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Tuesday, July 17, 2007

A Dissatisfied Customer.

I told this story to the hostess the other day at work, and since she seemed to really like it, I figure I should share it with all of you. This took place a couple years ago, while working at Walgreen's. It was several weeks after Hurricane Katrina and our store was constantly crowded. The population of the town had nearly doubled, due to refugee's from New Orleans. The pharmacy was so overrun, it was taking at least two days to fill people's prescriptions. And thus our story begins.

I was working the front register at the time, while the cashier was taking a break. Taking over everyone else's position while they were on break was about 60% of my job... Another part of my job was to open the island register when the front cashier's line grew to long. When I was at the front register, like at the moment, there usually wasn't anyone to help ring up customers besides cosmetics.

While working the front register, with about 6 customers in line, the phone rings.
I answer...

"Thank you for calling Walgreen's, what can I help you with today?"

A females voice responds, "Hi, I'm very angry right now."

"What's the matter ma'am?"

"I put my prescription in two day's ago and it still isn't ready."

I kindly inform her, "O.k., well I can transfer your call to pharmacy if you like."

"No, that's alright, I just wanted to let someone know how angry I am right now. This is ridiculous, I have never had to wait two days for a prescription!"

I retort, "Well, I am more than happy to transfer you to pharmacy, if you like."

"No, I don't want to talk to them, I have already talked to them and they told me there is nothing they can do. They said they will get to it when they can."

"Well would you like to speak to a manger?"

"No, I don't want to talk to a manager, I just want to let someone know how angry I am and I certainly will not ever shop there again."

Meanwhile the customer I'm checking out is ready to pay.

"Your total is $7.52."

"What, my total...," the voice on the phone inquires.

"Sorry, I was talking to the lady who's groceries I just rang up."

"Look ma'am," I direct to the lady on the phone, "what would you like me to do?"

"I don't want you to do anything, I just want to let y'all know how frustrated I am."

At this point I've had enough,
"I don't care, I make $6.00 an hour, but if you want me to transfer you to someone who may care, I will do that. Now if you don't want to talk to either of your two options, I am going to hang up. I am the cashier and the line is growing longer every second I'm on the phone with you!"

"You are very rude, whats your name, I think I will report you."

I give her my name and employee number and ask, "Would you like me to transfer you to the manager now?"

"No, I will do it later."

"Alright, goodbye."

Some of the customers were smiling and a few were actually laughing by the time I hung up the phone. I apologized to them for the wait. At one point I got so involved with telling this woman how I didn't give a shit, I forgot about what else I was doing.

When the cashier came back to her position, I informed a manger they may get a phone call about me. I explained the situation and he told me not to worry about it. I don't think she ever called. However, this is one of the reasons I will probably never work in customer service ever again, I can only put up with so much crap before I eventually lose it. I honestly don't think I would be able to keep a customer service job for long if I worked one now, I enjoy telling shitty customers off too much.


Vinc said...

I pass and I look your blog with pleasure. sincere greeting of France. Good continuation!

Jeremy said...

Thank you for the compliment Vinc. I clicked over to your blog, but unfortunately I can't read French, despite taking two years of it in high school.

I wish they had made us learn a foreign language or two sooner than 10th grade...

I used an internet translator, but they don't translate well.

E. Zhang said...

I kind of understand the predicament you're in after reading your latest post. Hey, I work at front lines before (cashier, serving on "customers", read: idiots!) and there are definitely idiots out there. But still, there are a couple of genuinely nice customers who really appreciate front line staffs and I would definitely urged you not to get mad over a few idiotic ones. Sometimes, it's really not worth it to et anry over these idiots, that'll only add to your own sorrows and problems. Mine situtaion was that this pregnant lady wanted to know where the lifestyle department (I used to work in a major bookshop) was located while I was in the midst of serving a paying customer (who was a male). Before she could finish saying what she wanted to say, I kind of cut her off and told her politely, but firmly, "Ma'am, would you kindly hold on for a moment please?". And when I'm done serving the paying customer, she yelled: "Why are you so rude? Can't you see I'm prenant? I just wanted to know where the lifestyle department is?" The paying customer stood up for me (normally in Singapore, male customers tend to be the rude ones!!) and shouted back at her: "Can't you see she's serving me? Are you a pregnant idiot?" I nearly lauhe out loud but I controlled myself. And would you believe what that pregnant idiot did? She went over to the ifestyle department, asked for my name, went back to my counter, looked at my name tag, then went back to the lifestyle department again, while all the time saying she's in a rush.. And hell, I took off my name tag, threw it at her face and told her as a matter of factly: "Make sure you don't complain the wrong staff!" And a couple of customers who witnessed this ugly scene actually applauded for me. At least, I don't feel too bad about yelling back at the pregnant idiot... It really boils my blood to repeat this again, but I'm glad what I did cos if I were that pregnant idiot, I would've waited for the staff to finish before asking. And ironically, there were so many staffs standing around and she didn't asked them, instead she asked me when I was busy. Duh!!

Jeremy said...

Yeah, some people just don't know how to conduct themselves in public. I usually don't let the shitty customers get to me. I find it humorous, and in many cases, pity their ignorance. In most cases, something is causing them to be an asshole: their wife taking their money, getting pregnant with a crack heads child, constipation. What ever is the cause of it, is enough to make me laugh at their horrible life.

Truthfully, I enjoy horrible customers, they make for interesting stories. The customer you describe seems to fit that bill. Angry about something (probably the crack heads baby scenario) and so she decides to take it out on you.

Yes, there are some nice customers, but those aren't the interesting ones. Nice customers make for far fewer good stories. Unless of course this good customer is handing me a $100 and telling me to keep the change.

Thank you for sharing e.zhang.

Jeremy said...

Customer service means service and that means work, except sometimes the people on the other end work to be a pain... :-)

"Jet" said...

Fucking awesome! I would have done the same thing!

Nice site... I am going to link you!