Given the current state of political discourse, I find that one of the few remaining sanctuaries of non-hysterical cultural observations is the steadily eroding state of customer service. Like many of you, I have spent the majority of my adult life interacting with people who were supposed to meet my needs as a customer or client. In addition, I’ve had the special privilege of dealing with the airlines for the past 35 years. Here are some of my all time favorite experiences:
“We very much value you as a customer, and we’ll be with you as soon as we can.” (A continuing message repeated often over a period of 30 minutes). I shudder to think about how non-valued customers are treated.
“We sincerely apologize for the inconvenience.” (An airline gate agent after a four hour delay) As I’ve explained numerous times to a supervisor: A non-working moving sidewalk is an inconvenience – a four hour delay is a catastrophe for those of us who don’t work at the airport.
“This guy wants some information I don’t have.” (A customer service rep talking to his supervisor.) Guy is what a hooker would say to her pimp trying to find out how much to charge for oral sex.
“How can I help you, Mr. Morris?” As I’ve explained innumerable times, my last name is Shechtman; and slavery ended with President Lincoln.
“Our technical people don’t talk directly with customers.” Obviously, a new definition of “untouchables.”
“We’re so glad you called with your feedback. Just go to our website, find the complaint section, and put in your feedback.” (Translation: Delicately place your complaint up your rectum and don’t bother us again.)
“Just because three of our planes had mechanical problems, we can’t pay for your hotel room. It has to be an act of God, not simply incompetence.” (Speaks for itself)
“I’m aware that the cabin is so cold that you could start a cryogenic lab in it; but I can’t bother the captain.” If you don’t fly a lot, you’re probably unaware that airline captains have replaced doctors as our society’s high priests.
I’ve always been amazed by the absurdity of having the TSA pat down 80 year old women in wheelchairs, and then have the airlines serve me a meal that includes a steel fork you could do an autopsy with.
“I understand that you’d like to have someone explain the different features of these washing machines, but no one’s working today in that department. Why don’t you come back tomorrow – I’m sure someone will be here then.” No problem; I’ll just record the three soap operas I’ll miss.
I hope that this provides some respite from the media’s obsessive preoccupation with proving how irredeemably worthless our country has become.