snopes.com  

Go Back   snopes.com > Non-UL Chat > Business Bytes

Reply
 
Thread Tools Display Modes
  #21  
Old 25 August 2013, 11:59 PM
Sylvanz's Avatar
Sylvanz Sylvanz is offline
 
Join Date: 23 June 2001
Location: Michigan
Posts: 7,968
Default

Mad Jay, I will endeavor to not take your above post personally, but I and most of the people that work in customer service are not "drones". I was not there when you made your complaint, but I could point out that the person you were complaining to probably had little or no power to do anything at all about your situation. I don't know why she took your complaints personally, but looking at your attitude in the above description of customer service people I can only imagine you somehow communicated your disrespect for them as people.

In my work I've had to put up with drunks, druggies, thieves, and people that seem to think that I'm a bit like a ummm inhuman drone. I've learned that there are times to just say, "If you cannot speak to me in a respectful manner then you can leave this store." I'm allowed to do that, and I will do that if I have to.

I respect my customers, and their needs come first when I'm working. However, I expect the same respect back from them. Just because I work in a convenience store, or as a waitress, clerk, etc. etc. doesn't mean that I can be treated as invisible and unimportant.

As far as the OP? I do not work fast food, but in my store I would have first tried to fix the problem. Once she started swearing at me I would have called the manager if the manager was there at the time. Since the manager is not there all of the time I probably would have told her to get out of the store and not come back as I was not serving her again. Oh, and I'm not 17, and I won't put up with that kind of s*it customer or no.

Last edited by Sylvanz; 25 August 2013 at 11:59 PM. Reason: wrong word
Reply With Quote
  #22  
Old 26 August 2013, 12:00 AM
Talleyrand Talleyrand is offline
 
Join Date: 18 August 2013
Location: Markham, ON
Posts: 70
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by Mickey Blue View Post
There are actually a few places here where irritable employees is like the selling point or something..
That would also describe the discount textbook store that's located just off my former university's campus. It's like they're angry with someone or at something all the time.
Reply With Quote
  #23  
Old 26 August 2013, 12:13 AM
Mickey Blue's Avatar
Mickey Blue Mickey Blue is offline
 
Join Date: 01 February 2004
Location: Oregon
Posts: 17,571
Default

I work in a job (not my job as a medic) where I interact with lots of clients and other staff members (mostly doctors) and it's nice because the standing order is if somebody is rude to you you can give them a warning and then just transfer them to a supervisor. The calls are all recorded so (assuming you were being honest) they can't argue you were lying about it and it's nice not to have to take any bullNFBSK from people.

That said... There are a few very high up staffers who sometimes call who you are expected to.. Have more patience with, but they are the exception (and, honestly, most of them are totally nice anyways if a bit curt) not the rule.


That said (umm, again) I get the idea of some people treating you as a drone, sometimes clients will call in and want to go somewhere else and it will go something like:

Me: [Company], this is [name] how can I help you?

Them: Pharmacy


I mean I'm not a machine, I'm not saying we have to have a deep discussion about life or that you should have to beg but would it kill them to say "Hi, can you transfer me to pharmacy please?". It's that kind of stuff that, while not something that warrants being countered, can make me think 'you' (the caller I mean) is a disrespectful jerk.

ETA:

As for the OP, I generally agree with those who commented that while flying of the handle isn't appropriate* expecting your order to be correct is and the writer made my eyes roll out of my head (I apologize for typos as a result) when he went on and on about how their expectation of a correct order was somehow 'out there'.

*In general, outside of perhaps emergencies, I don't see why people can't interact without shouting or getting generally angry and aggressive towards one another. I have very little respect for people who lack self-control so badly that they cannot do this simple task. It's even more concerning when it comes from a person who works in a high-stress field (like a doctor who should be trained to deal with life and death, at least in concept, but can't maintain self-control and decorum if somebody asks them to repeat something on the phone).

Last edited by Mickey Blue; 26 August 2013 at 12:28 AM.
Reply With Quote
  #24  
Old 26 August 2013, 12:16 AM
ganzfeld's Avatar
ganzfeld ganzfeld is offline
 
Join Date: 05 September 2005
Location: Kyoto, Japan
Posts: 23,786
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by Lainie View Post
Bad Ganzfeld!
No soup for me?
Reply With Quote
  #25  
Old 26 August 2013, 12:17 AM
Sylvanz's Avatar
Sylvanz Sylvanz is offline
 
Join Date: 23 June 2001
Location: Michigan
Posts: 7,968
Default

Oh Mickey, you said it.
Reply With Quote
  #26  
Old 26 August 2013, 12:20 AM
Mad Jay's Avatar
Mad Jay Mad Jay is offline
 
Join Date: 19 July 2003
Location: Virginia
Posts: 13,464
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by Sylvanz View Post
Mad Jay, I will endeavor to not take your above post personally, but I and most of the people that work in customer service are not "drones". I was not there when you made your complaint, but I could point out that the person you were complaining to probably had little or no power to do anything at all about your situation. I don't know why she took your complaints personally, but looking at your attitude in the above description of customer service people I can only imagine you somehow communicated your disrespect for them as people.
No, I started disrespecting her after she took the complaint personally. I don't respect anyone who behaves like listening to a customer's complaint and doing something about it is not part of their job. she saw her role as simply bringing plates to the table, and anything else outside of my that narrow description is "not her job", which is what a drone is I call her a drone because she behaved like one.
Reply With Quote
  #27  
Old 26 August 2013, 12:27 AM
Sylvanz's Avatar
Sylvanz Sylvanz is offline
 
Join Date: 23 June 2001
Location: Michigan
Posts: 7,968
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by Mad Jay View Post
No, I started disrespecting her after she took the complaint personally. I don't respect anyone who behaves like listening to a customer's complaint and doing something about it is not part of their job. she saw her role as simply bringing plates to the table, and anything else outside of my that narrow description is "not her job", which is what a drone is I call her a drone because she behaved like one.
Unless you could read her mind or that is a direct quote from her you do not know that she saw her role as simply bringing plates to the table. I can imagine getting defensive if someone started griping at me about the price of gas (happens every damn day and I have no control over it) depending on how they worded it. Like I said I wasn't there, but I think calling someone a drone is pretty offensive, but YMMV. If you had a problem with wrong orders all of the time, and it wasn't this particular person's fault, then the correct person to speak to is the manager.
Reply With Quote
  #28  
Old 26 August 2013, 12:40 AM
Mad Jay's Avatar
Mad Jay Mad Jay is offline
 
Join Date: 19 July 2003
Location: Virginia
Posts: 13,464
Default

I know not because I read her mind. I know that because she said so herself. I'm sorry but she could have got the manager for me, instead of taking it personally and basically not doing anything. I don't work there. I don't know how much leeway she has in her job or control she has over the problem. I don't know of the problem can be fixed by the asst manager, the manager, the franchise owner, the district manager or the CEO. Those people are not in front of me. She is. I have no way of judging if the person who is providing me service is capable of providing service. When I bring up a problem and it is out of their job description, the correct response is to find someone who can fix the problem. The worst thing she can do is play the victim, and basically ignore the complaint.
Reply With Quote
  #29  
Old 26 August 2013, 12:41 AM
Singing in the Drizzle Singing in the Drizzle is offline
 
Join Date: 24 November 2005
Location: Bellingham, WA
Posts: 4,745
Default

When I worked food service for a couple of years out of High School. I would have to put up with customers with some complaint that happen earlier in the day. Most were pretty good about just letting you know that something happen and they talked to the manger about it and could I please get them. Then there were the few that assumed you knew what happen and listen in on the conversation with the manager and want what everything that was agreed upon now. You then find your resisting the urge to strange the person as you try to calm them down enough to get some useful information out of them and find a manger.

Since I drop my favorite Friday fast food place about 6 month ago do to not know how to fill a order correctly. I have now been stopping by Five Guys for my weekly burger and they have not messed up one of orders yet. Yes they are a few dollars more expensive, but getting orders right every time is worth it. While I was in once they did manage to get something wrong with a customers order and took it to the front counter. Where is was dealt with quickly and with a smile and a offer of extra fries for the trouble.
Reply With Quote
  #30  
Old 26 August 2013, 01:04 AM
quink quink is offline
 
Join Date: 22 June 2005
Location: Calgary, AB
Posts: 3,193
Default

I think a lot of people overestimate the power front line workers (and even store management) have to change things on a wide scale. Individual problems - yes, they can probably fix it and most will go out of their way to make things better as long as the person making the complaint is behaving like a human being and not a rage monster. But fixing systematic problems is a lot trickier. For things like constantly mixed-up orders, there's obviously something wrong in the way the store is doing things and that needs to be addressed. The front line worker probably isn't going to be able to do much on her own aside from apologizing, fixing the customer's order, and bringing it up with management or letting the other staff know that they made a mistake again.

Even as a manager, I took a lot of complaints that I just couldn't fix. If there was something wrong with the performance of my staff I'd address it, especially if it was an ongoing issue, but if it was something to do with store policy and procedure, the best I could do was include it in my reports to corporate and head office visits. I did (I worked in a card store, so I had a lot of complaints about things like setting up Christmas ornaments in August and not having the selection of cards people wanted), but I was a low level manager in one of 600 stores across North America. In most cases, corporate would note the complaint, but it would go nowhere because whatever they were doing made more sense to them on a company-wide level. There were one or two things where I was able to push to have my way, but it was rare and often took months to get the okay to make the change. So, even though I took every complaint seriously and did my best to make things even a little better (even if that just meant coming up with a clear explanation of why we did things the way we did), to some customers it would look like I didn't care.

If I were in a situation where, as a customer, my orders were always wrong, I'd probably a) learn to check my order immediately; b) Politely bring the error to the front line worker's attention and mention that it had been an ongoing problem; And c) write an email or have an in person conversation with the manager. In that conversation/email, I would give them as much information as I possibly could so they had a better chance of pinpointing where the mistake was happening.

That's another area that's tricky - if you're going to fix something, you need to know why the problem is happening. Why is the customer getting ketchup on her burger? Is it a training issue with the person taking her order? Is it an equipment issue with the speaker not being clear or a data entry issue with entering the order? Is it an issue with the customer simply forgetting to ask, and is there a way the staff can minimize the chance of that happening, even though it's not their fault - maybe by reading back the order very clearly and including condiments in that procedure? The problem is that if you chat with an already irate customer to try to get to the bottom of the issue, they'll often get defensive and think you're accusing them of making the mistake.

If it's a problem that goes beyond the store, I'll follow up with d) sending an email to corporate with specific questions and suggestions of what I'd like to see (beyond just saying "You guys suck"). For example, I recently wrote to a mid-range chain restaurant here about how I was disappointed that they didn't have nutritional information available while many of their competitors did. It's not something my waitress or the restaurant manager could have fixed, aside from giving me as much information as they could and offering to make any changes to my order that I wanted, but it is something that makes me less likely to dine at a restaurant I otherwise enjoy and I cared enough about it that I wanted to at least let someone higher up know.

Really, though, if I constantly had screw-ups, I'd probably just quietly stop giving them my business. The only time I tend to make a complaint is when I genuinely like the business and want to bring something to their attention. At the most, if I'm really upset for some reason and speaking with management has gotten me nowhere, I'll write an honest and detailed review on urbanspoon or yelp.

Last edited by quink; 26 August 2013 at 01:12 AM.
Reply With Quote
  #31  
Old 26 August 2013, 01:08 AM
Sylvanz's Avatar
Sylvanz Sylvanz is offline
 
Join Date: 23 June 2001
Location: Michigan
Posts: 7,968
Default

Mad Jay, may I call your attention to the rest of what I said after the mind reading part?
Quote:
"...or that is a direct quote from her..."
You never indicated that she said any such thing.

Whether or not you know if the manager or the CEO etc. can solve your problem, you can be assured that a front line waitperson, bartender, cashier, etc. cannot. Like I tell my boss "You make the big bucks". Managers are the ones in charge not waitstaff. Maybe she handled it incorrectly. I probably would have gotten the manager, but I may well have gotten a little defensive too depending on the wording and tone.

You also said:
Quote:
I don't know why In Retail and fast food industries, the customer is supposed to assume that the employee has ran out of ****s to give. Yes, it's a low page job, and its soul sucking. I get that. however does that mean that I shouldn't expect any customer service from these drones.
This was not "calling her a drone because she behaved like one." This is generalizing "drones" to everyone in retail/customer service inhuman robots. People aren't "drones" because they don't meet your expectations all of the time. People have homes, families, problems, and they try to put all of those things aside to make your meal, purchase, experience, pleasant. People fail sometimes. Painting them all as mindless machines is just not cool.
Reply With Quote
  #32  
Old 26 August 2013, 02:08 AM
Amigone201's Avatar
Amigone201 Amigone201 is offline
 
Join Date: 11 March 2005
Location: Islip, NY
Posts: 6,040
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by Mickey Blue View Post
I don't mean it's like an overt act, just that there is literally no attempt to be polite or nice to customers and that is just 'the way it is'.

I don't need employees to kiss my ass or anything, but I personally refuse to go to a business who's employees at least don't act respectful.
There's a certain world-famous steakhouse that behaves this way, almost systemically. I don't want to bring the wrath of God down on this thread, but I will say that the place is named after a man whose first name is Mr. Pumpkin Eater and the last name is almost "place" in Spanish.

Anyway, there are two locations: Williamsburg, Brooklyn and Great Neck, Long Island. I've been to both, once, and once is probably all it will ever be. In both places, you get treated with nothing but contempt, almost as policy. Everyone from the bartender to the host to your waiter treats you like your presence there is an irritating imposition on their time. They treat you as though your job is to order, eat, pay, and get the hell out as fast as humanly possible. If you ask a question of your waiter, he will roll his eyes and give you an abrupt, condescending answer, as if you were a stupid peon for not knowing and an inconsiderate jerk for making him waste his valuable time answering your pointless question.

Sodas are served in 8 ounce bottles, for a mere $3.50 each and God help you if you think you're getting a refill. You'll be lucky to get a refill of water, let alone their pre-bottled thimbles of Coke. Now eat your food so you can pay me my due and then leave before I have to get nasty with you. Oh, just don't try to pay with a credit card, because we frankly don't need your business badly enough to accept them. Except our store card, because, frankly, you're expected to put up with all kinds of NFSBK to eat here. So come down, fill out an application, and wait to see if we deign you worthy of our credit card that you'll probably use three times in your life. We're the Great Steakhouse, where our motto is: "You want to eat here so badly, you'll put up with us no matter what we do."

They also seem to have serious issues with women. At the Great Neck location, I saw a grand total of one female employee, and in Brooklyn I saw even fewer than that. I'm sure it's completely coincidental, though.

If any Snopesters want to visit the NYC area, and get a really good steak, PM me. I have a place that my wife and I like much, much more, although it's a bit farther out on Long Island. However, the service is a million times friendlier and you know what? The steaks (and everything else!) were better too. Probably the best steak I've had in my life. Seriously.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Mickey Blue View Post
I get the idea of some people treating you as a drone, sometimes clients will call in and want to go somewhere else and it will go something like:

Me: [Company], this is [name] how can I help you?

Them: Pharmacy


I mean I'm not a machine, I'm not saying we have to have a deep discussion about life or that you should have to beg but would it kill them to say "Hi, can you transfer me to pharmacy please?". It's that kind of stuff that, while not something that warrants being countered, can make me think 'you' (the caller I mean) is a disrespectful jerk.
Sounds like my boss. I mean, my boss is really, honestly, one of the nicest guys you'll ever meet, no lie. He's probably one of the biggest softies I've ever met. But when he calls another law firm, and a receptionist answers, my boss usually just says "[Name]." On a good day, he says "[Name], please."

And invariably, they ask, "Who shall I say is calling?" Save yourself a step, dude. Just introduce yourself. I do.

Last edited by Amigone201; 26 August 2013 at 02:11 AM. Reason: Added some ranting
Reply With Quote
  #33  
Old 26 August 2013, 02:15 AM
Sue's Avatar
Sue Sue is offline
 
Join Date: 26 December 2011
Location: Ontario, Canada
Posts: 9,210
Default

Courtesy is certainly a two way street and I've encountered rude servers and store clerks upon occasion. I think though there is a big difference between being the customer who occasional encounters rudeness and the worker who deals with rudeness on a, sometimes, daily basis. And, as in the OP, not just rudeness but screaming, profanity laced tirades. Doesn't even begin to compare to the occasional snippy sales clerk . As a customer I can always leave and take my business elsewhere, servers/salesclerks don't usually have the luxury of being able to just walk out (assuming they want to eat and make rent and things like that).

Last edited by Sue; 26 August 2013 at 02:42 AM.
Reply With Quote
  #34  
Old 26 August 2013, 03:11 AM
Ramblin' Dave's Avatar
Ramblin' Dave Ramblin' Dave is offline
 
Join Date: 11 May 2005
Location: Singapore
Posts: 13,120
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by Avril View Post
Part of it is that it is literally so famous. It's one of the most famous places in town (aside from the obvious), and it is well known far and wide.
There used to be a place like that in the town I went to grad school in. The waitstaff was so nasty you could hear them snapping at people from across the street (which is the closest I ever got to the place), but on the morning of the Big Football Game, alumni would literally line up around the block for breakfast with a side of abuse.

Last time I was in New York, I stayed at the alumni club, and my room had a photo of the place on the wall, complete with an "RIP" as it had finally closed down a few years after I graduated.


As for the OP, I saw (and sometimes experienced firsthand) plenty of unmerited nastiness from customers - I think I've told the story before of the woman who laughed at me for burning my hand while I was pouring her coffee and then complained to the manager because I didn't say "thank you for coming" - but it gets much worse than the OP example. For one thing, it is at least possible that that woman had a legitimate complaint.

IME at least, people who had legitimate complaints (the most common was that the fries were cold) were polite about it. The ones who were out of line in their complaints were usually also complaining about a problem they had caused in the first place. Usually it was a case of the customer asking for something without knowing what that something was, and then complaining when s/he got exactly what s/he asked for. (Note the difference between that and getting ketchup when you asked for none.) Memorably, one guy said "to go" and then when I presented his food in a bag, he whined, "What, no tray?!" "Sir, you said you wanted it to go." [He points at the food court] "To go over there!"

To this day, I still use the term "no-trayer" to describe people who complain when they get what they asked for.
Reply With Quote
  #35  
Old 26 August 2013, 03:46 AM
Mickey Blue's Avatar
Mickey Blue Mickey Blue is offline
 
Join Date: 01 February 2004
Location: Oregon
Posts: 17,571
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by Amigone201 View Post

And invariably, they ask, "Who shall I say is calling?" Save yourself a step, dude. Just introduce yourself. I do.
It's funny this happens a lot with doctors, they'll call and say "Dr Whomever" and sometimes get miffed when I ask who is calling. It's even funnier because, I'm guessing since they are doctors too, they'd rather not have some random guy hand them a phone and say "Phone call for you" without at the very least the name of who is calling (and ideally an idea of what they want) and yet they expect other doctors to do so when it's them.

Again, there are some very high up doctors that everybody (doctors included) know that if they call you you answer (of course, they still have to give me their name so I know it's them), it's how it goes, but they are the minority (and, again, usually pretty polite, if abrupt).
Reply With Quote
  #36  
Old 26 August 2013, 05:49 AM
kitap's Avatar
kitap kitap is offline
 
Join Date: 20 January 2001
Location: Tucson, AZ
Posts: 9,923
Whalephant

I worked at Taco Bell for nine years. You learned fairly quickly the difference between the legitimate complaint/mistake and the ranters. Someone who comes up with their food and says "I'm sorry but I thought Taco Bell Grande came with sour cream and there isn't any on here" gets a much better response than the guy who yells at you because their nachos didn't automatically come with an extra container of nacho cheese (which costs extra and he knows it because he yells about it every time he comes in).
Reply With Quote
  #37  
Old 26 August 2013, 11:42 AM
Mad Jay's Avatar
Mad Jay Mad Jay is offline
 
Join Date: 19 July 2003
Location: Virginia
Posts: 13,464
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by Sylvanz View Post
Mad Jay, may I call your attention to the rest of what I said after the mind reading part? You never indicated that she said any such thing.
Yes I never said that she said such a thing, nor did I claim to mind read her. I was relating the general gist of the conversation, not relating the conversation line by line. You assumed that I mind read her. Why would you make such an assumption?

Quote:
Whether or not you know if the manager or the CEO etc. can solve your problem, you can be assured that a front line waitperson, bartender, cashier, etc. cannot. Like I tell my boss "You make the big bucks". Managers are the ones in charge not waitstaff. Maybe she handled it incorrectly. I probably would have gotten the manager, but I may well have gotten a little defensive too depending on the wording and tone.
Yeah she handled it incorrectly. She never offered to call the manager, which she should have. She didn't even finish to listen to my whole her complaint. Her whole attitude was "I bring food to the table. I don't give a ****"
Quote:
You also said:
This was not "calling her a drone because she behaved like one." This is generalizing "drones" to everyone in retail/customer service inhuman robots. People aren't "drones" because they don't meet your expectations all of the time. People have homes, families, problems, and they try to put all of those things aside to make your meal, purchase, experience, pleasant. People fail sometimes. Painting them all as mindless machines is just not cool.
Now when did I say ALL workers in retail/customer service are drones. Perhaps you are reading your own experiences in the industry a little too much into my posts, hmm? I called this one specific worker a drone, not everyone.

Yes, i did say this kind of attitude that line workers in retail and fast food industry are helpless to provide customer service is prevalent. It is so prevalent that even people who word their complaints politely get painted with the same broad brush as the assholes who curse the front line worker. Much as you are doing now. Despite me telling couple of times that I worded my complaint politely, you are automatically assuming that I must have telepathically transmitted my disgust for her entire profession. It seems to me that the customer is always the asshole is more common than the customer is always right
Reply With Quote
  #38  
Old 26 August 2013, 12:33 PM
chillas's Avatar
chillas chillas is offline
 
Join Date: 09 September 2002
Location: Columbus, OH
Posts: 11,836
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by Mad Jay View Post
Now when did I say ALL workers in retail/customer service are drones. Perhaps you are reading your own experiences in the industry a little too much into my posts, hmm? I called this one specific worker a drone, not everyone.
You said:

Quote:
however does that mean that I shouldn't expect any customer service from these drones.
That very much sounds like a generalization to me.
Reply With Quote
  #39  
Old 26 August 2013, 12:37 PM
Chloe's Avatar
Chloe Chloe is offline
 
Join Date: 13 September 2004
Location: Kentucky
Posts: 39,316
Default

And also to me.
Reply With Quote
  #40  
Old 26 August 2013, 02:18 PM
Latiam's Avatar
Latiam Latiam is offline
 
Join Date: 19 June 2005
Location: Ontario, Canada
Posts: 4,484
Default

I thought so too.

One thing I don't like about the article is that he seems to assume that because this lady was a NFBSK in this situation she is a NFBSK in every situation that involves customer service people. I think she was insanely out of line, and I've been on the receiving end before. But I don't think this means that every time she is waited upon she turns into this dragon lady.
Reply With Quote
Reply

Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is On

Forum Jump

Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Kafkaesque Customer Service snopes Business 15 01 June 2013 06:38 PM
Waiter refuses to serve customer who insulted Down syndrome boy snopes Social Studies 28 28 January 2013 02:14 PM
Camera Catches Customer Pooping in Grocery Store Aisle snopes Fauxtography 14 29 January 2012 05:36 PM
Demand American customer service reps snopes Business 2 10 April 2009 02:54 AM
Gandhi on customer service snopes Questionable Quotes 5 11 June 2008 04:09 AM


All times are GMT. The time now is 03:53 PM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.7
Copyright ©2000 - 2019, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.