A Passion for Peace

Responsibility, respect and a loving connection with all beings and for this Earth we share.

Now That's What I Call Customer Service

Last week my landlady didn't sign for a package for me, I got a delivery attempt notice the next day, and thus precipated a series of calls, at least five calls and 20 minutes/day because I was either hung up on, put on hold and then hung up on, put on hold and transferred to someone new I had to start over with, put on hold and transferred to someone new I had to start over with and then hung up on...etc. Every time I finally got through I was promised the package would be delivered that very afternoon for sure. I was promised that on Thursday, and Friday, and Saturday, didn't bother to call Sunday, and on Monday was told the package was returned to sender in Calcutta. My response to this was to call exactly a bazillion times, insist I speak to a manager and refuse to be put on hold. I think this strategy just caused even more transfers and allowed for exciting eavesdropping of employees fiddling with wrappers and munching on their lunches. I also refused their first solution that I needed to call the sender and see if they received the returned package and can remail it. I said, it's your (TNT, evil courier) fault, you figure it out. Finally, I was told actually it wasn't returned to sender and a local carrier would call me. If you think I got a call, I have some oceanfront property in Switzerland to sell. Then tonight I got home and found a package on my bed. The card reads:
To Jenifer Peter JOhn [typo intentional]
Wish You A Very
Happy And Cheerful
Birthday. God Bless
You Chellam.
Selvaraj P.
and contains a plastic candy dish, bag of cashews and bag of raisins. Upon consulting my friend who surreptitiously asked "how the dried fruit was" a few days ago, I discovered this was intended to be a sweet Christmas gift and what I eventually received was not what he ordered. His turn to yell. (Photo: two angles of yet another flower I can't identify)

Then again, when a friend and I went to midnight mass on Christmas Eve the chairs were being stacked, because it had been held at 9 o'clock instead. And to top off the Scrooge-i-ness, on Christmas during a game of table tennis at the sports' club, someone stole my friend's phone out of her purse (we suspect the light-eyed watchman who kept walking in and out and made us keep the purses by his desk, because when we first called her phone someone answered and we heard music in the background of a holiday party in another part of the club, clearly the work of his co-conspirator!). A coworker keeps saying, "I promise, we're really normal, we Indians. I don't know how you meet so many weirdos and have so much trouble." I know by now when a store tells me they'll order a book and call me I better ask another store to do the same, and that between them I have about a 10% chance it'll come. I'm onto you, Indian customer service! The irony is, India is the outsource hot spot for US customer service. I know it can be done well here. Maybe it's another instance of doing something better for the white folks... (Photo: random local Christmas cheer)

Cleaning being done well, however, I'm not so sure. The concept of using different rags for, oh, say, the bathroom and the kitchen counter hasn't caught on, nor has using cleaning products other than water unless I buy an unopened bottle and hand it to the maid, which guarantees she will go product-crazy and use the entire 2 liters (litres, India?) in one small bathroom. Also, cleaning appears to be like the proverbial tree in the forest: if no one's home, she doesn't have to clean or do dishes, and somehow thinks we won't notice when we get home? Try again. My roommates seem to believe this as well: today I put a fresh roll of toilet paper in the bathroom, it disappeared around noon, and reappeared at night as an entirely empty roll. 

Also, despite poor customer service at the previous medical center, either I am the universal giver (O-), another lab is wrong, my blood type changed, or my US records have been wrong for a really long time. Knowing one's blood type is a useful thing, and not just for Japanese horoscopes. Public service announcement of the day: next time you get a blood test, throw in a blood typing. While I'm at it, turn off your appliances when you're not using them, yay florescent light bulbs and rechargeable batteries and fans instead of a/c and all that climate jazz. And I like Thomas Friedman.

Ad in a magazine: "I only want to marry a man who's too smart to marry me!" I have no idea what it was advertising, but I laughed out loud in the beauty parlor and garnered more stares than on a normal day. Then I walked outside and saw this:

I'm off to Thailand tomorrow--Happy New Year and full blue moon (whether you see a rabbit or man, or neither like me)!

Posted byValerie at 3:47 AM  


Malina said... January 5, 2010 at 10:27 AM  
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Malina said... January 5, 2010 at 10:27 AM  
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Anonymous said... January 11, 2010 at 9:52 PM  
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Valerie said... February 8, 2010 at 5:48 PM  
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