Thursday, October 30, 2008

..................wondered why people think that you are ignorant because of your job?! Now that I have a real job again I'm reminded why I hate it. It's not because I inherently have a problem with working. In fact, I love the feeling of accomplishment or creation. I love to feel like I just did something cool or good. I suppose I should try to find something else to do, but I get paid well, and I'm good at it, so I keep doing it. For the most part it's ok, but here is a conversation I frequently have with customers that absolutely drives me crazy.

Sue walks into the store and I greet her in a very friendly corporate scripted manner.

me: Hi, welcome to our store today. What can I help you with?
Sue: Well, I've got this phone and it just stopped working.
me: Oh, I'm sorry to hear that. Let's see what we can do to solve the problem. Can you describe to me more specifically what the problem is?
Sue: I don't know what the problem is, it just doesn't work.
taking the phone from her, trying to turn it on....
me: oh, your phone won't turn on!?
Sue: Yes.
me: how long have you been having the problem?
Sue: I don't know, it just started this morning?
(me thinking, so do you not know, or was it this morning, those aren't really the same thing)
me: ok, well let me take a look at it.
as I take the battery off I can see that the liquid indicator(a little sticker inside almost all phones that changes color when it's been wet) is bright pink(the color most turn when they get wet).
me: Well, I can see why you're phone isn't working, it's been wet.
Sue: What?! It's never been wet! When did it get wet?
I've been SOOOO tempted on occasion to actually say something like,"according to my esp and awesome detective skills it happened exactly 23 days ago at 11:00pm." Sometimes if I'm feeling a little brash I say, "well, that's a question for you to answer."
me: see this little sticker, it turns this color when it gets wet.
Sue: I have no idea how that happened.
me: Let's look at your account and see if you have insurance on your phone.
Sue: Don't I have a warranty?
Here is where I have to hold my tongue again because I'm thinking, "If you spill a soda on your clock radio, how come you don't return that for a warranty exchange?" Why is it that everyone understands that warranties on electronics don't cover physical or water damage, but they cannot recognize that a cellphone is an electronic device?
Sue: Well, I guess that's ok, it was only $30. I'll just buy another one.
me: You can buy another one, but the regular price on that phone is $230. Your account doesn't currently qualify for a discounted phone price.

There are a few variations of this conversation. I get annoyed that people will bring in phones and know that they have been wet, yet try to lie to me. I'm not saying that no one ever gets away with it, but most times, there are ways for me to tell. Most of the time the customer will admit that it has been wet. It takes more effort for me to happily help these customers that lie to me.

Eventually these problems get solved, but often the customer is mad because they feel like they got ripped off, or a myriad of other reasons. I honestly try to be as nice as possible, but there is a delicate balance between showing too much sympathy and being matter-of-fact to keep the customer civil.

I know that insurance is $5 a month or so depending on your wireless carrier. Just buy it. I do. I understand that it feels like a waste of money at times. Please...I'm begging you, just eat at Wendy's one less time each month. You won't miss the meal, and you won't notice the $5. It makes life easy for me and you can get a damaged phone replaced for a minimal deductible.

Thursday, August 28, 2008

Have you ever......

..........wondered what this blogging thing is and how it works? I have asked this question many times. Mostly I ask it silently in my head or rhetorically to someone just out of earshot. I've been getting emails from friends and family to "check out" their new blogs so I can keep up to date with everything that is going on in there lives. I have resisted this in most occasions thinking of it more like spam. I mean, if they really want to tell me what is going on in their lives, the telephone(now cellphone) has worked fine for this since the 1870s. I suppose in some regards a blog is better than the email I get just because I ended up in someones contact list because I can look at it or not look at it according to my own desires. That "send to all" button is evil and I think it should be banned from email programs everywhere. One time I even had to "reply to all" to an ex girlfriend stating that, "I'd love to hear from you anytime you'd like to drop me a line, but please take me off of your list."

So now that we have my apprehension and cynicism out on the table I feel that I can continue. I don't really know how faithful I'll be at "blogging", but I'll give it a shot. Also, I'm hoping that there are some crazy people out there that will start to "internet stalk" me. It makes me feel important. These people are easy to identify if you post crazy or absurd tidbits or lies in your blogs. When these topics come up in other conversations you can have that personal satisfaction of officially identifying a bonefied "internet stalker".

My intention is to post a lighthearted bit or a small travellog every so often. I'd like to define "every so often" as less than once a week, but more than once a year. I went to open my journal the other day, and the last entry is from 2002. Wow, time flies.