Monday, August 4, 2008
"No one else has complained about that, sir." Let's say you've just lost a goddamn quarter in a goddamn phone in the lobby of a goddamn movie theatre. You complain to the manager. He says you're the first one to mention it.
What's that supposed to mean? That the phone really does work, but I'm not using it properly? He may even ask if I put in a quarter and waited for the dial tone.
"No, actually I just shouted into the phone and nobody shouted back."
Another scenario puts you at the counter of a coffee shop where, along with your hash and eggs, you've ordered a glass of skim milk to offset your unhealthy choice of hash and eggs.
Your skim milk is severely sour and you attempt to return it. Only to learn that everyone else drank the skim milk without a fuss.
Or maybe you phone a store to remind them that the fan you ordered 2 months ago, when it was still hot and muggy, never arrived. And the clerk says, "Who did you speak to?" like that's going to solve the problem.
I told him I spoke to Ernie. "Oh, you should have spoken to Ed or Steve. Ernie isn't very reliable, likes to leave early, and has some issues with taking orders."
You waste your breath by saying, "Well then, just fire his ass and let the reliable ones answer the phone."
Apparently in the "Employees vs. Customers" handbook—there is no mention of the customer always being right. Based on my experience, it probably reads more like this.
The customer is always wrong about everything. So don't take him seriously. He's an idiot. Even if he gets upset and yells, he'll be back. No matter where else he goes, he won't be treated any better for one simple reason.
Everybody who deals with the public is reading from this same handbook.