Wednesday, February 12, 2014

Tales From Customer Service

No weekly update today.  I was in Victoria and did not go to WW this past Saturday.  All I know is that I ate way too much good food and I still have not gone back to a regular workout schedule.  Hopefully I won't have gained 10 pounds when I do weigh in this Saturday.  I think I would be happy with a 5 pound gain, and then work really hard from there.  It has not been a good couple of weeks at all.

Anyway . . . .

People are crazy.  Actually people are CRAZY - and wacky and weird and mind-boggling.

I have worked in administration/customer service for all of my work life.  First at H&R Block during tax season as a receptionist.  Then there were the many hours providing entertainment to the masses at the video store.  I worked on contract at a call centre for a while - mostly selling electricity and gas contracts to businesses.  Then there were the many years making sure security systems were installed across Canada.  Now it's magazine publishing.  I do think that my job in circulation (subscriptions and distribution) is much better than when I was the sales assistant for the Calgary office.

One thing that all these jobs had in common is that I deal with the public.  Mostly over the phone.  Nothing was life or death - well except for the cases of installing security systems for women getting out of abusive relationships.  Even then, I did not work in the ERC (Emergency Response Centre, much like a 911 operator).  So my biggest issues were making sure installers were on time and people signed their contracts and provided payment.

Back to dealing with the public.  The masses of society.  The first thing I learned was that for some reason people seem to think that yelling and swearing at me is going to get them somewhere.  No, being rude is not going to get you your tax return money any faster.  If you act like a jerk, then I am not inclined to go out of my way to help you out. 

The past couple of weeks in the world of magazine subscriptions have been full of the weirdos.  First there was the man who called in to complain about a renewal letter.  We are just asking you to continue your subscription to our magazine.  He objected to the way that we use the words "bill to" on the letter.  Seriously, he was yelling at me about how it was a bad way to run a business?  I am still confused. 

There was a really nice woman who called in to fix the address on her subscription.  She had finally received the latest issue, but it looked like it had already been read by numerous people.  Who sends back a used magazine?  Especially one with ripped pages and food stains. 

I know I will get a call in March from an angry woman.  She had called in a while ago to yell about how she didn't want her donation to the Alberta Cancer Foundation to go to producing a glossy magazine.  I tried to explain that the funds to create the magazine are not from donations, but she was not listening.  Then she hung up on me.  How am I supposed to take her off the mailing list without her information?  The magazine goes out to about 40,000 people - so knowing that her first name was Carol (or something like that), was no help.  Hopefully she calls me and not reception.

Then there was the nasty email I received telling me to never contact them again.  Well all I was doing was confirming with you that your name has been removed from our database.  Would you not appreciate verification that your request was completed? 

Yep, talking to people sure makes my life interesting. 


  1. Ha, been there, done that. I did work at an emergency dispatch center for years, answering 911s and dispatching police, fire and medical. People are such jerks, it's amazing. I decided after I quit that job that I would never, ever work with the public again!

  2. Lol... yup. More than 10 years in retail, and before that I spent four years working for various churches. There are definitely some people out there with no understanding of how to get things done ('you'll attract more flies with honey than with vinegar). One of my favourites from my years in retail, was when people could not understand why a random book from 1973 just wasn't on our store shelves. Or the ones who would yell and scream at our teenaged cashiers about the difference between Canadian and US pricing. Like a 17 year old girl has anything to do with the prices.

  3. It's true, people suck.

    My dream job is one where I work by myself. Preferably on a beach with a margarita and free Wi-Fi.