Customer Service, You Gotta Love It

She comes into the store and waltzes over to the print shop like she owns the place. She is a new manager at the store next door. She tells my store manager she wants a poster-sized black and white print. My manager calls me over and says to her that I will take care of it. I ask her what size she wants the poster.

“Oh, that size,” she says, pointing at one of the signs.

“24 X 36?” I ask. (That is a standard size: 24 inches X 36 inches.)

“If it’s that size,” she answers.

“Do you have a digital file or a printout?” I am on my best behavior.

“I’ll email the file.” And she doesn’t.

Thirty minutes later I get a phone call.

“When will my poster be ready?”

I tell her I didn’t get her email. She reads out the email addy she sent the file to. It’s not ours.

Five minutes later I receive the email and a phone call. “When can I pick up my poster?”

“By 5:30.” That’s two hours away and I have two customers standing across the counter from me. But I figure I’ll get it printed by that time.

Thirty minutes later I open up her attachment. It’s a Word file, letter size. The borders for the calendar she sent in the email are way too soft. So I make the borders for the days and the calendar nice and bold along with the names of the days of the week. I pdf the file and open my software for the engineering printer. I make the file 24 X 36, then I print that sucker out, proud of going the extra mile to make her print stand out with my bold lines. The poster prints and I laminate it, then I make the phone call.

She waltzes into the store. She looks at the poster and her eyebrows do those kind of things that eyebrows do when their displeased.

“It’s not big enough,” she says.

“How big would you like it?” I ask, trying to be helpful.

“Bigger,” she says.

“How much bigger?”

“I don’t know. Bigger,” she says the word again as if I can read her mind.

“You want it 36 X 48, ma’am?”

“I just want it bigger. If you can’t do it, I’ll go somewhere else.”

“I can do it. But I do need a size. Could you show me?”

“I’ll know it when I see it. I’m going somewhere else. They’ll know what I mean.”

“Yes, ma’am.” Now I’m thinking wherever she goes they’ll need a mind reader to figure out the “bigger” she wants.

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So you think you have problems

Just so you know I am not a techie or a geek. Normally I boot my computer up and hope that the steam will take it to full throttle. Oh, you say, computers don’t run on steam. Mine does. Else what is that mist coming out of its sides?

The other day I had a bit of trouble with my internet. My comp wasn’t wifi-ing correctly. The dumaflachie that tells me it’s on had become the Invisible Man. So I called the It-that-shall-not-be-named Internet Provider I pay a small fortune to.

I related the problem to Mr. Low-level who took my call. Let’s just call him LL for short. Over the phone, I heard a smirk coming from this guy on the other side of the world. Some place in Canada, I believe. The smirker tried to cover it up. That is often the game they play. The “why you smirking at me” game. They go into complete denial when you call them on their smirking. Dumb fool that I am, expecting customer service. All I get is a: “Well, sir, it’s against our policy to smirk at a customer. However, if you wish, we can email you our new smirker app. At no cost to you, sir. It will smirk at all your friends.”

I knew he smirked. I just knew it. But, after 3 hours of being put on hold, then spending another three hours getting tossed from Department A to Department Z back to Department B, I didn’t have the energy to argue. Everybody thinks healthcare.gov is bad. I am here to tell you the-company-that-shall-not-be named is ten times worse. I just wanted the internet to work and the steam to go away.

LL directed me to unplug the whatchamacallit from the thingamajig, stick it up my butt for thirty seconds. I followed his directions. You know how cold and sticky that thingamajig is? Well, let’s just say it’s cold and sticky. I plugged it back into the computer. This did not solve the problem. I knew it wouldn’t. It never does.

The steam was pouring out of the computer, and I still couldn’t get on the internet, even if my life depended on it. In addition to that, my butt was hurting something fierce from the whatchamacallit I’d stuck up my rear end only a few minutes ago.

By this time, I was losing any kind of patience I had left. There was enough steam in my house to be able to run a locomotive from D. C. to L. A. and have some left over for a return trip. All I wanted to do was get on the internet and order a new computer. Sure I could’ve gone down to the local Computerama Store and picked one up the easy way. But no, I didn’t want to do that.

Amazon is my best friend. We have spent a lot of time bonding. It always shows me the love. I would have felt that I betrayed it. It might have been hurt and stopped all that free shipping I have received over the years.

LL said to me, “Sir, I am going to put you on hold. I have to consult one of my partners-in-crime here.” He put me on hold but I could hear him talking. About surfing of all things. He wasn’t trying to help me with my problem. He was worried about his big-assed surfboard. It was enough to make me want to fly up to Canada, walk into that call center and shove a surf board up his you-know-what. See how he felt.

Finally, after more waiting and more waiting, he said to me, “I think we have a solution to your problem, sir. What you need to do is—”

“Click,” I heard my cell phone say. “You are out of your monthly allotment of minutes. To add minutes, we will need three credit cards and your first born child.” I tried to explain to the darn thing that I didn’t have a first-born child. It was not listening.

Wasn’t that just fine and dandy? No computer. No internet. No phone.

Anyway to make a long story longer, I went down to Computerama and bought a brand spanking new computer. It has an antenna I placed on the roof so I can receive the internet. The way it works is that it contacts an alien spacecraft hovering over earth and bounces a wave back to me. I can now contact any website on the nine planets of our solar system. (And, yes, Pluto is a planet.) Oh, and my new service includes unlimited phone service.

All it is costing me is a monthly allotment of the plutonium in my head. But that’s okay. I have plenty to spare. So no more steam and no more whatchamacallits up my rump. There is only one problem. I am getting Dear John letters from Amazon. It doesn’t love me anymore. I sent it flowers. That didn’t work.

Any suggestions what I can do to get Amazon to love me again?