Tuesday, November 18, 2014

The DMV of customer service

While waiting at the AT&T store for an excessive amount of time as staff clustered in pre-Halloween merriment, I became irritable and asked for an ETA on actual assistance. I was relatively civil. Profanity was not used, intelligence was not questioned and no one cried but my daughter asked me why I was mad all the time. 

Sigh. Because, generally speaking, consumer related industries appear to have outsourced customer service to the DMV. In an attempt to present a company with my money, I get to maneuver through misrepresentations to outright falsehoods, but only after excessive waiting period. 

It makes me crabby.  

Not only in my personal life, but after 20 plus years as a social worker, I am the absolute queen of trying to cut through the bullshit. I’ve boiled my job down to one sentence. Be a complete pain in the ass until the person whose job it is to do whatever it is that needs to get done actually does their for-the-ever-loving, please-grasp-some-competence, a-chimp-is-outperforming-you, job. 

It isn’t just the VA whose strategy is to kill off beneficiaries before they can claim entitled services.

I freely admit that this isn’t always the case. I was in a discount, department store yeas ago, waiting at the end of a long line to return something. The solitary kid working the counter (I’m assuming all other be-smocked employees were clustered somewhere in some pre-something merriment) was fan-freaking-tastic. He said hello to everyone, joked around and you know, did customer servicey kind of stuff. When I got there, I told him I was impressed and he asked if I would talk to his boss. Sure! His boss said that the clerks never hear that kind of stuff. 

Well there you go. So I’ve made it a point that as much as I gripe, I need to make it known when someone does a kick-butt job.  In another discount department store last month and there was a fantastic senior at the fabric counter.  She explained to my kid how to make a toile tutu and embellish an inexpensive mask while telling her to treasure time spent with her mother. Hello! Big props sent online as soon as I got home. 

So, I just spent three hours, yes THREE, on the phone with AT&T. End result? We can't help you and if you don’t like it there isn’t a manager available at this time. 

It’s nice to see things are staying the same.  

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