Sunday, December 21, 2008

Customer Service

Hard to believe Christmas is less than a week away. Is everyone out there as busy and tired as I am?

At work, my friend and I were complaining about how hectic our lives had become when our other friend, Tim, came over and said, "Ladies, can I get you some cheese to go with that whine?"

I felt bad.

So this year I am making things easier. I am letting go of Christmas past. No more frantic nights spent in a giant cloud of flour, on my feet, baking cookies and sweets that, truth is, my family won't eat. Our kids are no longer little, so we are embracing our new found freedom and forgoing much of the holiday baking this year.

Oh there are a couple special requests. My son's favorite Chex Party Mix. And my daughter's Poppyseed Bread of which she cannot live without.

Other than that, I will visit my favorite stores to pick up some fresh bread, olives, cheeses, and most exciting of all, wine to go with that cheese. And with a little luck, it will be a simple, quiet Christmas.

I hope.

I don't know if I have ever mentioned this before, but I work in Customer Service and this time of year is extremely hectic. So I thought it would be fun to share with you just a sampling of some of the odder things I have heard on the phone this holiday season.

And believe me, we hear some pretty odd things.

Caller no. 1.
Customer called to place an order and first thing she said was: "I have an aversion to that number that comes between six and eight. Whatever you do, you cannot say that number. At no point in this conversation can I hear that number, or else, I will have a fit and begin making odd noises." This is a retail company. So I am required to quote item numbers, credit card numbers, even a confirmation number. So throughout the remainder of the call, I referred to the number seven as that number.

Caller no. 2.
Why did you send me a fake tree?! I ordered the Faux Fraser Fir!

Caller no. 3.
Customer called crying because she neglected to update information in system, so each relative received, what appeared to be, a gift from their dead Grandmother. To make matters worse, Grandma died at Christmastime four years ago. And Grandma's daughter, her mother, suffers from delusions that Grandma is still alive, and must see a psychiatrist regularly. Such person also has been known to send letters and gifts to herself, in Grandma's name. Customer requested that we call psychotic relative to let her know that dead grandmother did not send gifts.

Caller no. 4.
UPS man left package at door. Customer called upset because dog ate package, wants to know if we'll send another. Sadly, we are not responsible if dog eats your package.

Caller no. 5.
Dolores, an elderly woman from Texas called to place an order. After spending five minutes with Dolores, I can now tell you with good assurance that Dolores is doing much better after her surgery, although she does still suffer with arthritis, and her husband, George, has high cholesterol and that's why they are serving the salmon this year. Last year, they went to London. They have four kids, but don't speak to their daughter-in-law, Arlene, who likes to shop at Macy's. Dolores can't stand people who use Chinet and paper napkins. And why do builders in the South put ceiling fans on porches when the wind is just going to blow them down anyway?

And my personal favorite,

6.) Can I order the Chocolate Pecan Mini Pies without the pecans?

Have a safe, warm, Happy Holiday everybody!


Proud Italian Cook said...

Hi Michele, thats hilarious! I loved the gramma one! Your X-Mas sounds wonderful, simple, quiet and very relaxing. Enjoy your day with your sweet family! Happy holiday!
xox, Marie

Michelle said...

Hi Marie -
Yes, that grandma call tops the list for craziest calls of all time. It was pretty funny. I hope you and your family have a happy holiday as well! All my best!

Cynthia said...

I laughed so hard! Thanks for this.

Michelle, I applaud you for taking it quiet this year. Life is much more than the frantic run-around. It makes no sense be tired and not be able to enjoy yourself.

Linda said...

Merry Christmas, Michelle. I so enjoy your posts. While we haven't cut back with gifts, I have let up on the baking, which I never enjoy anyway (I prefer cooking, not baking) Sarah and I did make Gingerbread cookies tonight ~ one of her favorites and had a very fun time doing that. It was unplanned and that's probably the best way.

Rowena said...

Did you say wine? ;-)

A toast to your new found freedom. And I love the new header image!

Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!

Peter M said...

Michelle, thanks for reminding us to not freak out on customer service's a busy time.

All the best and Happy New Year.

Michelle said...

I agree, life is much more than a frantic run-around. Let's hope we can all keep that frame of mind this time of year.

I always think things are the most fun when they are unplanned. So nice that you and your daughter were able to bake cookies together.

I'll toast to that new found freedom. And you have a Merry Christmas as well! You've got some good wine in your region of the world.

We customer service people do appreciate your paitence and understanding this time of year. A Happy New Year to you too!

Nerissa said...

My goodness. I think some of my brain cells popped reading your list of charming customers. I am so glad I didn't have to deal with those kind of questions when I was in retail. Or maybe I'm just blocking them LOL.

The best of the season to you!

Michelle said...

Believe me, I am minus a few brain cells after working this job. But one has to keep a sense of humor ... especially this time of year. Hope you have a happy holiday!

Gloria said...

I hope you had wonderful Holidays and a beatiful next year!! Gloria

Michelle said...

Thanks for stopping by. Things have been a little hectic lately, but I hope to get back to regular posts after the first of the year.