Customer service?

 

The saga widens.

If you’re a business, staying in contact and helping your current customers is important for continuing to be a business. This shouldn’t even be a question. It’s a given!

If you’re a business and want to stay in business, you should respond to potential customer inquiries so they can decide if they want to buy your product. Again, this should be a given.

Customer service these days (well maybe always, but definitely more noticeable these days) is severely lacking in all kinds of different places. With most business being shifted online because of the current lockdown, customers are trying to reach out to companies as they deal with product issues or consider purchases. I am no different.

The Ryobi issue is still ongoing…no call back from the Warranty Department. Do I call every day now? Do I wait it out? Should I create a Twitter account just so I can go on there and shame them into helping me?

I emailed a company to ask about a product I currently have to see if they had a connection cable needed to connect to another product I have of theirs so they would work together. As yet, no response to that email from Goal Zero.

On top of that, I took the battery out of one of the vehicles and took it to a local company to have them check it out. It died in the vehicle for no reason and there isn’t anything that was drawing power from it, so I was wondering if it was bad. I dropped it off on Saturday with the understanding they would call on Tuesday or Wednesday with the test results (seemed like a long time to me, but OK). Yesterday afternoon came and no call. I called them. “Oh, yeah, seems to be working fine but we would like to test it one more time.” So, I’ll be picking that up this afternoon, hopefully.

Is this normal? Is customer service normally this bad?

Anyone else having a hard time getting online customer service? This stuff shouldn’t be that hard as it can mostly be done remotely. Are companies really not that nimble to make adjustments for customer service? Is it that hard to pick up a phone and just call?

I would be interested to know if you are experiencing more frustration than normal when contacting customer service.

Day 3

Vacation, Day 3:

Plans for today? Murder.

Not of people, but of plants. Not to say the former hasn’t been considered (jk internet police!), but the later is definitely taking place. Well, actually, it already has.

I got up early this morning and mixed the weed killer into my backpack sprayer three different times and wandered the yard in the cool morning sun and took care of (crossed fingers) the offending plants. Dang, there are a lot of the little jerks! Why do I need to do this every year? Why can’t this death sentence be permanent?

Just that thought of the weeds kind of pisses me off. When I think about it, weeds are kind of a metaphor for people in society. There are a lot of people who seem to thrive in the worst of circumstances with barely any resources and still they seem to spread their jerkiness to the rest of us…do you feel where I am going here? Yeah, maybe not the best analogy, but that’s what you think about when you are by yourself in the early mornings with a little coffee in the system. But still, how do irritating people continue thrive in bad times and good people get overwhelmed by the bad people in their lives?

A serious question to consider.

I am not sure what other plans I have for the day. I am liking the sun today though. That was a little unexpected because the people who do whether forecasts are wrong more than they are right. Anyway, if the weather holds, maybe there will be a fire in the fire pit tonight.

But still, this is going to be the worst vacation ever.

Retention

questions answers signage

Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

Got an interesting email the other day. It came from the “home office,” which is really the organization that oversees the “division” I work in, but that is really totally separate from the regular organization. Basically, the money (think paychecks, benefits, budgets) flows through the “home office” but we could be totally independent organization if it weren’t arranged this way.

Anyway, the email was a company survey talking about the S.M.A.R.T. goals (there’s a buzz word for you) of the organization and they wanted feedback on the goal to “improve employee recruitment, retention, and engagement.” The survey had the general multiple choice questions about workplace climate and job satisfaction, etc. Pretty standard stuff.

But then there was an open section for Comments…and this is the place where you can enter anything you want. The survey is supposedly anonymous, but I don’t really care either way as I like to have my voice heard (thus, the blog and the reason you read – LOL).

So, one issue that I have talked about often on here is the commute to work. I have a great job and I enjoy it and the people I work with but, seriously, the worst part is the commute. Given that I am required to go to the office at least several times a week is rather annoying when the job literally could be done from anywhere in the world. Literally. As long as there is a decent internet connection, that is.

Anyway, I said what was on my mind. I pasted my response below.

“As part of the ‘improve employee recruitment, retention, and engagement’ goal, one of the things that needs to be addressed is the telecommuting policies and opportunities.

As an organization that looks for people with specialized skills or training, the recruitment pool is fairly narrow. Since the ESD covers a rather large area of service, your candidate pool could be rather large as well but factors such as location and commute times have a negative impact, both on current employees and potential ones.

Obviously, moving and obtaining reasonable housing for a job isn’t much of an option these days, but the technology exists to allow for people in remote locations to provide and complete the same (or better) functions they would at the office without having to be there. This would, in most cases, increase the number of people who could apply for a job but also would increase the satisfaction of current employees since many of them have between a 20-50 minute (one way) commute on good days.

People stay at jobs for more reasons that just work place atmosphere and pay. There are factors outside of the job that also play into their satisfaction and if those aren’t addressed, no matter the benefits the job offers, they will always consider other opportunities, even if it means taking a pay or benefit cut, so that it makes their life outside of work better.

Technology today can aide in much of those issues, if it is used for the benefit of employee and employer. The need for an office, a building, diminishes as technology improves and a central location is “business as usual” thinking. Allowing employees to work from remote locations obviously has an immediate overhead implication, in that it lowers it significantly. No big spaces to maintain, heat, clean, insure, etc. Are funds better spend on a physical location or on serving students directly? The answer is easy, but it takes out-of-the-box thinking to make it work.”

Do you think anyone will listen? Do you think it will matter? Moreover, if you were the boss in charge of employee retention and engagement, would it make a difference to you?

Just gimme an answer

gymnast near assorted country flags

Photo by Victor Freitas on Pexels.com

I had a friend in college that would never give a straight answer. He talked in circles. It was amusing at times, and we could spar for an hour or two before it got tiresome. Most of the time I got an answer but it was mental gymnastics to get there.

I have other people in my life who typically “beat around the bush” to give me an answer. They think they are being clear in giving an answer but it just isn’t. It could be interpreted in several different ways and trying to decipher the answer usually leads to more issues I can’t get answers to.

It’s a conundrum I tell you. The more I try to clarify the more frustrated they become because I am told that I am not listening. Really? Because there was no “Yes” or “No” in that answer so how am I not listening? Maybe it’s just that someone can’t speak clearly.

I know I can be a bit black and white at times, but not getting a simple answer to a simple question is frustrating as hell. Just gimme an answer!


Do you have someone in your life that frustrates you by not giving you clear answers?

It’s lost on me

woman wears black leather zip up jacket

Photo by Anastasiya Lobanovskaya on Pexels.com

Mysteries of life. Mysteries in life. Whatever, just mysteries.

In my years of life I have many things that cause me to pause and wonder. There are just some things I just don’t understand and I guess I probably never will. Why do people do the things they do?

Today’s mystery? Why do women color their hair a color that isn’t a hair color?

Maybe it’s because I’m “a dumb boy.” Maybe I really can blame it on my maleness. Or, could it be that women are just incomprehensible? There is no way to figure out women so why bother? Maybe it’s a combination of both. I don’t really know. But what I do know is that I am seeing more and more women color their hair in NOT natural hair colors and I wonder why.

Example: I saw a picture on Instagram of a former student who is now in her late 20s who is the mom to several children and she just dyed her hair a bright pink color. I am not talking highlights. I am talking flat out, all the way, bright pink – there is no hiding it pink. She says, “It makes her feel more like herself.” What does that mean??

I have never understood why people feel the need to dye their hair a color that isn’t natural. Is it for attention? It is to be unique? Is it to stand out in a crowd? I understand that some people would want to hide the gray or maybe want to have highlights or even just want to try a different natural color. But, to do something that is just so radical, well, it just doesn’t compute.

So, what makes a woman feel the need to make such a change?

Inquiring minds want to know.

Shut up already!

Every office has at least one. Every school faculty has one too. I am sure every factory has one, I just haven’t worked in one. To be fair, it is probably true of just about every place of employment around the world.

What is that, you ask? The only co-worker that asks a question at the end of a staff meeting that makes the meeting go unnecessarily long. Am I right?

Can I ask one more question? Can I get some clarification on…? Would it be ok…? Why…?

The questions come in all shapes and sizes but what we all know is that the question could have been addressed in a private conversation or in a covered in an email. But instead, we are left sitting in a meeting we didn’t want to be in in the first place listening to people we don’t like or marginally tolerate ask questions we already know the answer to or don’t care to know.

Just shut up already and let us get back to work! Please stop the torture.

#smh

Survey says? Wait, what?

Just when you think you have seen (or heard, your choice) it all, something happens that sets a new level of absurdity. Ridiculousness. Stupidity. 

I took a survey yesterday that asked me if I owned a zebra. Yeah, you see (photo above) and read that correctly. A zebra? Since when is that even legal?

What’s worse is that it was nestled in there so nicely with all the other choices, which happen to fall into the category of “technology.” So, um, who wrote this survey and what were they thinking? Fire that person!

OK, so here’s the weird thing…I also got a survey from the same place asking if I owned an ostrich (amongst other choices of random household items). Is someone playing Candid Camera with me? Am I being Punk’d? 

Oh, and what happens if I answered that I did own a zebra? What kind of questions would appear on a survey related to “zebra ownership”?

If you could read the directions

67-hilarious-teacher-memes-16

Meme via Winkgo

The directions are right there! READ them. Follow them. Stop asking questions!

It’s Friday the 13th and apparently basic functions of the human brain have stopped working as we are inundated with people who don’t/won’t read the directions.

Don’t have a great day…