Tool Selection

Could be someone I know, someone I don't know, fictional characters, dead people. I don't care, I'm an equal opportunity complainer when it comes to complete dickwads.

Wherever there's a Complete Tool, I'll follow closely behind with my anonymous bitching. 'Cuz that'll show 'em.

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Saturday, August 1, 2009

Don't Be That Guy (Hella Long...Just Like My Week -- Again)


Everyone wants to complain nowadays about how customer service has gone downhill. On some levels, I would tend to agree, but I'm going to let everyone in on a little secret. Just as kids make parents crazy assholes, customers make service representative utterly heartless and completely insane.

For example, here are the types of people I've had to work with this week. Most of them just yesterday:

Neddy NameDropper: At the first sign of trouble, Neddy starts droppin' names like they're hot plates full of angry scorpions. Who cares if those names still work there. Who cares if those names even know who you are. Who cares if the policy you're trying to circumvent came down as a direct imperative from the name they're tossing at you.... Pssssst...Neddy, it usually is.

Don't be that guy. No one is impressed that you know the name of their manager. If you make a phone call to an office and ask who the manager is, you now have that information. Congratulations.

A tip: if you actually know the manager, or someone else that makes a difference, it is a lot more impacting when you just quietly take down the name of the jackass helping you and report them calmly and factually. When you scream and fling names like ninja stars at people, it's harder to take you or your problem seriously.

Lambert The Loyal: This customer pleads their case by reminding you that they've been a customer of your company since before the dinosaurs died. Then they go and blow that terrific argument by telling you that they've been considering doing business with another firm recently. Why'd you do it Lammy? You were doing so well!

Don't be that guy. Lambert is a douche to the 20th power. He's also like a second cousin to Neddy NameDropper. They share that, "Don't make me find someone else that will take better care of me than you." attitude. Now, please don't mistake that statement. The customer should be taken care of. I'm talking about unreasonable requests. Such as the one I got yesterday when some Lambert walked in and wanted to be waited on before the 5 other people standing in front of him because he was "in a hurry". Uh, so is everyone else.

A tip: if you actually have a reasonable argument to make, just make it. You don't need to pad your facts with veiled or overt threats about taking your business to a competitor. If you don't like the service somewhere, you're always free to go somewhere else. Everyone knows this, the reminders are unnecessary. It makes you look like a manipulative dick.

FairWeather Franny: When everything is hunky-dory, Franny is the nicest person you'll ever know. She'll joke, chat, commiserate, compliment. Until the smallest thing doesn't go her way. Suddenly, you're out to screw her, you're liars, you killed her kitten in the 3rd grade.

Don't be that guy. Sorry we're not perfect Franny. No one is. It's the same thing Lambert's going to find out when he finally goes off to CoolCompetitor.

A tip: if you ever find yourself faced with a problem with a company you otherwise love, calmly and intelligently work it out. Most of the time, these things happen because of a miscommunication or misunderstanding. It's not the end of the world and alienating yourself from the people that you rely on with spoiled brat antics is not too smart.

GuiltTrip Gary: If you're a nice person, you'll take good care of this guy. You don't seem to care at all that he can't afford the fees that your company charges everyone for service. Your reasonable alternatives do Gary no good because they involve Gary doing something besides standing in front of you and whining about how life's unfair because he can't pay you for what he's asking for. Gary's no dummy, he knows that you make a commission off of all of your company's fees and that's the only reason you're charging.

Don't be that guy. If you don't already know, companies charge fees for services. They'll let you know up front what they are. If they don't, run for the hills. Sometimes fees can be negotiated, but a lot of times, you'll need to just accept that they are what they are and make a choice to either pay them or find out what your alternatives are.

A tip: employees don't typically have control over what their companies charge. They just know that there is a charge and it applies to your circumstance. Demanding their manager is a gamble. Some of them do have a personal stake in their office's bottom line. For a reason. Figure out your alternatives and if the charge is really worth it before you complain. If you have questions about the legitimacy of any charge, demand to see it in writing. If the employee can't produce some sort of written document that breaks down your charges, go elsewhere.

Insider Isabel: The worst person to wait on is someone who is also in the same industry. Some asshats actually expect better service than they give from other people who share their chosen profession. They'll condescendingly instruct the employee through every aspect of their job. I'm guessing just for shits 'n giggles.

Don't be that guy. You know what it's like to be the person whose life you're now making into a living hell. Instructing someone who is not under your direct supervision does not make you look cool. It makes you look like a tool.

A tip: remember that office to office, store to store, restaurant to restaurant rules change. You have different management, different clientele, different environment. Just because you're in the same profession, it doesn't mean you've done their job.

My favorite phrase of the week:

"Are you going to explain to my boss why I can't afford the necessary equipment to finish my job thanks to you?" Uh, no. You don't want me to make that call. I will actually tell your boss that you had alternatives to paying for our services. Free alternatives.

My least favorite phrase of the week:

"You people....." I don't even care what you have to say after that. The quickest way to ensure a negative outcome with me is to start your sentence that way. I can't believe how much ignorance and contempt can be woven into two words.

All right. Everyone cross your fingers that next week will be better. I have Monday and Friday off, so it just has to be 3 easy days.

Please don't suck, please don't suck, please don't suck....