Help me help you. I feel so Tony-Robbins-motivational-speaker when I saw it out loud. May be the reason why I try not to say it too much… but there are some instances, particularly customer service, where you are supposed to embody the saying. Overqualified and understaffed, that’s pretty much how I met my current job. For those of you that read my blog, the sordid details of our tearful break-up (or rather, my hatred of the God-forsaken place) have made it on these pages more than once. It’s got nothing to do with the people that I work with, and I know it sounds terrible, but man, jobs like these force me to re-evaluate how much I like people.
Day in and day out, I answer the phones with the same pre-packaged sincerity. I give my name, place of employment and ask “How may I help you today?”. Now, I’m always secretly hoping they’ll say that this isn’t the number they meant to dial or have a simple question like “What time do you open?” But day after day, I’m flooded with idiocy as soon as I punch in my phone code.
A couple concepts that may be difficult… Listen folks, I know Calhoun is a strange name. Believe me, I lived with it through elementary school where any type of originality was quickly weeded out as a weakness. That being said, I’ve gotten pretty attached to my “unique” name over the years, so I can’t help but cringe every time callers refer to me as Kevin. I know they’re sort of similar, but seriously, where are you getting that “v” from?
Secondly, I just told you where you called, so why are you so confused? You’d like to purchase tickets, keep on talking. I can give you all the information you need, but for God’s sake, don’t just stutter and stumble over every word before you finally get around to asking me “Is this the box office?” Why yes, good sir or madam, that was the first thing I said. Good to know that folks hang on my every word.
Finally, I do not make the rules. You think I’d be scanning your ticket if I was in charge of making the rules? You want to drunkenly complain, that’s fine, but do it to somebody who’s paid enough to care. I get paid a decent wage, but seriously, that covers answering phones and scanning tickets so if you have a complaint, don’t talk to someone as low on the food chain as me.
However, while I’m on this discussion of things I’d rather you not do to me (believe me, this list may be longer than things you CAN) call me a germophobe. Call me anal retentive. Call me what you will, just do it without touching me. It’s a known problem that drunks get handsy and I deal with a LOT of drunks. An occasional fist bump, whatever, that’s no big deal. But then you have the people that are drunkenly trying to make a secret handshake with you with snaps and hand claps and everything. No thanks.
Or my personal favorite, the drunk insecure chick. No, me watching your ass as you walk away will not change my mind about whether you can go outside for a cigarette or not. Get an ass like Patrick Dempsey’s and we’ll talk, but for now, yeah, you’re not doing anyone a service by leading with that line. same goes for middle-aged women who want to prove they’ve still got it. It’s desperate and sad… until one tries to eat your face and pinch your cheeks. All pity is gone and the revulsion remains.
In the end, I find myself questioning whether I’m a people person or not. I’ve found myself in this position before, but never with such aggression. In the immortal words of the Magic 8-Ball “Outlook not so good.”