but to get help for services that failed to meet expectations. Then again, it seems like some people don't know how to deal with customer service. I'm always shocked when I come back to the states how people are with their customers.
Jun. 2nd, 2016 01:44 am (UTC)
I'm the best, most laid back customer, until you prove to me that you are unwilling to do your job, or you decide you would rather just...not. I would have been super grumpy about being preached to when all I wanted were some flowers.
Jun. 2nd, 2016 06:07 am (UTC)

Wow the nerve of that guy!! I feel you handled the situation well though.

Jun. 3rd, 2016 12:05 pm (UTC)
No f bombs! Go, me!
Jun. 2nd, 2016 05:00 pm (UTC)
unbelievable! what a douche to bring up his religious beliefs during a CUSTOMER SERVICE phone call!

telling me it'll be treated in the spirit of christ isnt reassuring at all. christ was treated pretty poorly, what with being nailed to a cross and all that. i kinda think christian customer service is an oxymoron. its contradictory.
Jun. 9th, 2016 03:40 pm (UTC)
You got preached at during a customer service call? That's wrong in multiple ways. I thinks someone needs to find a new job.
( 26 comments — Leave a comment )