“This post doesn’t have a price tag? It must be free, right? Ha ha ha ha ha ha!”
In response, the Abyssian customer service associate doesn’t lose his shit and calmly points at the the wall. “Clearly you did not see our sign.” It reads:
“The next customer to crack the ‘it must be free’ joke on an unmarked item will be stabbed in the eye. Thank you for shopping Abyss Inc.”
–Our humorous sign (patent pending)
And no, this post is not free. By reading this far, per our implied EULA buried on some other page you’ve never visited, you already owe me $2.99. I’d immediately quit reading if I were you.
I often claim that bosses are the weakest links in any business enterprise. (97% of my breathing is devoted to this activity.) To support the claim, I offer the following tidings of comfort and joy: The last two places I worked they ran special promotions (they liked to call them “sales”) and failed to notify any of the customer service personnel.
How brilliant is that? That’s marketing genius! Always emphasize to the customer the stupidity of the staff. Sure, it may hurt the bottom line, but at least you threw some of your employees under the bus. (For more good times read my book, How To Destroy Your Employees.)
So it was that my wife and I found ourselves in the Trendy Portland Coffeehouse yesterday. As they bragged to us, they roasted the beans on-site.
“Yeah, but where were they grown?” I asked.
“At a local rainforest mitigated green zone on top of a downtown skyscraper.”
“Yeah, but what fucking elevation*?” I demanded. That shut ’em up.
Meanwhile my wife was shopping. She found an item she was thinking she might purchase. It did not have a price tag. No, I did not bust out the “it must be free” joke. I resisted the urge.
We did some quick research and learned that it was the only item in the store without a price. I mean, c’mon!! What are the odds? There go our lottery chances for this week.
I saw two employees. Our plan was to ask them for the price. “This isn’t going to work,” I sagely predicted. “Neither of them will know jack shit.”
“How do you know that?” my wife asked.
“Trust me. That’s how this shit works.” And, let us not forget the idiot employee who did his pricing job sloppily and failed to mark the item. Without him this situation wouldn’t even exist.
They call it being negative. I call it being factual and correct. Game over. I win. Neither of them had a clue. Thus, logically, we can deduce the existence of yet another idiot boss! Capitalism FTW!
I’ve gotten to the point where if I spot something I want and it isn’t marked, I put it back. You weigh the aggravation, against the possible enjoyment, and I don’t want anything in my house that will make me pissed off at a future date. I have enough of that already. *grin*
I think the problem is not so much a preponderance of bad bosses, but rather, a real lack of good bosses. I think mediocre bosses are more of a problem, because they’re harder to spot. A monster boss is easy to identify, I think.
But I had a good boss, followed by a mediocre boss, and now occasionally do work (2-3 times a year for a week or two at a time) for a good boss, so I’ve seen the tremendous difference they can make.
Of those first two bosses, on paper, the “good boss” would have seemed bad. He left the office early every day citing another dumb excuse, he never answered the phones, he made me deal with all the customers, and he took a lot of vacations. But I’ll tell you, this guy retired back in 2008, and I love him still. In a completely non-calculated way, everything he did let me know how much I was appreciated and how important I was to his business. I felt like I had some “ownership” of the office. As a result, I worked pretty damn hard for him and never regretted.
Conversely, the mediocre boss would look good on paper. He paid me a better base salary than did the good boss, never left earlier than his employees, didn’t ask me to travel for classes, and a lot of other “by the books” things. But when I’d sell a policy, he’d say, “Oh, that’s great. What do you have next?” He acted as if when he weren’t around I would completely screw off. To some degree that became self-fulfilling. I didn’t screw off, but he didn’t have the employee that my former boss had.
I think that if the customer service people had a boss like my first one, it would have gone differently. Now, my boss was a flake, and probably would have forgotten to tell the employees, just like the mediocre boss. But if they’d been working for Dick (and yeah, that was good boss’ name), they would have acted differently. There’s “I don’t know,” and “I don’t know, but let me find out real quick.”