Tag Archives: potent

When customers foam

Yet another Friday bonus post.

Let’s play this post like a round of Jeopardy, shall we? Remember, all answers must be phrased in the form of a question.

Category: Potent Foamables

$500 Clue: “Five”


Alex: Tom?

Tom: The number of minutes customers are willing to wait for a response after sending an email before they foam at the mouth?

Alex: Correct! You are today’s winner!

This is how it works. You arrive at work and go through your emails. You have some from bosses, some from co-workers and some from customers. I have a routine for handling them which mainly involves getting the low-hanging fruit (quickies) out of my inbox as fast as possible. If a customer has a quick question, I might just pound my keyboard like a monkey and get them a response at that instant and be done with it. If it is more involved, however, I jot them down on a list so I can research, do the legwork, and so forth before calling them back.

Organization is good.

Of course, this all goes out the window as soon as the phones roll over because ALL of them simply pick up the phone, dial our number, then pound the redial button repeatedly until they get a human. Don’t forget to wear your handy yellow containment suit to avoid the foam spittle.

Today at 9:05am we had been open for a grand total of five minutes. The customer service primary was already on the phone. I was already neck deep in the shit on the floor with an obliviot customer (who was actually a pretty decent guy). Meanwhile all of the phone lines were ringing off the hook like it was the invasion of motherfucking Normandy beach. Apparently there were a lot of people who needed apologies. (We’re pretty much in the professional apologizing business. They’re all calling to complain about things we screwed up because we suck.)

“Eek. Hello?”

“This is so-and-so! I’m calling about order XYZ! I ordered two widgets and only received one.”

“Yes, I am aware of that. I did receive and read your email. Unfortunately you’re not the only customer in the universe and amazingly I haven’t had a chance to work on your problem yet. Sadly no miraculous knowledge has yet spontaneously jumped via telepathy into my brain. It’s beginning to look more and more like I’ll actually have to be given some time to work the problem before I’ll learn anything new. And phone calls like yours only delay that process, which, in turn, creates a snowball effect and consumes 110% of the time I have in my day. Take the square root of -1 and multiply that by 42. I’ll probably be able to call you back in that many minutes. But please know that I am very, very sorry about this problem.

Hmm. Looks like another customer problem just got pushed back to Monday. Gee, I hope you weren’t in a hurry. Too bad, so sad! Loser, loser, whatever!!!