Okay, here are the facts: I work in customer service for a national company that sends products to small elementary schools. I man a switchboard that gets phone calls from teachers and administrators in such schools all over the country. And before I had this job I had some modicum of respect for people in those professions. No more.
This may be extremely unfair, but hey, this is the Pit. It’s for taking out frustrations. So let me aim a metaphorical scream of frustration into cyberspace.
Caveat: lest anyone accuse me of being sexist, 98% of the people who call me are women. So these insults may seem to have a female slant, but that merely reflects the reality I deal with. (Hence, use of terms like “hoebag.”) Most of the things I am going to say also apply to the occasional man who calls as well.
First of all, did you go into teaching so you would never have to develop the brainpower to deal with anyone smarter than a 6-year-old? Are you absolutely INCAPABLE of drawing obvious conclusions about how basic business practices work?
Tip #1 - When I forward you to the person who handles your area and you get their voice mail, that does NOT mean press “0” to get back to me and say “She’s not there. Can you help me?” Listen you stupid bitch, if I could’ve helped you, why the fuck would I have forwarded you to somebody else?! They have voicemail for a reason. Leave a fucking message!
Tip #2 - Why in the motherfucking hell do you think you can just call us up and ask if you should be charging tax when you sell our products to your students? Do you think we have a bank of accountants on call? Taxes can vary by state, county, parish, municipality or even township. How the hell can we know whether you should be charging tax or how much, when youare there and we are here? We already hold your hand as much as humanly possible throughout the whole process. Figure it out yourself!
Tip #3 - From the numbers of people who “need help” figuring out our financial forms, you’d think the thing was written in Aramaic. I happen to know it is written on a sixth grade reading level. That’s right, sixth grade! That means your own STUDENTS should be able to figure it out. It doesn’t require anything harder than addition and subtraction. And you even have a calculator for that. Get a fucking clue!
Tip #4 - Don’t you feel just a liiiiitttle stupid calling us up and asking “when did we schedule delivery of your stuff”? I realize the logistics of running an elementary school with 50 students would probably make the Normandy landing of 1944 look easy, but if we can mark it on a calendar, why can’t you?
Tip #5 - Yes, we value our customers. That is why we have a customer help line. However, that does not mean you have carte blanche to ramble for 10 minutes before actually mentioning what you called about. I am personally responsible for six different phone lines, all of which can and have rung at once. So get to the fucking point!
Tip #6 - I am sorry that you left a message two hours ago and nobody has called you back yet. (I’m seriously not making this stuff up). Yes, it is most unfortunate that somebody is not frothing at the mouth to help you, since our company will net about $100 profit off your school. However, we have 10 people to handle every phone call from about 9,000 schools. So where does that put you, in the grand scheme of things?
Tip #7 - Our division of the company actually loses money. In fact, i have been told the only reason we haven’t been shut down is because we are considered usefull as a marketing device for the products sold to middle- and high schools. So given that, do not try to wheel and/or deal with me, or act like your school is the most important on the planet. Do you think our $100 net profit from your school is going to make or break us? Do you think anyone out there is even interested in selling anything to you the way we do? We don’t sell junk or trinkets here; we sell stuff kids genuinely want, for MUCH cheaper than they can get it anywhere else. So show some god damned gratitude!
Whew! I feel better.