Tuesday, August 26, 2008

A Conversation With Stupid People

Most days I like my job. I have been doing it for over twenty years. The months between June and September are very hectic for us and every year around this time we are beyond busy, filling orders for a school book that we publish and sell worldwide.
We talk with a lot of people. Sometimes dealing with the public can make me crazy. Most of our customers are intelligent people who are a pleasure to interact with. But we do have some that are stupid people and they piss me off. If you take the following conversation and multiple it by, oh let's say, 50 times a day, you have an example of what my office cohort and myself, go through on a daily basis during our busy season. Here is an example of what a telephone conversation with one of the stupid people may sound like.
(M= Me, / SP = Stupid Person / OC= My office cohort)

M: Acne Printing, may I help you?
SP: Oh hi, this is Jane Doe from Stupid People School. I need to put in an order for some books.
M: I'm sorry but we don't accept verbal orders. You will have to email or fax the order in. I can give you a 1-800 fax number if you are faxing long distance.
SP: Oh, I have your 1-800 number. It's in the book along with your email address. Isn't it 1-800-im-stupid?
M: Yes, 1-800-im-stupid is the correct number. Since we don't take verbal orders, if you would just fax the information to me I will process your order as soon as possible.
SP: (Ignoring what I just said) Well I don't need the fax number as I have it already. But I did forget to put this order in earlier so it's a rush and I need it by tomorrow. We need it sent faster than courier overnight but we don't want to pay a lot of money for the shipping. (in my business this is an oxymoron) Anyway, I know that this isn't a problem because the order is the exact same as what we got last year. You can just look up our order from last year and just use that information. (She is sounding very pleased with herself but I feel my head starting to throb because I know where this conversation is headed.)
M: I am sorry but, no, I can't do that. You need to fax or email the order to me. We don't take orders over the phone......we don't accept verbal orders.
SP: (Still ignoring me) Now the order is the same as last year except for the number of books we need.
M: You will still need to fax or email the order to me. WE DO NOT ACCEPT VERBAL ORDERS!
(This is said in a polite but firm voice with emphases on the last sentence)
SP: (She is totally ignoring me now and she is starting to piss me off.) We also need to change the kind of book you send. Our staff was not happy with the last books so we are going to try the other kind you have. You know which one I mean (we sell 11 different types of books but apparently I am psychic). Other that that the order is the same....except we need more of them because we have more staff this year.
M: (My patience has fled; now I am pissed off!!!) I am sorry but as I have stated at least 3 times I will NOT take your order over the phone. You have our 1-800 number and our email address so I will wait for your order to arrive and I will deal with it at that time. So if there is nothing else, I do have another line holding for me. (I lied)
SP: (Sounding incredulous) Are you trying to tell me you won't take my order? Do you know how busy I am? I don't have time to fax you or email you. I have 20 staff that I need to deal with and they are expecting these books. Don't you know that school starts in less than a week?
M: (Speaking very quietly and calmly while biting my tongue and in my mind repeating my mantra...be nice to the stupid people...be nice to the stupid people...)
Yes, I am aware that school starts in most provinces across Canada in the first week of September. I am sure that you are very busy and I have no doubt that your staff of 20 wants their books now. HOWEVER, I am dealing with hundreds of schools across Canada and around the world, not to mention all the hundreds of wholesalers and retailers that I also have to deal with. All of them want their books delivered now. All of them have forgotten to put their orders in earlier, which apparently is my fault, and all of them need to fax or email their orders in because we don't accept VERBAL ORDERS! (I think I may be starting to sound a little huffy at this point but right now I don't care.)
SP: So you won't take a verbal order?
M: No!
SP: Not even a small repeat order?
M: No!
SP: Well,..... I suppose I could email or fax the order in............hmmm........well yes, I guess...... well, OK why don't I just do this......I'll fax the order to your 1-800 number......do you think that would be OK?
M: Yes!
SP: And what is your 1-800 number again?
M: The fax number is 1-800-im-stupid.
SP: (Sounding all sweet and gooey) OK then. Thank you so much for all your help. I'll fax you very soon with the order. Goodbye!
At this point I put down the phone and start whacking my head against my desk.
OC: (My office cohort, pauses in her work and looks over) Did SP want to put in a verbal order?
M: (As I stop whacking my head)"How did you guess?"
OC: You gave her the 1-800 number.


Jaime said...

Lol!! thanks for that post mom, hilarious! I'm glad I wasn't drinking anything while reading it or I would have sprayed liquid out my nose. Too funny.

Sweet Somethings by Lois said...

I was really frustrated with customers when I did this post on my lunch. I had, almost this same conversation, with at least 3 other people that morning.
Grrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr.... By the time I sat down to ignore the phones and eat my lunch I was ready to start looking for places to start hiding bodies, so I thought I should write it down before I got into a real rage mode. hee...hee...hee...
Glad it made you laugh!

tanzi said...

I loved this post! I felt like I was overhearing the whole thing and watching you struggle to be polite! I have to admit, teachers can be pretty bad for stuff like that...too funny!

Bridie said...

Hilarious :-) I'm sure you have many stories and it's good therapy to write them down. We don't want you to start hiding bodies :-)