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Mismanaging Your Urgency

, , , | Right | June 28, 2018

(My manager has literally just walked out the door for her lunch break, leaving me alone for half an hour, when the phone rings.)

Me: “Thank you for calling [Store]. How may I help you?”

Customer: “Hi, can I talk to the manager, please?”

Me: “Oh, I’m sorry. She literally just went on her lunch break, but she’ll be back in around half an hour. Is there anything I can help you with?”

Customer: “No, it’s got to be the manager.”

Me: “Okay, no problem. Well, like I said, she’s only just gone on her break, so you can either try calling back at [time], or I can take your name and number and have her call you back when she returns.”

Customer: “Oh, it’s just that it’s pretty urgent.”

Me: “I understand. But she’s only gone for 30 minutes, so you either call back then, or we can have her call you back. Unless there is anything I can help you with?”

Customer: “What did I just say? It’s got to be the manager. It’s urgent. Look, can I have her mobile number so I can just talk to her?”

Me: *speechless at this request* “Ah, no, sorry, I cannot give you my manager’s mobile.”

Customer: “What? This is ridiculous! I have an urgent request and I need something now! I need your manager to help me! Give me the number!”

Me: *getting seriously annoyed now, also a couple of customers are now starting to come in waiting for me to help them* “Ma’am, I cannot give you my manager’s personal mobile phone number. She is currently on her lunch break; she is entitled to spend it without work calling her unless it is an emergency. If you wish to speak to her, I have given you two options: either call back in 30 minutes when her break finishes, or I can take your name and number and she can call you back when she returns. Now, unless there is anything I can help you with, I must go, as I now have other customers needing my attention.”

Customer: “Oh, so I can give you my number but you can’t give me hers? THIS IS RIDICULOUS! I have a themed hen party on tonight, and I need to know if a dress that I want to buy is in stock! I need your manager is get into your computers and search for the item, as your store has the only [theme]-style dress close to me! This party is tonight, you understand? I can’t have some casual worker screwing around! This is disgraceful customer service, and I assure you that I will be calling back to let it be known!”

Me: *stunned that this is all she wanted, and face-palming hard* “Ma’am, if all you needed was to know if a certain dress was in stock, I assure you a humble sales assistant is more than qualified to type a few words into the computer. You definitely don’t need a manager, or her phone number, to find that out.”

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