customer service

All Aboard the Inept Express

I’ve been having a sort of writer’s block lately. Not sure if it’s the heat getting to me or if I am just really lacking inspiration. I guess I can say I haven’t had a rant post (and I mean truly a rant post) in quite some time and something happened recently that certainly deserves a rant post (and a few expletives that will remain untyped).

As you may know from previous posts, if I’ve even mentioned it before, I take public transportation. It’s reliable, for the most part, and it does save me money. That is of course, if the people selling you tickets can do the most basic math equation (adding) and if the people you talk to can socialize with humans. Knowing my luck, I get just the opposite.

I used to buy these monthly passes for the line I ride, but for some reason (increase in fares) they don’t sell them anymore. I, unaware of this as a lowly passenger who knows nothing, set off to the station to buy my July monthly pass. My boyfriend was with me for moral support.

At the ticket booth, I had my boyfriend ask for the pass I normally get. The woman (who I will name Moonpie, which is a name as ridiculous as the person who sold me the tickets) seemed completely complexed. She might have suspected we were asking for a trip to Timbuktu.

“Well you see, we don’t have those.”

Oh, well, why not? I might question. Do you just not sell those in this city? Can I buy them somewhere else? Do I have to keep asking you questions? Do you even work here?

With a series of those questions, she finally got to the point that they have “abolished” (using some big words there, Moonpie!) those monthly passes. Well shoot, what am I supposed to buy now? I explained to her that I used to buy these tickets that were cheaper than paying for a one-way ride on the train. She had to discuss this with another employee, and by discuss, I mean shout to the person in the opposite end of the ticket booth.

I’m just going to interput and say that I normally do not complain about anyone working in establishments/companies. People work hard in jobs no one else really wants and unless you are in someone else’s shoes, you can’t really critique the job they are doing. That being said, if you are expecting a service, or product, and it isn’t even close to your satisfaction, or if you are dealing with someone who is either rude or just completely inept, I think it’s your constitutional right to complain until your lungs hurt.

Now, back to the obnoxious screaming.

“HEY JULIE (her name was not Julie and I could care less because she couldn’t help at all) IF SHE WANTS TO GET TICKETS THAT ARE ONE WAY DKFJDKAIEKAKDKAHAHA AHAHEIWWW OOO OOO AHH AHH”

That’s what it sounded like to me at least.

She told me what type of tickets were my option. Then she showed me two different versions and asked me which one did I think I should have. Moonpie, I don’t know which ticket I used before, you should know! She had no idea. I told her again where I was going (point a to b) and she said “Okay, it’s this ticket.”

I then explained to her (using big hand gestures) that “I go from blank to blank and I ride blank days a week, round trip. How many tickets should I buy?”

The math was just way too complex so she needed to take out her handy dandy calculator, much like I did in my basic trigonometry course in college. After doing some complex algebraic equations, graphing parabolas, figuring out limits and imaginary numbers, she concluded that I should get 12 tickets, round trip. Well thank you Moonpie, you just saved me money!

She lined up my tickets, one by one, and told me my total of $78. Hot dog! What a bargain. I then asked (and then asked twice more) “These are round trip, right?” And she said, “Yes.” She also reminded me (three times) that these tickets were being issued to me given the information I had told her. Well, nothing wrong with that, I gave you correct information and you gave me correct tickets! I thanked Moonpie and went on my merry way.

Long story short, I got on the train for work the next day, and handed the conductor/ticket guy my ticket. He punched it

AND THEN WALKED AWAY. Literally, walked right out of the car I was in and into the next one. He took my ticket. Meaning, my tickets were not round trip, like I had needed and requested and “purchased.” Holding back tears and vomit, I asked the train conductor, “Aren’t these tickets round trip?” And he said, “Oh no, these are only one way.” I then explained my situation, that Moonpie had completely effed up, to say it nicely, and he told me, “Oh yeah, you were WAY overcharged.”

Thanks.

You know when you watch those court shows, and you see how people are always screwed over hardcore, and yet it’s their own fault? Well, that’s sort of me in this predicament and I’ll tell you why. First, I paid with cash (which I never do) so I didn’t get a receipt, and of course forgot to ask for a handwritten one. Second, I trusted that someone working for this public transportation company had any brains at all to help me figure out what tickets I need. Everyone with this company either has attitude, or expects you, the patron/rider/customer to know what buy. I’m sorry, but I’m only 19. I have no clue what every ticket costs/looks like, nor do I know what every zone is, every line is, etc. That is your job. You are supposed to help me, and if you can’t, please find another profession so you don’t continue to screw people out of money.

So, lesson learned. Never pay with cash, or always ask for receipts. No matter where you go. Even if you get Chinese food, or buy a candy bar from a drugstore. Just get a flipping receipt. Then, if you do experience a problem, you just saved your butt because you now have proof of purchase. I, on the other hand, will probably not be seeing the money I was overcharged. And it’s my own fault, because I trusted the people who were supposed to being doing their job. Also, if you are looking for deals when using public transportation, know exactly what you are supposed to get. Don’t expect people working to know, they’re clearly not trained to do that. Who knows, I’ve heard the state I’m in has the worst public transportation services, so maybe it’s better somewhere else.

Thanks for listening to another rant about how I expect people to do the jobs they were trained to do, and experience their failure to do so.

 

Check out a funny Seinfeld video of Elaine freaking out on the subway.

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Trying to Put on my Happy Face

A co-worker of mine explained to me the best way to understand why people are rude to those in “customer service” type jobs. She said that most of the time, a person doesn’t mean to be rude, but that throughout their day a serious of events that were probably unpleasant occurred and we just happened to be the ones that they chose to lash out on.

My belief is that they just aren’t nice people to begin with.

I can understand what she means though. Sometimes I get in bad moods and take it out on others. But, I certainly never have acted the way some people act in public. Frankly, it’s just embarrassing.

There is a difference between being rude to someone because they deserve it (come on, you know the people) and being rude to someone because they are doing their job. I’m 19, do you really think I’m the one that created all the rules, regulations, policies, etc.? I really don’t care about any of them, but it’s my job to make sure you, as a customer, visitor, patron, follow them.

So, arguing or yelling or belittling that person is simply a waste of time.

I think what bothers me the most is the lack of patience and understanding people have. No one wants to take the time to understand why things are the way they are. Companies have policies for a reason.

There have been numerous accounts of me explaining to someone one of our policies, and I say they have the option of talking to my supervisors, but instead they choose to yell at me or say they don’t have the time for that. But they did have the time to yell at me and make me feel bad for something I can’t control…

Sometimes, this is how I feel at work.

Sometimes, this is how I feel at work.

I’m an extremely personable person, and I always try my best to make each person that comes in to my work (I’m trying to not really mention my job so people don’t think I’m bad-mouthing where I work–I love where I work!) but sometimes it gets hard when people make me feel so bad. Being the bearer of bad news is never a fun thing, and although I have worked at this place for three years, it’s not getting any easier.

I love almost everyone that comes into my work. As a result of my friendliness, I’ve even made friendships. But, I’ve also been called stupid, and gotten comments like, “How long have you even worked here” and “Is there someone better to talk to?” I’ve also gotten yelled at over the phone, and in person (always a fun time).

My one co-worker today had one “customer” yell at her, including the 13-14 year old daughter with her, about something that she had no control over. After they finished being extremely rude, they just walked out and said they were never coming back. My co-worker just went on with the rest of her day. She also had another woman roll her eyes and talk back, something I’m not sure I would have been able to tolerate, but there my co-worker was, acting like nothing even happened (wish I had her willpower).

I think you could say that it takes practice to handle customer service jobs. I think it also takes understanding that there are people out there that really don’t care about your feelings, and they will do anything to either prove they are better than you, or prove that they are right. It’s a hard thing to cope with if you are a person who only tries to be nice to others. I wish I could advise these people, if you feel like you are in a bad mood, please do not go out in public.