GO AWAY AND STOP
This little piece was originally written for the benefit of some collegues
at my workplace. With a little bit of tweaking, I thought it could go nicely
in this issue of Alive! At the very least, you get a window into what a lot
of my working day is like! - CiH, Aug '02
Gribblys Guide to Customer Etiquette when phoning the workplace
"It's all about sarcasm, sarcasm, sarcasm.." - Tony Blair's evil twin.
"There's far too much reasonableness and politeness around these days. It's
getting so that virtually every conversation with a customer, is a model of
courteous efficiency. Now the current distressing lack of shouting, back-
biting, and mutual hostility must be addressed straight away. Frankly, we
don't think our staff are up to it, being the genteel bunch that they are.
So we are relying on you, the great British customer, to do their worst! To
ease you along, here are a few pointers to help you get the worst out of any
common situation on the telephone."
...Useful and Stunning tips to follow!......................................
Always give as little information away as possible. When asked for a make
and model of equipment, you can't go wrong by referring to its colour
instead.The description "It's big and red" will instantly conjure a thousand
diverse images, many of them sexually amusing, to our highly trained staff.
When you are first ringing up, assume the call controller has an immediate
familiarity and recall of your problem, without you hardly telling them a
word! In that case, you can save valuable time by dispensing with such
superfluous items, such as your name, and the purpose of the call!
When coming back off holiday, the first thing that you must do, to check up
on the status of an ongoing matter, is to ring your service provider to
find out. We've already told your collegues so they can tell you, but
hey, why leave it to amateurs and incompetents to talk to you, when your
service provider can do it! Hell, we can probably tell you about unrelated
things like the level of belly-button fluff residing in your navel, we are
really that good!
When our call controllers are busy, an extra-long rambling narrative, that
starts with the callers great grandfather, back in 1868, always goes down
well. They appreciate the break from the quickfire routine of taking lots of
calls very quickly, and positively salivate with pleasure at the prospect of
a good old chinwag, which is both lengthy and frequently off-topic.
Our call controllers are all Samaritan trained and have constant access to
anti-depressants disguised as polo mints, so a general theme of grinding
despair worked into your monologue, will provide a welcome reminder of their
Our call controllers have many language skills, especially translation of
moronspeak to English! We're also more than prepared for the fact that it
always seems to be the least articulate, or most speech defect laden members
of your staff that make phone calls to us.
For best results in prolonging the length of a call, and exponentially
increasing the amount of to-ing and fro-ing, make sure you put the least
experienced or most temporary person on the case. Make sure there is a fair
walking distance between the office and the workshop. Make sure they are
wearing good shoes...
Kwik-fitters, when you have a car stuck on a ramp, it is always a sound move
to embellish the fact. If a car stuck on a ramp is due to go to the airport,
after finishing a school run, all in the next half an hour. We're sure we
can squeeze our man in there just that little bit quicker! It just seems a
little bit fishy that the people concerned decided like NOW was a good time
to fit a new exhaust to it?!
But remember, our staff are top-drawer trained liars, who go on to work for
the CIA and MI5, in plausibly denying horrible things for the government. If
you are lame in your untruths, they can spot it straight away!
"First visit in the morning" can mean any time up to 10.00hrs. We are not in
breach of contract if he doesn't happen to be there at two minutes past
door-opening time at 08.00hrs, but you should ring up as if we are!
All our engineers are immune to all speed limits and can call on a police
escort to take them through any traffic hold-ups. Additionally, they know
lots of short-cuts, mainly through people's gardens, that you don't.
In more extreme cases, the engineer's van can assume the near-zero density
of a neutrino particle(*), and effortlessly whip through traffic queues
without them feeling a thing! (*)Or is that a tachyon particle? Astrophysics
was never my strong subject!
In very extreme emergencies, or Kwik Fit visits, our engineer will have
priority access to the company time machine. Thus making sure he can
travel back in time to stop the problem the moment before it occurs!
A hint to people who feel like ringing in angrily on the "Driven Well?
- please call" phone number on the back of our vans. Why not recognise
that you are at least fifty percent of the problem?! and then shut up.
It really is like an episode of Thunderbirds, here in our GCHQ.
Controllers and engineers alike, lounge around in some unfeasibly kitsch
futuristic complex, awaiting for the single callout they will get that day,
*YOUR* call, which gets a guaranteed or-your-money-back gold-plated
It is a customers sacred duty to find the *cheapest* possible option, even
when it goes against all expert advice, good judgement, and common sense,
and then to rant in a purple-faced fashion at us when it all goes wrong.
Re. The point immediately above, no, surely you can get it done for less
You should be aware by now, that if you ask to speak to a manager, these
people don't actually exist in real life. They are a fictional construct,
made up in the imaginations of bored and lonely staff members, wishing to
brighten up a dull workday with a new imaginary friend! So I shouldn't
bother in future, if I were you...
We are government funded by some faceless organisation with a sinister
agenda of its own, so when we ask for money from you, we're just kidding
around really! All invoices received should be queried with this thought
uppermost in mind.
Or maybe our credit control department can do a pretty good impersonation of
a faceless organisation with a sinister agenda of its own, when they're
roused and chasing up overdue cash from people!?
And finally, if you smile when you are calling, that will show through in
the tone of your voice, and the general nature of the call. Same goes for
whingeing and snarling!!
CiH, Aug '02..