Thursday, April 08, 2004

Work is a Four-Letter Word

I've been trying very hard not to turn this blog into a soapbox for me to bitch and complain about work, but the following conversation I had with a customer this morning pretty much blew me away. It encapsulates every stupid stupid stupid (one stupid is not nearly strong enough) person who I have ever had to deal with while at my current place of employ.

I have one really big pet peeve; I absolutely cannot stand talking to a customer about their account while they shout across a room/kitchen/massive fjord/abyss on speaker fucking phone while they water their plants/pets/children. I think it's only fair that they give me 100% of their attention. After all, I am giving them 100% of mine (usually). So I no longer condone the use of speaker phone. I won't help them unless they pick up the damned receiver and speak to me like a human being. Every time I hear the faraway voice and telltale eerie echo of a speakerphone, I tell them to pick up. I don't think that's particularly unreasonable, do you?

Ahem. Lights, camera...

Me: Toronto Star, blah blah blah, Sofi speaking..
Him: (speakerphoney) Hello, I'd like to...
Me: Sorry, sir. I can't hear you. Are you on a speakerphone?
Him: Yes.
Me: Would you pick the phone up please, sir?
Him: Okay.

40 seconds silence while I wait.

Him: Hello?
Me: Hello.
Him: I'd like to...
Me: Sir, I still can't hear you. Could you pick up the phone, please?
Him: Oh, yes. Okay.

20 seconds silence.

Me: Sir?
Him: Yes, hello.
Me: Sir, have you picked up the phone yet?
Him: Yes.
Me: Sir, you're still echoing. Would you pick up the phone?
Him: I did.
Me: No sir. No you didn't. I can tell you're still on a speakerphone.
Him: No.
Me: YES SIR, you ARE. Please pick it up or this conversation cannot continue.
Him: Okay.

10 seconds silence.

Me: Sir?
Him: Fine

You can't make this kind of shit up, folks!

Anyway, it wouldn't have been nearly so irritating had the sir in question been a) old b) infirm c) old and infirm or d) in the possession of less-than-stellar English comprehension. But he was middle-aged and normal-sounding and only had the faintest of accents, so he understood the meaning of pick. up. your. phone. sir. just fine.

Am I being overly grumpy? If I am, I am sorry. I had one of those I'm-so-tired-I-can't-sleep nights (oh, lookie that! I worked in a Nirvana reference on a particularly good day to do so) and my brother was up all night with the sick while my parents clucked and cooed over him, so I probably fell asleep around 4:45-ish. And had to get up for work just over an hour later. So I am more than a little out of it. Loopy, even. Valerie recently used that word to describe what happens to her after listening to too much Velvet Underground, and I've decided that it's a pretty boss adjective.

On a slightly higher note, this weekend I went to the One of a Kind Show with my good highschool friend Ameet who I haven't seen in a very long time. We visited Erin, saw her beautiful sculptures and had an all-around good time. Also, I bought these freaking adorable Batgirl undies . Everyone should own Batgirl undies.

(Now playing: "I Keep Mine Hidden", The Smiths)