Mismanaged Expectations, Part 4

| Working | November 26, 2012

(I am a customer at an optical store. As the clerk is inputting my order, the phone rings. Meanwhile, the manager is sitting at her desk cruising the Internet.)

Clerk: “Excuse me.” *answers phone* “[Store name], this is [clerk’s name]. How can I help you?” *pause* “Yes, ma’am.” *pause* “I’m waiting on another customer, so can I place you on hold?”

(At this point, the second line rings. The clerk looks frazzled & tries but fails to interrupt the first caller to answer the second line. Meanwhile we are still waiting.)

Manager: *to the clerk* “I TOLD you that you have to answer the phone!”

Me: “Guess she shouldn’t have been sitting here waiting on a customer.”

Manager: *gives me a dirty look*

Clerk: *to the first caller* “Ma’am, as I have been trying to tell you, I have another customer here. If you can just wait a few seconds I can finish with them and give you all the time you need.”

(With that, the clerk finally manages to place call on hold and turns to me.)

Clerk: “Okay, so will you be wanting to order a six month supply or the entire year? If you order the year we have a discount—”

Me: “That’s okay. I know. We want the year.”

Clerk: “Great, so that’s—”

Manager: “STOP! You didn’t tell them about the discount! You have to tell them.”

Me: “I know about it and we are ordering the year’s worth.”

Manager: “But she didn’t tell you.”

Me: “Well, it’s stated pretty clearly on that very large sign behind her. Since she had to answer the phone, we had lots of time to read it.”

Manager: “Well, it’s company policym so she has to tell you.” *to the clerk* “Oh, [clerk’s name], be sure to get that guy I put on hold. He needs help.”

Me: “Wait a minute. You want her to tell me about something I already know so she can try to sell me what I already said I want AND deal with two other customers on the phone at the same time?”

Manager: “Yeah.”

Me: “And I’m supposed to wait while she’s on the phone?”

Manager: *snarkily* “Yeeessss. She’s busy, duh!”

Me: “And why can’t you help someone?”

Manager: *stamps her foot* “I’m the manager!”

(I ended up calling to complain to the district manager. Unfortunately, her tone suggested I was not the first one to complain!)


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