Archive | Customer Service RSS feed for this section

Rose Rocks!

7 Sep

OHMYGOODNESS.

I’m clutching my pearls.

Ok, well, I’m pulling out my grandmother’s pearls so that I may clutch them.

Have you heard about Rose? You know, Rose Syracuse Richardone?

OHMYGOSH.

Well, this is Rose:

She’s 92 years old.

This week she retired from New York City’s flagship Macy’s Department store after 73 years of service. 

I KNOW, RIGHT? Your pearls, too, are being clutched.

Rose began working for Macy’s in 1939, as an authorizer in the Deposit of Accounts department.  She was 17-years-old and fresh out of high school. It was her very first job.

CAN YOU IMAGINE? 73 years at one job? Through all of the changing coworkers, fashions, bosses, construction, personal stuff.

I’ve had, like, a kazillion jobs and I’m only 25  28…um, “near” late 30’s.
I always admire people who can take a job and stick with it and do a great job while at it. Just look at Rose. She looks so fresh and happy. Why, she doesn’t even look like she’d get online and badmouth Macy’s or their testy customers with anonymous discussion board monikers like “MacysSux” or “ShoveItCustomerService” or “RoseysMiddleFinger@Ya.”

Rose states about her time there:

“In 1939, Macy’s was a one-stop store…You could get meat, straight pins, really anything…We had an apothecary, liquor store, and even a butcher shop. We have obviously evolved since then.”

A sheer highlight of her tenure there was in 1947 when she and other employees watched as “Miracle on 34th Street” was filmed inside the store.

Whoopsies. I think I’ve broken my line of pearls from all of the clutching.

Aw, just go here and read the entire story yourself.

I need tissues. Rose is too cute.

Fired For “Misconduct”

5 Sep

Have you ever been fired from a job for “misconduct”?

I quote the word because usually when someone loses a job for “misconduct” the very meaning of the word suddenly becomes subjective to opinion, as in employer vs. employee.

Gosh, there are so very many reasons one can be fired from a job, so many sticky situations. Think about it: most people do something “fire-able” at each and every job at some point.

For instance, do you “steal” office products? Those cute purple clicker ink pens you like so much? Paper? Make copies on their dime? Talk on the telephone for two hours a day (15 minutes here, 30 minutes there)? Do you “steal” away time during what should be your one-hour lunch break? File your nails? Snoop in confidential files?

I could keep going but I won’t. You get the picture.

Well, take a wince at this story…

A Wal-Mart greeter in St. Petersburg, FL was fired from her job after 22 years with the company. The reason? Well, there was a “scuffle” involving her and a customer who shoved her and the employee grabbed the customer’s sweater.

Now the employee, 73-year-old Jan Sullivan, not only lost her job but lost her home from being fired and quickly falling behind on her bills.  She’s not entitled to unemployment benefits because she was fired for–misconduct.

Sigh.

My thing is this…If you have an employee working for you for 22 years that should imply a great deal of good about that employee. I mean, she’s been dealing with customers–every Tom, Dick & Scary–for 22 years! Do you know how many personalities, nuances, idiosyncrasies that is?!

So when a willy-nilly customer comes in and physically messes with that 22-year employee, you should think twice about EVERYTHING. Especially terminating the aforementioned employee.

Wal-Mart has a sad history of treating employees like crapola. They do. All one has to do is Google Wal-Mart to read the gobs of stories about the company and the lawsuits against them. Sure, I know they’re a dynasty practically, very powerful, extremely cautious about lawsuits involving customers particularly, but 22 years?! 

REALLY?

I wish Ms. Jan Sullivan well. I do, I do. Imagine being 73 years old and having to be in this sharky job market starting over.

craigslist employment blues

19 Dec

So I’m perusing craigslist employment ads like I do every single day (including weekends) and I’m just so weary and nauseated with the office lingo, with the very  language use of corporate Droneville.  Some soundbites for your viewing/nauseated pleasure:

Looking for ambitious, well-organized, go-getters who love talking to, working with and helping people…”

Come on. You want ambition and organization within talkative go-getters who “love” working with/helping people?

The use of the word “love” is a bit much.

And if I’m such a “go-getter” why would I want to work there?

Guess how much they’re paying. No really, guess.

Peanuts. With miscellaneous raisins.

And as if that’s not joke enough, they’re actually holding interviews at 9 p.m.

AT NIGHT.

Seriously? (I think they’re all high on grassy substances.)

Next up:

We are looking for an excellent Administrative Assistant to join our team!
Three words sum up our perfect candidate:
Competence, Attitude, Team Player
Competence: Must be a Customer Service Pro! Must have familiarity with popular office software, strong organizational skills and must be good with numbers.   Sound office experience is preferred.
Attitude:  If you have to ask, you’re probably not the One.
Team Player:  Working well with every member of our team and our clients is a non-negotiable requirement.  When our clients win, the teams wins, you win.
WE ACCEPT NO SUBSTITUTES.

Ok. First of all, the use of exclamation marks is grating my innards.

And what’s with “The One”? What IS THIS, a marriage? A lifelong search for the love of your life–err-office?

Let’s see…they want a “competent, organized great attitude’d team playing numbers pro whose familiar with all office software who works well with EVERY member of their team”, even the uber-annoying team members you’d never ever in LIFE sign up to spend ONE MILLI-SECOND with.

I see a major problemo here.

The salary on this one, you ask? It’s labeled “negotiable” which probably means they will be offering around $28k before taxes of course for you to live in the exorbitant D.C. area and the “negotiation” will involve you and your crumbly one-dollar bills being inserted into the tricky Metro bill feeder on your way to cubicle #13.

Oy.

P.S.: 

Not to mention many office jobs here EVEN WHEN THEY’RE NOT DIRECTLY GOVERNMENT require all kinds of security clearances, full scope polygraphs, etc. Dudes, if you saw some of the clowns spilling out of federal office buildings or some of these “clearance required” companies, you’d wonder how in THE WORLD they passed any kind of background check. Some of them I’m certain have dead cats in their basements.

Signed,

Peeved in D.C.

“Strong” Customer Service Skills

10 Dec

I need to rant and you’re here so I’ll rant to you.

I’m in the job hunt of my life. I mean, gosh, when I was 12 I think I could get a job easier than today. NOW I’m equipped with a much hooted about college degree (I’ve had it probably 6.8 million years already), years and years of “experience” and even a two-page resume. But still, no takers.

I’m starting to think my resume has halitosis.

Whenever I interview I go in all gussied up (read: hair is tamed, nylons with zero runs, Cheshire the Cat smile even to the point of cheek muscle cramping, firm handshake, blazing eye contact that makes my eyes water…Yeah, yeah, all that). I always think when the interview went well that I’ve just landed the job, that it’s a matter of hours or mere days when I’ll receive the wondrous call that I can now pay my bills on time and fix my car and eat something other than bread with cheese and the occasional kidney bean.  But the call never comes. Days pass. Weeks. I check my phone to make sure the battery is charged. Silence from the powers that be.

Then I start taking it personally. I mean, is my forehead too large? I was teased relentlessly about it throughout high school and even college. Are my teeth not white enough? Dang those stupid Dr. Peppers. What gives? The WORLD told me to go to college. I did. They told me to wear these clothes to interviews. I did. They told me to present myself well. I did.

Recession? Whatchoo talkin’ ’bout Willis? I know there’s a recession but even during a recession at some point I should land a job–I mean, they called me in in the first place, right?

Then I start imagining who actually landed the gig and why they landed it over me. I mean, were her clothes sharper than mine? Did she type six more words per minute than I do? Was he charming in the interview–I need to learn charm stuff. I’m so not charming. Was it the new mountain of a zit that decided to rise up on my cheek the very day before the interview? If I had popped it it would’ve been uglier so I decided to just leave it as is.

Is it karma? I mean, my book and this blog mocks The Establishment to the hills (and will continue to do so) so could it be some sort of universe-is-mocking me vortex thing?

I’m considering just taking a waitress gig. But they want “experience.” Please tell me, what is “experience” when it comes to approaching a table of people, asking them what they would like to order from a menu they’ve already eyeballed and then taking their order and bringing their order to their table with a smile? Really, do I need experience to do that? I’ve carried food to many tables before. I’ve talked to strangers before.

And the job postings for waitress just makes me crazy…

Must have strong customer service skills! What determines “strong”? This very line bothers me to my innermost fibrous innards. As long as I’m performing the job at hand–ahem–isn’t that strong enough?

Here’s an actual server/waitress partial job description:

Position Summary:
The Server ensures all guests are provided with prompt and friendly service according to [the restaurant’s] standards. The Server describes menu items, assists guests in making food and beverage selections, takes and rings in orders, delivers food and beverages, processes payments, and assists fellow team members to ensure overall guest satisfaction.

Sure, I can do all of this. No problem. So why do I need on-paper “experience”?

I’m so annoyed I think I may go eat a box of cookies. But I can’t afford it.

In fact, I can’t even talk/type about this any more. It’s become a full-time job groveling for a real job.