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Posts Tagged ‘Customer service’

Hey Y’all!

I’m inspired by Jeff Foxworthy’s bit about rednecks. Here’s my take on hypocrites.

If you think private businesses can make their own rules (i.e., not making a cake for a gay couple) but then get angry that a business wants you to wear a mask, you might be a hypocrite.

If you think crossing the border illegally to provide for your family is wrong, but refusing government orders to close your business because you need to provide for your family is ok, you might be a hypocrite.

If you think a woman’s right to choose what happens with her body should be subject to government regulations, but you protest government regulations regarding your right to choose where you can go (i.e., shop), you might be a hypocrite.

If you are staunchly pro-life and want to see abortions criminalized but are ok with some elderly people dying as a consequence of jumpstarting the economy, you might be a hypocrite.

If you think Colin Kaepernick taking a knee in protest is inappropriate, but you protest government shelter-in-place orders, you might be a hypocrite.

If you wear a mask while protesting, you might be a hypocrite.

If you rail against government handouts but now are desperate to get your stimulus check and/or unemployment, you might be a hypocrite.

If it’s ok with you to have the government mail you a stimulus check (and passports and IDs) but not a ballot, you might be a hypocrite.

If you are trusting scientists about prescription drugs but not climate change, you might be a hypocrite.

If you love Trump calling people names but don’t like it when Pelosi does, you might be a hypocrite.

If you mourned nearly 3,000 people dying on 9/11 but not the 3,000+ dying every day from COVID-19, you might be a hypocrite.

If you didn’t think it was ok to allow the president to have a Supreme Court pick in an election year in 2016, but it’s ok in 2020, you might be a hypocrite.

If you didn’t believe Christine Blasey Ford but believe Tara Reade, you might be a hypocrite.

Similarly, if you believe Christine Blasey Ford but don’t believe Tara Reade, you might be a hypocrite (or maybe not).

If you made it to the end, great! Thanks for reading.

I’m really not trying to pick a fight. I’m just asking everyone to really consider actions/reactions — especially right now.

Kthxbyeeee,
Beth

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Dear Royal Caribbean,

The travel industry has been hit hard. I don’t have to tell you that, as cruise companies such as yourself have experienced catastrophic losses.

So I would think you would be upping your customer service game.

I’d be wrong. Clearly.

You still suck.

After the first time we traveled with you, I vowed it would be the last.

But sometimes you have to go along with the group, and my group decided to give you another go.

We were supposed to go in June, but PANDEMIC. So we got a credit toward a future cruise.

On Tuesday, the group bat signal went up that it was TIME TO BOOK said cruise.

It is fairly easy to book a cruise (i.e., spend money) on your site.

You know what is not easy to do? ANYTHING ELSE.

  • Link reservations with the others in the group? No. I have to call.
  • See my credit? Nope. Call.
  • Use my credit? Hell no. Call.

Sigh.

So I called, and got the very snippy Miguel. Here’s how part of the conversation went down:

Me: I’d like to use the credit from my cancelled cruise.
Miguel: I see that you spoke to a representative March 9 and were promised a credit.
Me: Yes.
Miguel: You want to use that credit toward the cruise you just booked.
Me: Yes.
Miguel: That credit has not been processed yet.
Me: Not processed? It’s been two months.
Miguel: Yes. I see that you called March 9. May I put you on a brief hold?
(Brief hold commences. Miguel returns.)
Miguel: You will receive an email next week with a confirmation code for the credit. You will then need to call back to ask to have the credit applied.
Me: So let me get this straight: I had to call to cancel to get a credit. Then call to get the credit processed. Then I have to CALL once I receive an EMAIL that my credit is ready so that I can have my credit applied.
Miguel: Yes.
Me: You know that’s insane, right?
Miguel (at his snippy summit): This is our process.

The next step is to link reservations so that we can all sit together at dinner. Miguel is aghast that I would want something else from him. He informs me that both Sophia and Petra have to put in their reservation notes that they want to link with me, and I have to do the same.

MY GOD.

I text both Sophia and Petra about this situation. We are the ones in our families who HANDLE THINGS. So we are handling things like the Tracy Flicks we are. All three of us are on the phone independently with you, Royal Caribbean. It is NO WONDER the wait time to speak to a representative is so long.

Sophia goes FULL KAREN and asks to speak to a manager. I’m so glad she did.

Sophia’s method was so effective that I actually got a confirmation from her, Sophia, via text. Not from you, RC.

Ignore my dark humor. It’s how I cope.

Unbelievable.

So. We will see you in December, COVID willing. But I know I’ll be on the phone with you sooner.

And you know how much I love talking on the phone (sarcasm alert).

Hoping you see my point,
Beth

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Dear Self-isolating Friends and Family,

What a time to be alive! It is unprecedented weirdness. I don’t know about you, but some aspects of life are totally normal (my boys fighting) and some are totally bizarre (no toilet paper or cleaning products in stores).

I received the email below. Ordinarily, that would send me into a tailspin. You know how I love my Biddy Boot Camp.

But you also know that I am an optimistic person. So here I am looking on the bright side:

1. Atlanta traffic has been reduced to early-1990s levels.

This is lunchtime on I-85 where it joins I-75. It’s usually a jam.

2. No line at The Varsity (no eating inside either, for better or worse).

3. No one is sneezing, coughing or sniffling in public. (I’m thrilled. I hate this. Pandemic and non-pandemic advice: If you are sick, STAY HOME.)

4. Family time (again, for better or worse). I’m not ready to kill the children. Yet.

5. Home cooking. Last night, I made Pommes Anna from a recipe by Chef Anne Burrell. (I watched “Worst Cooks in America” during my isolation this weekend.) It’s basically scalloped potatoes with a twist.

Yum!

6. The potential to watch shows on my (long) list of suggestions. Although I find myself rewatching “Schitt’s Creek” in preparation for Season 6.

7. No cancellation fees on the annual cruise we had to reschedule before Coronavirus came calling.

8. Faculty at my university are forced to try online learning. I’ve been singing this delivery method’s praises for years, but some of my colleagues have been reluctant. It’s not perfect, but it works. And it compels people to learn new things and be creative to improve the experience for themselves and for students.

9. The chance to do things that have been put off for way too long. We moved to a different place in the same neighborhood the weekend before everything started changing substantially. With the forced down time, we have unpacked everything, put up shelves, cleaned the place, etc. I also rewired our speaker system — something I needed to do since we moved back to Atlanta.

10. The constant reminder to WASH YOUR DAMN HANDS. I’m continually appalled by the number of people who do not wash their hands after going to the restroom. Gross!

Join me in optimism: Tell me about your silver lining.

Love and air kisses from at least six feet away,
Beth

 

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Dear Wilfred:

I’m not a fan of your company and you right now. Thanks to you, we all nearly killed each other this weekend, and I’m covered in bruises.

No, not domestic violence.

Moving.

We were just moving from one place in the neighborhood to another.

Note: It sounds like this might be easier. It’s not. You think, “Oh, I can come back for this.” But then you have 1,000 trips back.

I hired you and your team to move the big stuff. Like a sleeper sofa and mattresses.

I scheduled it for 2 p.m. thinking we could get the little things ourselves.

Then you started changing the plan — again and again.

You didn’t come at 2, though. Or ever. After many calls and texts, the best you could do was 5:45. When we had to get the truck we rented back by 6.

So thanks for nothing.

You noted in one of the phone calls that you want to preserve your five-star rating — one of the reasons I chose your company.

Well.

Sorry, Wilfred: You don’t even rate a star.

Hope you get your act together for the sake of future customers.

Beth

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Dear Students,

I love many parts of my job, but I like teaching you the most. When the semester is over, I’m actually sad (not relieved as many academic types are).

Public Speaking may be my favorite course to teach for three reasons:

  1. I get to know you extremely well through the topics you choose.
  2. You show a large amount of growth in a short amount of time. Each of you improves.
  3. I end up learning plenty.

In fact, this semester, I learned about child labor in smartphone construction, conspiracy theories about Kurt Cobain’s death, the House of Chanel, Chris Jericho’s career, and why you should exercise 5-6 times a week for 30 minutes (as opposed to 3 times a week for an hour, which is my routine at the moment).

I’ve written about student evaluations before, but here’s a recap: It is a little scary for me. There’s always someone who hates me and/or the class. But then I get feedback like this, and it takes out the sting:

(And her heart grew three sizes that day.)

Remember that I’m here for you long after the class ends. Yes, you have to climb a few flights of stairs to see me, but I’m also just a quick email away.

Best wishes,
Dr. Beth

 

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Dear Dominic,

Today you are 15. You were supposed to be born Dec. 13, but you couldn’t wait to get out into the world.

I knew you were coming early, especially as right around Thanksgiving would be a supremely bad time for you to come. Your father and Terri, my backup push coach, would both be out of town. (Remember, your dad was coaching basketball at the time.)

The doctor examined me at the beginning of Thanksgiving week, and said you weren’t coming.

But I knew better: Any child of mine would do things his own way.

So when I was doubled over in Target the day after Thanksgiving, I knew.

When my pain got unbearable, I called in BABY COMING to the TV station, and checked myself into the hospital.

The attending doctor told me to suck it up. That you weren’t coming. And to go home.

I basically told that asshat to shove it. I refused to leave. I told him to call my doctor, put a fetal monitor on me, do an exam — whatever he needed to do to be convinced.

(Thinking, “Just come closer so I can show you what pain is like.”)

Saturday morning, my doctor arrived, and checked me out.

Oh! You’re about to have this baby!

Yeah. No shit.

I called your father back from wherever he was. (Randy, thank you for driving him back.)

I called in your aunt to be backup for Terri.

After a failed epidural and, thus, incredible pain and gnashing of teeth, you arrived.

There has been a different kind of pain and gnashing of teeth as you navigate puberty.

But you’ve been mostly great lately.

When I was out of town last weekend, I couldn’t believe it was YOU texting me this:

Though the lack of punctuation and capitalization drives me batshit crazy, I do appreciate the sentiment.

And I loved laughing with you last night at Donkey’s mange line in “Shrek Forever After.”

Have we come out the other side?

That would be great.

And thanks for making me giggle this morning when you came out with the stick you call your “thotslayer” to keep me from spanking you for your birthday.

Happy birthday to my smart smartass. I do love you.
Mama

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Dear FedEx and Bright Cellars:

Thank you for working together to offer me new challenges to overcome. I feel so empowered now that I’ve successfully passed numerous levels of gameplay and defeated the final boss in an epic showdown.

Level One: The Cancellation

To pass this level, I finally had to cancel my Bright Cellars subscription FOR REAL THIS TIME. I live one mile from a Total Wine & More. I resisted your offers of free bottles and credits. I accepted ONE LAST SHIPMENT to use my various credits.

Level Two: Shipment Attempt 1

This one was tricky. My package was returned to Bright Cellars because the FedEx driver said no one was home Sunday. I was home. No one even rang the doorbell. I realize now that the cheat code to win this level was that I needed to sit on the stairs outside my front door all day. Still, somehow I forged on to the next level.

Level Three: Shipment Attempt 2

This was a tough level because I had three villains to defeat.

  1. Bright Cellars had to change the address to the leasing office.
  2. FedEx had to make sure to put “leasing office” on the shipping info.
  3. The (nasty) manager of the leasing office had to be notified that a package was on the way.

Level Four: Shipment Attempt 3

Another difficult level. FedEx, you were wily, and required numerous maneuvers.

  1. I had to call and convince you to hold the package at the FedEx facility in Norcross so I could pick it up. You told me to call the facility after 5.
  2. I called the facility after 5. I was put on hold three times. Finally, an unpleasant woman said she could not hold the package for pickup unless FedEx customer service (yes, her same company) told her to hold it. That I needed to call customer service, and have them call her.
  3. I called FedEx customer service again. I made Geordie write a note in the shipment file, and call the facility witch.

CUT SCENE:
Late evening phone call from the FedEx facility in Norcross to explain that the reason my package wasn’t delivered was because the leasing office hag wouldn’t sign for it.

Level Five: The Pickup

“If no one answer keep trying until they do.”

This level required me to call all the extensions. Twice.

Level Six: The Final Showdown

The final boss was a lovely man who — at first glance — just seemed like a beleaguered employee. But this level required an ID and signature on a digital pad that would not accept signatures. Still, I persevered.

I will now treat myself to what’s in the box.

It had better be THE BEST WINE I’ve ever tasted to be worth this difficult adulting game.

In sum: I never want to play this game again.

I hate you both,
Beth

 

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