Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Thanks, Frank

… or maybe I should say Sid Vicious, or Paul Anka, the writer of the famous song, “My Way.”  Now we have a whole generation (or more) of people who think that THEIR WAY is the BEST WAY, and should be OUR WAY, too.

I went into a local store last Friday to re-order my business cards but the four people working in the store didn’t know how to access their computer database that had my already-designed card in it and vehemently told me to return on Tuesday. 

So I went to another local store on Monday, thinking perhaps they would like my paltry piece of business for $30 because, you know, one day I may actually make some money and end up spending more than that.  This second store is one I have been using recently, and I thought I would be pretty satisfied with their level of customer service. 

So, I presented my already designed business card and told them I needed one that looked just like it, with some small changes to the company name/ logo, and they said I could have a proof in approx. 24 hours (Tuesday afternoon).  Tuesday afternoon, I went back to the store (since I’d not received my proof by e-mail), and it wasn’t done yet.  So Wednesday morning (today) I went back in 11-ish, as instructed, and the card was done --- but all the type sizes had been changed.  Why?  Well, the artiste told me that his way was much better than mine.  I should have asked him if HE was planning to pay for my order.  I had to explain to him twice, rather harshly, that those of us who are “over 29” can’t read “mice type,” and that many of the people I do business with are in their 60s - 80s.

Why is it that so many people today think that they know what I SHOULD want when in fact I have already told them what I DO want?  I've now lost 24 hours on something I need and the typesetter wasted his company’s time producing something I didn't ask for and can’t use. 

And of course, no one stops to think of how awful I feel when I have to be so firm (which can translate into “bitchy,” depending on who’s within hearing range).

©  Elena E. Smith, 2011

Saturday, September 17, 2011

Mind Reader

So, in my ongoing rant about the sorry state of customer service these days…

In addition to the lack of listening skills, there appears to be an alarming rate of early hearing loss among customer service workers today.  Evidently, their constant use of ear buds, cell phones, and close proximity to noisy machinery in the workplace --- where modern d├ęcor doesn’t include carpeting and drapes to muffle the noise --- is really taking a toll.

I was in my favorite upscale coffee house a few weeks ago, where the counter clerk was not following the procedure of writing my order on my cup when I gave it to him.  This seems to be happening more often as people challenge themselves to memorize potential  orders and experiment with mutli-tasking.

I gave him my order – a grande skinny hot chocolate with no whip.  I gave it to him again, and he appeared to be writing it down the second time.  Then, in a rather aggressive manner (because many clerks speak to me as if I am there to serve THEM and not the other way around) he looked at me and said – ‘Do you want whipped cream on that?’  My exasperated look (since I’d already given the order twice, including the no-whip part) was misinterpreted by the young man, who glared back at me and said, “I’m not a mind-reader, you know.”

©  Elena E. Smith, 2011