Everybody’s Lookin’ Forward To The Weekend, Weekend

, , , , , , | Working | March 19, 2020

(I work at a car dealership. Our online appointment system kind of sucks; in theory, we can set parameters, but it has so many bugs it still allows customers to make appointments for things they shouldn’t and in ways that set totally unfair expectations for our team. As such, we regularly go through the pre-scheduled appointments to call customers with those sorts of appointments and to clarify and reschedule their visits. A common situation is people scheduling the very last afternoon appointment of the day for intense diagnosis, something we only purposely schedule in the mornings to give our technicians the best shot at getting the customer an answer in the same day, and hopefully even leaving us enough time to fix the car without it having to stay over, possibly for multiple days if we miss the cut-off to order parts if we don’t have them in stock. Unless we notify them otherwise, those customers often expect to still get their car back the same day, even though the shop closes soon after they would be dropping the car off.)

Me: “Ugh, here’s another last Friday afternoon web appointment for multiple concern diagnosis. We need to call to reschedule.”

Coworker #1: “I don’t get why people do that. And it’s for Friday afternoon more than any other day, too!”

Coworker #2: “Yeah, what’s that about? Like, even if their problem ends up being something we might be able to get out quickly if no other cars showed up for their appointments and the techs really busted their butts, it’s Friday afternoon. People just want to go home. Their car is probably going to stay until Monday.”

Me: “I used to work with a tech who fully admitted that a Friday afternoon car doesn’t get as good an inspection as the rest of the week because he didn’t want to find anything that might make him stay late; he just wanted to start his weekend.”

Coworker #1: “I know! I don’t get why people don’t think about this stuff. Like, are they doing their best work on the very last thing they do Friday before they go home?”

Coworker #2: “I feel like it’s normal to be pretty checked out at that point.”

(This wouldn’t be too noteworthy… except that about twenty minutes later, I hear [Coworker #1] and [Coworker #2] talking about their nails. They regularly go together to get manicures and are complaining about the workmanship.)

Coworker #2: “It’s really frustrating. Like, look at this smudge! I totally felt like they were rushing.”

Coworker #1: “Tell me about it! And this keeps happening lately!”

Coworker #2: “Maybe we should switch nail places.”

Coworker #1: “Maybe we should. It’s just so annoying. Like, we purposely go in for the very last appointment on Friday evening so there are no other customers after us so they don’t feel like they have to rush!”

Coworker #2: “Seriously. Why are they in such a hurry, anyway?”

(I don’t think they knew I could hear their conversation as there was a cubicle wall between us, but as I listened to them I just shook my head wondering how they don’t see the parallels between their situation and our customers’.)

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Unfiltered Story #190116

, , , | Unfiltered | March 17, 2020

(A tow truck driver has come to take away a car with a bad transmission that the customer is not fixing. He pulls into the middle of the service drive, and we arrange for a porter to help him locate and load the car. He’s standing and waiting, then pokes his head into the office area to ask a question.)

Driver: You know that gate back there?

(Our service driveway comes in off the main street and is huge and wide and straight, running the length of the property all the way to a massive gate out to the back road.)

Me: Yes?
Driver: How do I get there?
Me: Uhm..

(I think he must be talking about another gate I have somehow not noticed in my year and a half of working here. I get out of my chair and go stand with him by his tow truck, looking down the massive long wide driveway and the straight shot out to the gate. It’s the only gate. I point down the unobstructed path.)

Me: That gate?
Him: Yeah!

(Later I’m telling my coworkers about this, and they all laugh. One has to ask:)

Coworker #1: So what did you say? ‘Well, you take the gearshift and put it in drive..’
Me: I wanted to say ‘Uhm.. Just drive?’ Or reverse, I guess, since his nose was facing [main street]. But it seemed too smartassy and rude. I don’t want to be a jerk, even if he’s dumb! But my brain kind of locked up a little and I couldn’t think of a polite way to answer his question. So I just answered a question he didn’t ask, in a way that answered the question he DID ask. I told him, ‘Oh yeah, if you drive down and go out that gate, you can just turn right then left then right and you’re facing [main street] again.’ Which seemed to work because.. He drove. Down the driveway. To the gate.
Coworker #2: And he DIDN’T GET LOST? Good thing he asked for those directions!
Me: I just don’t know what he was expecting! ‘Oh gee, good thing you asked, you must have noticed our cunningly disguised pit trap right in the middle of the one open path down the lot! Now I’ll give you the secret instructions!’
Coworker #1: ‘You gotta reeeeeeally gun it to jump the tow truck over it, or else the gators’ll getcha!’

Big Voice Belonging To An (Eventually) Big Person

, , , , , | Right | March 14, 2020

I was working in customer service at a car dealership a few years ago. A man came in to pick up his truck after service and, as a safety precaution, we had to remove some aftermarket floor mats from the driver’s floor and put them in the back — as per liability for the dealership.

As I was explaining the situation, he interrupted me and just started yelling. He stopped listening to what I was saying and stormed off.

The next day, he came to my desk, apologized sincerely, and gave me a $50 gift card to a coffee shop near the dealership. It’s not often you get a customer apologizing for getting upset and taking responsibility for his actions. It takes a big person to step up like that and I’ll always remember him for going above and beyond an apology. I hope he sees this and knows I appreciate what he did.

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U-Turned Right Away From That Sale

, , , , , | Working | February 25, 2020

My husband’s old car is on its last legs and we are shopping for a new car. My husband calls a well-known local dealer.

“Hi, I am thinking about buying one of the new [Make] [Model]s. Do you have one of these on the lot that I could look at?”

“Absolutely, we can even set you up with a test drive. Come right on down.”

We go down to the dealer. My husband notes that there are none of the cars he’s interested in out front, despite signs everywhere extolling them. I note that the lot mostly seems to be full of older used trucks and SUVs. The salespeople are in a little huddle around the counter, and no one approaches us. My husband speaks to one.

“So, I called less than an hour ago about looking at and maybe test-driving the latest [Make] [Model], but I didn’t see any of them out front.”

“Oh, right. We don’t have any of those.”

“I was told by one of your people that you did.”

“Nah, we’re out. More will be in next month. But we have plenty of options! We have a lot of SUVs, pickup trucks, great deals–”

“So I was lied to.”

“Um, well, I’m sure if you looked around, you’d find something that–”

“I am interested in a [Make] [Model]. Not a pickup, not an SUV. If you don’t have the car I want, you have nothing I want, especially if you blatantly lied to me just to get me in your door.”

We left immediately. The other dealer did, indeed, have the car we were looking for on the lot, and we went there, test-drove it, and purchased it the very next day. The first dealer called back two weeks later offering to put us on a waiting list. I took great pleasure in telling them we were no longer in the market.

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A Disappointing Lack Of Appointments

, , , , , | Working | February 3, 2020

(I recently bought a new car from a dealership — and salesman — I’ve been doing business with for 13 years. The vehicle inspection expires before I can register it, and the salesman says he will set me up with the service department to get it taken care of after the school where I teach gets out. I arrive at the service department, where none of my usual people are working. I get there at 4:30.)

Me: “Hey, I was texting with [Salesman] yesterday, and the inspection on a car I bought expired before I could register the car. He said he’d get me set up with you.”

Service Guy: “I can’t do a walk-in right now; my whole crew gets off at five and they all have appointments right now.”

Me: “I understand, but [Salesman] said I can get this done today.”

Service Guy: “Ugh, I don’t know why [Salesman] would think he can do that. He should know better. While you’re here, I can make you an appointment to get this done another day.”

Me: “No, that doesn’t work; I need to register the car tomorrow and [Salesman] said he would set me up with you today. Here’s the text.”

[Salesman]’s Text: “I will let service know you will be here with the car before 5:00 tomorrow if that works for you. I’ll have [Service Manager I know] make sure you’re in their schedule.”

Service Guy: “Look, I can’t just make room in the schedule to inspect your car.”

Me: “I mean, I know [Salesman] doesn’t work Tuesdays, but I have him here saying he has me set up. Can you take a look at it or—” *mid-sentence, the service guy walks out of the office and starts talking to another service manager I don’t know* “—you can be an a** about this.”

(The service guys argue, and the one I’ve been talking to storms back in.)

Service Guy: “Okay, let me see what I can do. Last name?”

(This is the first time he’s asked me that.)

Me: “[Last Name].”

Service Guy: *sighing* “Spell it?”

(I start to spell it, and get about three letters out before he cuts me off.)

Service Guy: “Oh. First name [My Name]?”

Me: “That’s me.”

Service Guy: “Oh, well, uh… your appointment was for 4:15. But there’s a note here on the appointment–” *clicks, reads aloud* “‘Customer will leave when school lets out and could be here closer to 4:30.’”

Me: “That’s the conversation [Salesman] and I had yesterday.”

Service Guy: “Can I get your keys?”

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