Work

Helpless Help

A few days ago, I had the pleasure of calling a company we do business with to clarify specific information regarding a specific process.

Actually, let me start from the top.  I am one of those people who will do as much research as possible to find out the who, what, where, when, why, and how, before I ever bother anyone.  I do this, because I know what it’s like to have someone take up time from your day when they could have done xyz themselves.

So.  Before I made my dreaded phone call, I did my best to check every source I could think of, to get my supervisor the appropriate information.  And I did just that.  However, he told me to contact this company to “double check” that the information was accurate.  Now, I received my information from the US Department of State’s website.  While our government isn’t exactly the most high tech in the world, they do a great job of keeping their information up to date.  Being asked to call a third party to “double check” my information, was a little hurtful to my ego.  But, said third party deals with the Department of State more than we do, so my information could be a day outdated, and I understood that.

I call.  And I am not able to say a damn thing before I am inundated with the entire process from start to finish, of instructions, of documents needed, of the abc AND the xyz.  All I wanted to know if document j is acceptable for process h.

“Right, but is document j acceptable for process h as well-”
“What you need to do, is for process a-z, you need to bring …”

And on it went for another 5 minutes; the process and instructions and documents and forms and bla… being re-repeated over and over.  When, he FINALLY stoped talking long enough for me to ask about document j, he was able to confirm, that the document was acceptable and the Department of State’s information was, indeed, still current.  All of that time and breath… for a simple yes or no.

So why am I typing out a whole blog post about this?  Because patience.

I understand Mr. Helpless probably deals with idiots on the phone, the majority of the day.  But that doesn’t mean you interrupt your customer before they even get a chance to ask you a question.  He could have saved us both a lot of time and energy if he listened.

This is the reason I personally don’t do business with certain companies.  While I don’t have to deal with this company on a daily basis (or ever, really) it certainly made me want to approach my superior and suggest we go to a competitor.

I have worked in retail in the past, and I have also worked in a call center for customer service.  I know the idiots.  But treat everyone like a decent human being, have a little patience, and then when they say some stupid shit, THEN I give you permission to treat them like idiots.

Save yourself the headache and be the listener.

More unsolicited advice.

Quirkily yours,
The Quirky Digest

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