Throughout my life I have worked in various customer-service positions, ranging from waitressing to hotel work to movie theater attendant. As nearly every single person in the world has some sort of experience being at the consumer end of a customer-service transaction, most of you probably know some variation of the old adages keep the customer happy and the customer is always right. But as a seasoned customer-service rep, I’d like to let you in on a secret:
It’s all a scam.
Ha! You fools! Did you actually think that we the employees are there to help you and that we’re doing our very best to make sure you have the most enjoyable experience possible? WRONG! Customer service is merely a vast conspiracy designed to make you, the consumer, miserable. Every time that you’ve tried to order a product but it was “sold out”? It wasn’t. There were actually a gazillion left over, and after a customer-service rep like me hung up the phone, we rolled on the ground laughing and cursing your children and then swam in all the leftovers, Scrooge McDuck style. And every time your food was burned or undercooked? Ha! Evil strikes again! It wasn’t because the restaurant was over-crowded and understaffed. No, no, all a sham. I, your waitress, and others just like me, stood in the kitchen smoking and gambling on cock fights as your meal was left to char. And don’t even get me started on cold showers or broken air conditioners in your hotel room. When I said I was reporting the problem? I was really listening to my daily horoscope off a 900 number. In fact, much as you suspected and even insinuated, the problem was entirely my fault. I, Elizabeth Gilliland, personally crawled into your room in the middle of the night and meticulously pulled out hundreds of hairs to clog your air conditioning unit; then I stood in wait until the moment I knew you were about to shower and simultaneously flushed every toilet in the world. Diabolical!
But why? you might ask. What possible reason is there for a person to behave this way? Quite simply, there IS no reason. I’m just that evil. I kick puppies and spit on babies. I stand in front of weight-loss clinics eating brownies and swerve to hit deer on purpose. I started a letter-writing campaign to NBC asking them to keep Whitney on the air and push Community to the spring. I’m EVIL.
This is the first thing you must understand when you are dealing with customer-service representatives. There is no reason or logic. In fact, we’re hardly human beings at all. So you must disregard all rationality and come in yelling. If you suspect that we’re attempting to “help” you but that “there’s nothing we can do”, you must become increasingly irate and hostile. Assume that we don’t have feelings and insinuate that we’re stupid and lazy and worthless– especially if our manager is nearby. Blame things on us that are entirely out of our control, like corporate policy or the weather, and refuse to take any responsibility, especially if the problem is clearly your fault. If all else fails, throw a temper tantrum and do your best to get us fired. It may sound extreme and completely bizarre, but trust me, we deserve no better. In fact, we will probably thrive off your rage because there is nothing we enjoy more than the torment of a human soul, except for maybe the tears of a virgin.
Thank you. Come again.