Saturday, October 15, 2005

customer service rants

Heres my complaint o' the day.

Its my girlfriends birthday. I ordered her some flowers to be delivered to her place of work. I specified the time she would be there (after 10:30). I specified not to call her there. Call me if theres a problem, I said.

What did they do?

They tried to deliver at 9:00 am. They left a note on the door. They called the business number and left a message saying they tried to deliver flowers. She called them. They said they might not be able to deliver them today.

.....Meanwhile

Im at work, thinking that the flowers are probably there already. I call to see if shes gotten them and find out the series of events above.

Sigh.

I have a reputation as being very customer-service hypersensitive. I dont like to perpetuate this reputation, but WHAT THE FUCK IS WRONG WITH PEOPLE!!?? WHY DO THEY ASK YOU WHAT TIME YOU WANT SOMETHING DELIVERED IF THEYRE JUST GOING TO BIG BLACK COCKS FUCK IT UP?

So, I called to complain, because at this point, she still hadn't recieved the flowers.

Them: Good Morning, ***** Flowers.
Me: Hi, I ordered some flowers to be delivered and Im very unsatisfied.
Them: Ok, let me see if I can find you a manager
(hold music)
Manager: Hello, can I help you?
Me: Yes, I ordered flowers to be delivered today at a specific time, and they were delivered early, then they left a note and called the recipient, which I specifically asked they not do, and the flowers still haven't been delivered, and they are right down the street from you, which is why I called you in the first place..
Manager: Oh, Um, whats your name?
Me: Matthew Simmons
Manager: Let me see what I can find out..
(more hold music)
Manager: OK, the flowers are on their way
Me: Uh-huh?
Manager: They're being delivered now.
Me: Right, So thats it?
Manager: Um, yes
Me: What do you plan to do about the fact that you totally screwed up this order?
Manager: Well, Um, what do you want?

(Let me interject Here. I wasnt after money. I would have been happy with a basic apology. An admission of guilt. A simple "We're sorry we botched your girlfriends birthday. And for me, I was pretty sedate. I didnt call up screaming and yelling and demanding someones head on a spike. I just said I was unhappy and wanted to talk to someone about it. But I was really taken aback by this response. What do you want? I'd never heard that one. I figured it should have seemed pretty obvious that an apology would be sufficient. This place has been in business awhile. Surely they've had to say "We're sorry" at some point in the past. Maybe not.)

Me: What do I want? Thats what you do there when someones unhappy? You ask them what they want?
Manager: Yep.
Me: (figuring they asked for it) Ok, I want the flowers for spring thomas!
Manager: Oh, um, well, I dont know if we can do that..(shuffling papers) Im going to have to look through some purchase orders..what did you say your name was again?

(I tell her again)

Manager: let me see what I can do and call you back.
Me: All right.

A little time goes by and she calls back.

Manager: Hi, this is ***** flowers calling.
Me: Hello.
Manager: Ok, we can take half off.
Me: Ok, thats it?
Manager: Yep.
Me: Ok then.
Manager: Ok.
Me: Nothing else to say, then?
Manager: No.
Me: Ok, goodbye.

Now this is pretty funny, because I just went to a seminar yesterday that I was dreading, the *FISH* seminar, which is all about having fun at work and pleasing customers with your fun attitude and blah blah blah. After yesterdays teachings, I can definitely say that this person did not:

Choose the correct attitude
'Be there' for the customer
'Make their day' for me

All important precepts of the 'FISH' philosophy.

What really gets me is the whole 'what do you want' thing. What the fuck did she think an unhappy customer would want? An intelligent person would have suggested a small discount on their NEXT purchase, so that I would have had to actually buy something from them again to utilize it. But really, what did she think? Jeezus, Ok, lady, I want the fucking store! Pack it up, get out, you screwed up, Im taking over! Im in control now. Matts fucking flowers here! Oh, Im not done yet..I want your staff to immolate themselves, and I want you to publicly chop off your little finger, Yakuza style, to placate me. And while we're at it, I want all the flowers in this goddamn shop to start singing in 3 part harmony, a song praising ME, the unhappy customer. How about THAT, lady? HUH? How about THAT?

But they couldnt even give me a full refund. So, oh well.

Its probably a good thing I dont work in a flower shop

Thursday, October 06, 2005

sex and the city

Sex and the City
Theresa just mentioned "Sex and the City" in one of her comments. I was just thinking about a post on this topic yesterday morning. Now, I love/d this show (yes, they are not making new episodes, but I still enjoy the old ones). I remember the day my girlfriend N was outraged because the writers stole her theory that guys who aren't really good looking are best at performing oral sex because they have to try harder. And yes, for the record, it was N's idea; she came up with it in college in 1990.

But I do have some problems with it. First of all, I believe the entire show is based on the premise that four women are going to start living their relationship lives "the way men do." This implies that men have it right, when EVERYONE with a vagina knows this is simply not true. I think that the "right" way is a blend between the way men are known for living and the way women are known for living.

Secondly, Candace Bushnell has a tendency to formulate her women in the molds of various stereotypes. I haven't read the Sex and the City book/s but I have read her stories in Four Blondes. Giving her the benefit of the doubt, she really CAN'T get into much depth, and she is not out to create a deep psychological profile of her characters. But how many times do you think a group of women have sat around debating which character they're most like? Myself, I think I'm a little Carrie and a little Samantha, but totally me. Yes, I know this argument about depth of characters can carry over into the study of a million different books/movies/shows, but I think it's significant, because this is one of the first examples we have seen where women are portrayed as intelligent, perceptive sexual beings with no regrets as to how they live their lives.

What I like most about the show, though, is NOT the way the four main characters relate to the men in their lives, but how they relate to each other. I think every woman should have a contingent of girlfriends like this, and, men or no men, it's what I feel lacking most in my own life. I've been a sexual being since I hit puberty. While it somehow drew boys/men to me, it also alienated girls/women who would see me as a threat and spitefully label me. With the exception of A, I never really made girlfriends until I pledged a sorority in college. Yet I still go through life feeling that women are predisposed against me because of the way I dress, or the way I boldly make eye contact, or the way they see me flirting with my man in public. A has a drop dead body and a flirtatious smile, but also the uncanny ability to draw women to align with her rather than against her. She's given me tips for this (it's NOT accidental) but I'm just not as good at it as she is.

One of my main missions for the next year is to find my Charlotte and Miranda and Carrie and Samantha, and form our own little club for those times when we're angry at ourselves for the knot of hope we feel in our throats when the phone rings on a Friday afternoon. They are women who can laugh at themselves, who want to feel that contentment of a quality romantic relationship but who don't think less of themselves if they don't have it, who see other vibrant, healthy sexual women as resources and compatriots rather than jealous enemies. They are women who will take a girls-only vacation for the fun that you can have on such a trip rather than an excuse to meet men and show off their big tits. They'll be women who will be a phone call away my whole life, regardless of the men who come and go.

I just don't think any woman can have enough friends like this.