At Your Service: Part I


If Franz Kafka were alive today he’d be writing about customer service. ~Jonathan Alter

"And they want pizza..."

 Customer service, the right kind of customer service, is a lot like unicorns. I gave up believing it existed a long time ago, but some hopelessly romantic part of me wants to believe in it anyway. That being said, I think I have a better chance of running into an equine creature with a pearly horn and pink sparkly hair than a customer service rep who actually gives a damn about me or my situation.

I’m profoundly grateful that in my job search, I didn’t have to resort to being a CSR (customer service rep.) For the unitiated, these poor wretches are forced to talk on the telephone for 8-10 hours each day for 8-10 dollars hourly, mostly to angry, ill-informed, impatient, or just stupid customers. All with a smile and a “customer is always right” attitude. It’s the ergonomic alternative to being forced to become cellmates with a guy called “Butch.” Bend over and take it, pretty boy (or girl), and don’t say a word. There’s always someone else to replace you. No wonder all our jobs are disappearing to India…THEY’RE able to do the same thing for half the price.

And then, if you’re on the other end of the line, God help you. You’re forced to jump through a series of hoops that would be daunting even to one of Siegfried and Roy’s tigers (no wonder the tiger got fed up in the end.) Press 1 for English, 2 for Spanish (I find it discriminatory that no Klingon option is available, Heghlu’meH QaQ jajvam). If you’re calling about your account, press 1. Your bill, press 2. The meaning of life, the Universe, and everything, 42. Otherwise, please stay on the line. Your call is very important to us, which is why we ask that you spend half your free time waiting. Thank you.

So you wait, and wait, and wait…your hand starts falling asleep and your mind starts wandering to thoughts of feeding your cat, the Red Sox score, your ex-boyfriend…anything to get the synth version of “Raindrops Keep Falling On My Head” out of your soul. Then, when you least expect it…

CSR: Thank you for calling Megatel, how can I help you today?

Me: Didn’t I already push all those buttons for a reason? Or do you guys just like hearing me play “Do-Re-Mi” on my touchpad?

CSR: Oh, well, I, um…(keyboard tapping) Can I have your name, please?

Me: There are those who call me…Tim.

CSR: I’m sorry, that’s not the name I have on file. Could it be under your maiden name?

Me: Never mind. That was what’s called irony. I have a problem with my bill.

CSR: That’s not my department, I think that’s Accounting, would you like me to transfer you?

Me: I’d rather talk to you, considering I spent the last 49 minutes waiting.

CSR: What is the trouble with your bill, Miss Fok?

Me: That’s “Fach.” I’m not from South Africa…

CSR: OK. It shows here you owe $250, is that right?

Me: I’ve been with Megatel fpr 5 years. You guys are robbing me blind, I think.

CSR: Oh, well, I’m sorry to hear that…could I maybe interest you in one of our new plans to help you save money?

Me: I’d be more interested in having you help me save money off this bill. You see, I’m partially unemployed.

CSR: I’m sorry, Miss Fok…

Me: At least you have a job. Consider that. Is your supervisor available?

CSR: Um, let me see…

(To be continued tomorrow! I gotta get to bed, starting my own new job tomorrow. Thanks for all your continued support; it means so much to me. Drop me a line anytime at wikusandmurdock@yahoo.com!)

"You give me good fokkin' CS right now!"

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~ by Howlin' Mad Heather on August 26, 2010.

One Response to “At Your Service: Part I”

  1. You made me laugh out loud. God knew I needed that today. ‘Love your blog.

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