Out and About – Week of January 13th

During my working years, I spent most of them in some form of customer service. I tried to do the best job possible when it came to satisfying the demands of customers. Today I am on the opposite end of the phone line and have found that in most cases I’m dealing with a computer when it comes to getting something resolved. The only problem I have with this form of service is that I keep getting directed from one number to another. This wears heavily on my patience. I find myself, yelling into the phone, ā€œI want to talk to a human being!ā€

The alternative is to actually speak to a human being. Most of the time,my blood pressure stays in the safe range. However, if I can’t understand what the customer service representative is saying, my blood does begin to surge. Here is my solution. When companies hire personnel to man their phones, they should be trained to speak slowly and clearly. I prefer to speak to someone without a heavy foreign accent and to be treated as though I was the only person they were going to deal with all day. I realize I’m asking too much, but I am the customer and I am the one who is contributing to that person’s wages. When I was in customer service, I was reminded that the customer is the dog and I was the tail. The dog wags the tail. Not the other way around.

Should you ever need to talk to me on the telephone, I will try to speak slowly and clearly and will do my best to answer any of your questions. The only other person you will talk to when calling me will be my voicemail and you don’t need to push any special number to do that. All you’ll need to do is wait for the beep. The beep is in English.

Don’t worry about your smart phone and TV spying on you. Your vacuum cleaner has been gathering dirt on you for years.

I’ve mentioned some of these in a previous column, but I’d like to mention them one more time, because I feel they are important things to teach your son:

In a negotiation, never make the first offer.
Request the late checkout.
When entrusted with a secret, keep it.
Return a borrowed car with a full tank of gas.
Play with passion or don’t play at all.
I’ll share more of these suggestions in a future column.

Next Monday, January 20, is Martin Luther King Day. I’m pretty sure there won’t be any mail delivery and the banks might be closed. Take time to remember this man for all he did for human rights.

Three final things that keep me awake at night:

Why is there a ā€œDā€ in fridge, but not in refrigerator?
Why is lemon juice made with artificial flavoring, yet dish-washing liquid is made with real lemons?
What is Victoria’s secret?
See you Out and About!

Submitted by Norm Stutesman

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