Irrational Encounters With The Modern World

The Email Of The Species Is More Silly Than The Mail.

I started a new job recently. I can’t say anything that will identify the company, because this is in the public domain. I work in Customer Service for a high street chain, and my role involves answering calls and emails. I have quickly learned that the best part of my job is seeing what other people have previously written to customers, whose replies I am dealing with.

My favourite so far is a complaint from the other day. In the earlier replies, including the original communication, I saw that the customer had tried to contact one of our other departments six times, and each time the email had bounced back.

The reply to him ran along the lines of “I am sorry to hear that your email was returned to you six times, and apologise if this was inconvenient.”

IF this was inconvenient.”

Brilliantly understated. I imagine that, if you compose and send a time-sensitive email, have it returned and then resend it on six separate occasions – maybe it’s just me, but I’d be inclined to presume that was indeed inconvenient. Inconvenient to the power of six.

Not as inconvenient, however, as a more recent reply from another colleague. “I am sorry to hear that your email bounced back, but you have sent this to the wrong department. Please send your complaint to…” and then provided the same email address that had returned the customer’s mail in the first place.

My resolution, such as it was, was to supply the customer with a phone number instead…

 

There was another time, when I looked at the notes on an account, and sought assistance from my manager before answering. The issue had been dealt with by another agent, who hadn’t correctly addressed the problem at hand. I pointed at his name on the screen.

“Do you know this idiot?” I asked my boss.

“We are all idiots at some time or other,” was his unhesitating, diplomatic, and insightful response.

All I could say was, “That’s irrefutable.”

It is. We all do idiotic or silly things to some degree or other.

I like my job. It’s nice to get paid for doing things that I enjoy – rational thinking, problem solving, and writing. I just wish they were transferable skills, as it would be useful if I could calmly and rationally solve my own problems too.

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