Tag Archives: customer service

Would you like fries with that?

Yep – the service industry.  It’s big.  It’s HUGE as The Donald would say (oh no please let’s not talk about that…..).

The service industry employs millions of people. Sometimes good service.  Sometimes bad service.  Nobody is perfect – the service provider or the customer.  We are all just human after all.  You can get mad or you can laugh and I find that the thrivers and survivors of the service industry are those with the most acute sense of humour.  Here are a few tales that hopefully will make you smile or even chuckle –


I don’t know how to do this stuff

(I work at a gas station; a lady comes in to buy windshield washer fluid but needs help getting it in her car. I am by myself and there are other people there so I can’t help her.)  (courtesy of notalwaysright.com)

Customer: “Is there anyone here that can help me put this washer fluid in the car?”

Me: “No, sorry, I’m the only person here and as long as someone is fueling, I can’t leave the store.” *it’s a bylaw*

Customer: “Well, can you ask the manager or someone in the back to come help?”

Me: “Again, I’m sorry. I’m the only person here at the moment.”

Customer: “Well, can YOU help me, then?”

Me: “I’m not allowed to leave the front when people are fuelling. It’s a safety hazard and a bylaw. I actually don’t drive either, or have a car, so I’m not sure how much help I’d be. If you ask one of the people outside they might be able to help you, though?”

Customer: “YOU can’t FILL the washer fluid? Funny that they gave YOU this job then.”

Me: “You can’t fill YOUR washer fluid? Funny that they gave you the car.”

(She left pretty mad. I told my manager about the exchange and she was laughing.)


Delayed Reaction – at the airport


Passenger: “Why is there nobody to inform me about the delay?! I came all the way from San Francisco and now that I’m here you tell me there is a delay!”

Me: “Sir, some people sign up for email alert from the airport or the airlines for possible delays.”

Passenger: “Who are those ‘some people’?! I talked to everyone here! Nobody knew about the delay before!”

Me: “Sir, those people who have signed up and received an alert wouldn’t even bother to come to the airport. People are here because they did not sign up and did not know there is a delay.”


Passenger Manifest
A New Yorker called and asked, ‘Do airlines put your physical description on your bag so they know whose luggage belongs to who?’

I said, ‘No, why do you ask?’ She replied, ‘Well, when I checked in with the airline, they put a tag on my luggage that said (FAT), and I’m overweight, I think that is very rude.

‘After putting her on hold for a minute while I ‘looked into it’ (I was actually laughing) I came back and explained the city code for Fresno, CA is (FAT), and that the airline was just putting a destination tag on her luggage.

I thought under my breath, a good job she wasn’t going to Show Low airport in Arizona (SOW).


(Courtesy of a travel agents group facebook page) …..

“So cute story of my week. ..I should mention my clientele definitely trends to the elder based on my location. Man comes in, very elderly with his walker. He wants to book an easy domestic flight. Sure no problem. Start to get his info, “what’s the best phone number for you?”. “Hmm I don’t remember let me check” he says. Then he rifles through his carry basket on his walker and says “oh no I seem to have forgotten my phone as I brought this”. He holds up his tv remote! ♡my old ppl!”

And also the story of a lady who went into her travel agent to book a ticket to the Maritimes.  Upon conversation it emerged that she was going there on a blind date.  She was 72.  Yay for her.  We love her!


How to be a bitch without really trying….

It’s cold here in the Netherlands – and Belgium.  But is it ever gorgeous.  I am river cruising on AMAWaterways and have visited beautiful little spots like Volendam, Edam, Gent and Brugges.  We want for nothing on this cruise.  Food is amazing, wine is premium brand and plentiful – and yet – you just can’t please some people and it still continues to amaze me.rude

Tonight the chef hosted a dessert buffet after dinner upstairs in the lounge.  An extravaganza of chocolate, cakes, ice cream, eclairs and goodness knows what else.  Ms B. (guess what the B stands for) got extremely irritated because one of the other guests was having her photo taken with the chef and it was getting in the way of HER photo opportunity.  Oh well.  Deal with it sister.

The next moment I saw Ms B. was when another lady was leaving the buffet with (I will admit) a heavily laden plate of sweet goodies.  Now you know the rule ladies.  We all pig out and when a sister does this you turn the other way and say nothing!  Ms B. does not know that rule.  “Are you sure you have enough on that plate?” she asked sarcastically.  I was a bit stunned but was sure that the victim must at least be in Ms B’s circle of “friends” and not a complete stranger.  Nope.  Wrong again.  The victim is seemingly another guest or acquaintance with a sweet tooth and not necessarily in Ms B’s party.

I am still speechless.  Maybe there are issues that I don’t know about in Ms B’s life that make her… well… bitchy.  Maybe she has a reason to be so sour.  Who knows?  What I do know is that it takes so little to be kind and such a lot of bile to be mean.


Where have all the people gone?

They are all gone – those nice ladies who used to answer the phone and transfer your call to the right person.  What happened to them?  Are they all living in some giant retirement home for switchboard operators?  Do they sit at night with glasses of sherry and laugh themselves sick at Cyber Sally and her mates who now man the phones.

Number please

Now there’s a profession where the power in any company vested in one place – and one place alone – the switchboard operator.  She knew everything and everyone.  She knew which calls to put through and which calls to put “on hold”.  Remember those old boards with the cables all criss-crossed connecting incoming calls with internal phones.

I had thought that the invention of the touch tone phone was the worst thing ever.  We’ve all been there – press 1 for English, 3 for customer service, 6 for “what the heck”.  In an attempt to make this arduous task more “human” some companies now have voice recognition.  Double ugh.  Show me one person who doesn’t feel like a fool speaking to a machine.

This horrible feature is promoted as being something that will help your business grow.  Really?

Receptionist TINA is a ‘virtual receptionist and assistant’ that can grow along with your business’ call handling needs using Intelligent Assistant™ technology from IA&A Technologies. You can choose all or parts of the Receptionist TINA that you need. Later, add customised Intelligent Assistant™ modules to Receptionist TINA that suit the growing needs of your business and incoming call volume.
Receptionist TINA will:
· Have the voice of any staff member, or personality you choose
· Greet callers differently based on caller-id and a greeting play list
· Promote your company when placed on hold
· Give detailed personalised information to callers
· Divert calls to phone extensions or other phone numbers
· Allow voicemail to be left for a person, department or company
· Record calls for staff training …..

The list goes on and on and on…..  And this is what she looks like ….. OMG

Meet the new receptionist

It’s just not the same feeling is it – and they call it customer service…. Not.

Thank you for calling……

In the travel business we spend a lot of time on the phone.  That is why most travel websites will feature a photo of a young attractive and happy travel consultant with a headset….

Where is this marvellous girl?  I will tell you where – she is living  inside a computer.  She’s not real.  More often now I find myself talking to Ms Computer Voice when I phone an airline or a tour company.  But wait – it get’s worse.  In the “good old days” you would listen to Ms Computer Voice who would guide you through the prompts with “Press 1” or “Press 2”.  Nowadays you have to speak back to the computer.  How embarrassing and demeaning is that?  Do they honestly think we are fooled into thinking we are speaking to a real person?  Then why continue with this charade? 

It get’s even worse when you have a client sitting at your desk.  You offer helpfully to phone the tour company or airline so you can put a special request on file or ask for a change or whatever.  The companionable silence is broken when you suddenly blurt out “Agent” into the phone.  The client jumps nervously and wonders who you are talking to because it certainly doesn’t sound like a real conversation.  Several other orphan words and phrases float around over the desk.  “Travel agent”, “Go back”, “Something else”.  All the while the client on the other side of the desk is looking at you warily….  No wonder.  And don’t try to be discreet.  Ms Computer Voice will just tell you firmly but rather critically “I’m sorry I can’t hear you.  Please try to speak a little louder”.

Technology is out to get us people!  Our new car has blue tooth for the cell phone.  The only problem is Ms Blue Tooth doesn’t understand my husband’s South African accent.  She will often chastise him, “I’m sorry please repeat command”.   Naturally she doesn’t give him a chance to repeat his command but then launches into a full run down of all the menu options.  I am telling you, there is no stopping here once she gets on a roll.  A couple of days ago after three attempts to “call home ET” my husband broke down into hysterical laughter and told her she was a bitch.  She was not perturbed in the slightest.  She came right back at him – “USB2 – is that correct?”

So don’t feel bad about shouting at computers – they can stick up for themselves.