Unfiltered Story #141274

, , , | Unfiltered | February 21, 2019

Texting – me to boss: How much must a customer DESERVE it before I am allowed to pluck her left eye from her inconsiderate skull? … Hypothetically speaking.

boss to me: You can’t do that, my friend. Sorry you had a bad one.

me to boss: Can I convince you to do it for me?

boss to me: lol, I don’t know, man. I kinda need this job.

me to boss: I’ll talk you into it in the morning.

Typically a half hour before we close, I start turning off all the equipment and cleaning up, counting down the cash register till and such. Once the doors close I take my paperwork up front and get it signed off on and my shift is over 5 minutes after the store closes.

I am not obligated to keep the machine running until 1/2 prior to close; being a 1 hour lab, 59 minutes until close and I could start shutting down and cleaning, but I generally like my customers and want to give them as much up-time as I reasonably can.

In an effort to bend over backwards in exceptional cases, I can sometimes hold out until just 15 minutes before close to shut down the equipment…  but that’s about all I can really muster without going into unapproved overtime.  And now-a-days unapproved overtime is the only type of overtime there is, and it is frowned upon.

Tonight at T-minus 31 minutes until closing time, my phone is ringing.

I answer with my usual business greeting and on the other end of the line is a frantic mother who needs pictures tonight for her son’s Eagle Court of Honor in the morning.

“A failure to plan on YOUR part does not constitute an emergency on MY part.” I thought, but did not say.

She asks if she can get an order to me in the next 5 minutes, if I could still have it ready for pickup tonight.  I explain that it depends on how many images are in the order and what sizes she is ordering; without knowing that I can’t tell how long it will take to print.  She lets me know she needs about 30 5×7 lustre prints.  I tell her that IF she gets the order to me in the next 5 minutes I can still get that done tonight.

At 20 minutes until close she calls back and lets me know she just hit the send button, and asks if I have her order to print yet.  I do not, but manually tell my computer to pull new orders down from the server and it starts downloading…  all 174 images for her 4x6s, 5×5, 5x7s, and 8x10s…  I try to tell her I’m not certain this will all download and print before the store closes, and she says she’ll be here in 10 minutes and can wait for them if they won’t kick her out once she’s inside, then hangs up…  Well, Hell.

A part of me want to say ‘Eff-it’ and shut everything down.  “Tried to tell you it wouldn’t be done tonight, sorry.” But I have a reputation as a photo-miracle-worker, and my lab has a reputation of being one of the best in the metro, and my company is known WORLD WIDE for treating it’s customers exceptionally well… so I commit myself to making it happen…

I’m irritated but not at eye-plucking levels yet… But wait, there’s more.

She gets there a few scant minutes before the doors go down, and wonders around our closed store while I finish up her order.  I’m packing them up at closed+10minutes when she comes back by to pick them up and pay.  As I’m ringing her up she says “You know, I really did order more than I’m going to be able to use, I can return the ones I don’t need, right?” … … …

Are you serious!? … But, still, not quite there yet…

“Ma’am, we offer a SATISFACTION guarantee on all of the products we produce; if for any reason you are dissatisfied with the QUALITY of the work we did, we would offer you a refund for the product, but normally on a custom order of photographic prints we would expect you to want what you have ordered.”

“So if I return them, tell them that they are too fuzzy?”

NOW… now is when I’m thinking, It wouldn’t be homicide if I just ripped out one eye… she would live, she would even adapt to having a fairly normal life.  She could be a pirate for Halloween. She’s EARNED it!

“Ma’am, if your images a pixelated, and you clicked through the low resolution warning with out reading, or if they are out of focus, customer service will probably allow you to return those prints.”

“Thank you very much for doing this for me tonight, most people wouldn’t have.”
No kidding, most people wouldn’t have– and YOU’RE the REASON people don’t want to help people.  I bend over backwards for you and whilst I’m contorted so, you try to find a way to slip a knife into my back!  Your son may be an Eagle Scout, but you, madam, are an awful human being.

One of the managers I hold in high regard once said something that stuck with me…  and it kept ringing in my head tonight: At our company “we bend over backwards for our customers, but don’t bend over forwards for them!”  I feel like she’s trying to give it to me up the butt with this one.