Doing A Disservice To Customer Service, Part 5

, , , , , , | Working | April 15, 2019

(My husband retired from the military with twenty years of service in the military version of customer service for various functions last year. He currently is an operations manager for the contractor that provides housekeeping and food service for the local hospital. All told, he has over forty direct reports. He is shopping at a major general store type retailer before work one day. The store manager is the only one on duty and she refuses to check him out before she does anything else. My husband walks up to the counter and no one is there for several minutes.)

Husband: “Can I get some help here?”

Store Manager: “Just a minute!”

([Husband] patiently waits. Five minutes pass by and no one has come to the counter. He asks again, a little more forcefully.)

Store Manager: “Can’t you wait?!”

Husband: “No! I am going to be late for work!”

(The store manager then proceeds to come to the front of the store and goes into an office to count tills instead of servicing my husband.)

Husband: “This is poor customer service! What could be more important than servicing a paying customer?”

Store Manager: “What is wrong with you? Don’t you know how customer service works?!”

Husband: “Uh… yeah, I do! I spent twenty years in the military doing customer service for shipping and receiving, and I would never treat a customer the way you did to me!”

Store Manager: “But you didn’t supervise anyone!”

Husband: “I was a Master Sergeant in the Air Force. I sure as heck supervised people! At one time I had over sixty people under me. I am now the manager of over forty people who provide services at [Local Hospital]! If any of my employees treated someone the way you have done to me, I would fire them as soon as possible!”

Store Manager: *checks my husband out* “Why don’t you call corporate, then?”

Husband: “I’m not dealing with your attitude! Don’t expect any more business from my wife and me. I am also telling [Local Veterans Group] not to shop here because you are so disrespectful.”

Doing A Disservice To Customer Service, Part 4
Doing A Disservice To Customer Service, Part 3
Doing A Disservice To Customer Service, Part 2

Getting Mixed Up With The Wrong Kind Of People

, , , , | Working | April 15, 2019

(My dad works late, and on his way home from work he decides to pull into a fast food drive-thru and order a meal. He orders a fish sandwich, a small coffee, fries, and an apple pie. After paying, he pulls up to the second window, the server gives him his food, and then he realizes that he hasn’t gotten his pie or his sandwich. He explains this to the employee, and they go to get him a new one. The manager, a tall, shaggy-looking man who looks like he’d rather be anywhere else, sticks his head out the window.)

Manager:Why have you not driven off yet?

Dad: “Well, they forgot my pie and my sandwich, and they were just going to go get them for me.”

Manager: “SO? You should drive off because you’re holding up the line!”

(My dad looks over his shoulder to see no line, no cars in the parking lot, no one in the restaurant, and no one on the road. He doesn’t want to start anything, so he just parks in the lot. Eventually, the server comes out with a bag and then goes back into the store. My dad finds out that they’ve given him the wrong sandwich, and it’s probably two dollars more, so he walks into the store to pay the rest of the cost. As soon as he walks in, he notices napkins everywhere, cups strewn on the floor, and only half the lights on, despite the fact that this is a 24-hour establishment and customers could come in at any time. He walks up to the counter and waits quietly until another server starts working with him. The manager comes back.)

Manager: “You again?! What do you want?

Dad: “I’ve got the wrong food, but I was just going to pay for it.”

Manager: “You can’t do that.”

Dad: “Well, what am I going to do?”

Manager: “Just give us back the food and leave!”

Server: “Sir, we aren’t allowed to take back messed up food; that’s company policy!”

(The manager is fuming and yelling at my dad and the server, until another man comes in, also holding a bag of food. He turns to them.)

Manager: “What do you need?”

Man: “I just went the drive-thru, and I got a fish sandwich; I ordered a [sandwich that my dad had gotten].”

Dad: “Hey! I got one, and I ordered a fish sandwich; how about we trade?”

Manager: “No! You’re not allowed to do that!”

Server: “Why not? They paid for them, and the food is theirs now. We can’t take it back.”

(Before the manager can respond, one of the few workers — many of them have stopped to watch — blurts out:)

Worker: “Hey, [Manager], aren’t those the meals that you put together that we told you that’d you mixed up?”

(The man and my dad started laughing and leaving. The workers began to laugh, too, as the manager stormed into the bathroom.)

Mrs. Grumpy-Cheese And The Attack Of The Muenster

, , , , , | Working | April 13, 2019

(I’ve had a rough day and am making my last stop to grab lunch supplies for the week. I’ve already waited patiently — and politely, I might add — at the meat section of the deli counter so a different associate can fix a troublesome scale. Now I need to get some cheese and I am directed to speak to her coworker. The exchange goes as follows.)

Me: “Hi. Can I get a quarter-pound of Muenster? Please and thanks!”

Worker: *sighs and rolls her eyes* “Ugh, seriously? Can you get something else? That’s, like, the hardest cheese to cut.”

Me: *shocked* “Um, yeah? I’m sorry to hear that, but it’s my favorite cheese.”

Worker: *sighs again and turns to slice my order* “Wait, how much?”

Me: “A quarter-pound?”

Worker: *sighs AGAIN* “So, like, what? How do I slice that?”

Me: *mouth slightly hanging open* “Uh, I guess, like, ten or so slices thin cut? How would I know?”

Worker: *grunts at me and turns back around to handle my order*

(I wait awkwardly, still a little shocked at her attitude, until she finally turns around and weighs out my cheese. It comes out well over half a pound, which I mention to her.)

Worker: “Well, what do you want me to do about it? Just buy it; it’s not my problem.”

(She then wrapped up and stickered the cheese, roughly shoving the slices into a bag so they got slightly crushed and mangled, before walking off, presumably on a break. I was left standing there with my mouth agape and her coworker from earlier silently giving me a look of apology as she handled a line of customers. I feel so bad for you, Ms. Nice Deli Meat Lady, having to work with Ms. Grumpy-Cheese all day.)

Wake Me Up When September Ends

, , , | Working | April 12, 2019

(I am browsing the Internet, looking to buy some merchandise for a musical group I like. The group in question is from another country, which can cause some issues with buying items —  the shipping can take longer and some things can be more expensive — but it’s worth the wait. I am looking into a company that sells the merchandise I’m looking for, and to my happiness, there’s a sale on a package that includes multiple items and posters. It’s still a bit expensive, but I decide to treat myself since it’s a really good deal compared to other sites I’ve seen. I check out the company a bit more and the reviews reflect good service, so I finalize my order and pay. I do this knowing that it will take some time to ship, but I don’t mind waiting. It is September when I place my order. Fast forward to October; I haven’t received any notification from the company other than the initial “We’ve received your order” email. I decide to contact their chat line to hopefully get an update.)

Me: *in the chat* “Hi! I was wondering if I could get an update on my order?” *gives order information* “I placed the order in September and I understand there will be a wait, but I was hoping it would ship soon.”

(I don’t get a reply until a few hours later.)

Chat: “We have your order. Due to the high demand for this particular item, it may take a little longer to ship, but it should still ship soon. We will send an email when it ships.”

(I am happy with this, and I thank them and close the chat. I don’t think about it for a little while until it’s almost November. Around this time I hear that there has been a postal strike in my province, which will undoubtedly cause issues with upcoming Christmas shopping. I am unaware if the strike has been happening longer than I’ve known about it, so I think that could be the reason my order hasn’t shipped. I feel bad now and figure that it will take longer to get here, so I wait until late November for an email. When I still don’t get anything, I decide to contact them through their direct email.)

Me: “Hi there! I was wondering if I could ask about the status of my order.” *gives information* “I talked to someone in your chat line in October and was told it would ship soon, but I haven’t received any emails yet. I am also aware there is a postal strike in my province; I understand that it is probably causing you delays and it may take a while to be delivered, but I placed my order in September and thought it would have shipped by now. Please let me know if there are any issues or if there is other information you need. Thank you!”

(I try to be polite as possible and, given the circumstances of the strike, I’m not frustrated or mad at all. I know what it’s like to work retail around the holidays and I don’t want to be a “problem customer” or anything like that. I don’t hear anything back until a few weeks later, now in December. I figure there’s no way my order will arrive any time soon, so I’m starting to get a bit annoyed. They send me an email.)

Email: “The item that you ordered is very popular and is currently on back order. We will ship it as soon as we can. If you are no longer interested in the item, please let us know if you want to cancel your package.”

(This is where I make my final mistake: I decide I still want my order and opt to wait. However, once Christmas has passed, I lose my cool and contact them again.)

Me: *gives order information AGAIN* “It is now after Christmas and I am still waiting for [order] to ship. I completely understand with the holidays and the strike that things will be delayed and I don’t mind waiting while things are sorted out. I placed my order in September, and it is now past Christmas, and the last thing I was told was it would ship ASAP in November. If you can email me and let me know the status of my order, it would be greatly appreciated.”

(Surprisingly, I get a reply a few days later, which is quicker than expected.)

Email: “We are having trouble figuring out the problem with your order. What we can do now is give you a refund or replace your order and get a new one sent out to you. Please let us know what you would like to do.”

(I immediately told them to refund my money, as my patience had run out. I still don’t know what “problem” there was with my order, but now I’m thinking I may have been scammed out of almost $60. I’m still waiting on the refund presently. Talk about a pain in the a**.)

Allergic To Dumb Doctors

, , , , | Healthy | April 12, 2019

(I am in the ER due to a high fever and an inability to breathe without wheezing for a week, having been urged by the nurse advice line to go in. Previously, my GP, who works at the hospital, said that my inability to breathe was due to allergies. I am annoyed at this because she did not even listen to my lungs, even when I told her it felt like I had something in my left lung. After a surprisingly short wait for this emergency room, I get my vitals taken, and then I’m sent back to a room to wait for the doctor to see me. When she finally comes, the doctor barely looks up from her clipboard.)

Doctor: “Miss [My Name], it looks like to me that you have allergies.”

Me: “No, I–“

Doctor: *looks up, clearly annoyed* “Your previous doctor said it was allergies. Coming to my emergency room will not make it not allergies. I’ll even give you an x-ray to show it.” *looks back down at her clipboard* “So, I need you to take a pregnancy test.”

Me: “Don’t need it.”

Doctor: “Yes, you do.”

Me: “I am asexual and my girlfriend lives in another state. No, I do not!”

(I start a wheezing, coughing fit; I try to talk when I can get a breath.)

Me: “Allergies in me makes me lose hearing in my right ear. It makes me look like I’ve been bawling. This. Is. Not. Allergies!”

(The doctor is stunned at my outburst, and because she accidentally left the sliding door open, there are a few other attendings who are staring. The doctor runs off, slamming the door shut behind her. It is over a half hour before a nurse comes to wheel me to the x-ray.)

Nurse: “By the way, good job at getting her to look up and shut up. We said it didn’t look like allergies when [Other Nurse] took your vitals.” *under her breath* “I bet she wasn’t even reading your chart.”

(After the x-ray and breathing treatments, the doctor came back and sheepishly admitted that I had pneumonia in both lungs, my left lung being the worst she’d ever seen. I was also pleasantly surprised to learn that whenever I returned to the hospital for a followup, I didn’t have to deal with the pregnancy question again.)

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