‘If you need assistance, please hang up and pound sand’

annoyed catDear customer-service call-center representatives:

When I phone your organization, please don’t flood me with a deluge of personal questions before I even have the opportunity to utter “hello.” I’m the customer, and I’m the one who’ll ask the questions. (That is, if you ever take me off “hold.”)

You don’t need to know my last name, my mother’s maiden name, my Social Security number, my waist size, my daily fiber intake or the color of the mole on my left ass cheek. If I truly interest you that much, then feel free to check out my eHarmony profile. With 29 dimensions of compatibility, I’m sure you can find out all you need — or want — to know about my fascinating personality. (Besides, it would be nice if at least one person looked at it.)

Or, better yet, why not dip a toe into uncharted waters and try listening to my actual problem? You know, instead of asking me a bunch of useless, invasive questions that violate my privacy and make me feel like an inconvenience? (A mystifying concept, I know, but at minimum wage, I’m guessing they’re not paying you to think.)

Despite the singsong melody in your voice, it’s clear you don’t really want to talk to me. The hate and pent-up rage practically drip from your overdone pleasantries. They also add a psychotic tinge and an unsettling creep-factor to your otherwise convincing cheeriness.

And that’s OK — I don’t really want to talk to you, either. I’m not doing this because I’m stuck at home clipping my toenails or watching Oprah give away cars (or both, if I’m feeling especially ambitious). I’m only calling because I have a genuine problem, and yours was the number I found on the website.

I’d be more than happy to talk to a computer, if a computer could solve my problem. At least computers don’t cop an attitude and give a sarcastic snort if I don’t have my customer ID number handy. (Although I admit, Siri can be a rude, condescending bitch sometimes — especially if I come home smelling like a Galaxy.)

Oh, and thanks for asking for that customer ID number. I so enjoy being reduced to a random series of letters and digits — especially after being interrogated about my mother’s maiden name and the colorful mole on my ass. Your company goes to such jaw-dropping extremes to make me feel unique and special. It’s like when I get those newsletters that begin by saying, “Dear Valued Customer: Although we don’t care enough about you to address you by your actual name, your individual concerns are very important to us.”

Yeah, I can sleep easy tonight knowing my business is appreciated and cherished.

You know, why even bother with the ID number? Just label me Whiny-Ass Bitching Customer Who Sucks. We both know that’s what you’re thinking anyway. Besides, it rolls off the tongue way easier than my 57-digit ID.

I also don’t need a snarky retort if it turns out I called the wrong department. I don’t work for your miserable company, so I’m not hip to your organizational flowchart. When I looked online, your company listed 84 numbers for customer service. So yes, I admit it — I picked one at random. And after going through a phone tree with 76 options (none of them in English, I might add), I finally got a dumb-ass who answered the phone (albeit after a series of messages telling me how important my call is — which I’m sure they play endlessly in the hopes I’ll hang up).

So if it ends up that I called the wrong dumb-ass, then yes — by all means — please connect me to the dumb-ass in the department I’m looking for. (But make sure you make me hold for another 20 minutes. We wouldn’t want my audacious oversight to go unpunished.)

And yes, I’m well-aware that you make no money and that you hate your job and that your life is a miserable wasteland with no end in sight. And I know you’re going by a script and that your company sucks and that you have no choice but to trudge through each horrible, endless day, suffering in abject agony as the clock inches toward five.

It’s not your fault — I know. I’ve been there.

But still, does it have to be this way? We might be two lost souls connected only by the thin thread of a phone line, but can’t we somehow form a bond? Forget the evil empire for which you toil — this is about you and me, two human beings, seeking civility, compassion and friendship in this heartless void of Corporate America.

Can’t we get along, you and I? Can’t we treat each other fairly? Can’t we somehow work together to achieve a common goal? (Specifically, solving my problem?)

Tell me, please. I breathlessly await your next syllable.

What’s that? Oh. Yes — I’ll hold.

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