No Birthday Crisis This Year


Well, another year, another birthday. Unlike last year's birthday, I had a fairly normal and ok day. No crisis. No ominous music. No nothing.

Mom got me a lot of clothes (I needed them) and a few lunches out, Dad gave me a check that I bought 'Weird' Al Yankovic concert tickets with, my friend Faith gave me a mini Hello Kitty hole punch that fits on my keychain, I got emails from other friends and an E-card from Brian. Tom called me at 12:30am and sang Happy Birthday to me. A friend at work, Teresa, got me a few Harry Potter items.

“My sink is making a weird noise, kinda like a grinding. And nothing is coming out, no water. Any ideas?” You say hopefully.

“That does sound like a problem! Is there any liquid at all or is it just undrinkable?” Lisa asks you, trying to get as much information as possible.

“No, there is nothing at all,” you say.

“Ok. I’ll get this message out to the plumber and he will give you a call to let you know when he can be there. What is your name, home phone and address, please?” Lisa asks you.

You give her the necessary information, ask her when you should expect a call. Lisa lets you know that since the plumbers make their own schedules, he will call you as soon as he is able to. You thank Lisa and settle down to wait for the plumber’s call.

Thursday morning, the plumber shows up. You are obviously a bit upset that it took so long, but you are glad that it is finally over with. The plumber fixes the problem and goes along his merry way.

Friday morning, you get a phone call asking for information regarding the service you received. If you were asked, “Were you happy with the service you received over the phone?” Would you complain about the amount of time the plumber took to arrive? If you were asked, “Was the phone representative polite during your call?” Would you yell about how the plumber refused to look at another problem with the sink?

I work in phone service. You, the customer, get survey’s all the time about how you liked the service given. How stupid are you?! I am not the tech! I am not the one who is taking two to three days to arrive at your location! Why are you making statements about the tech when they are asking about me?! I could have been the best phone rep you ever experienced, but you don’t let the people on the phone survey know about that. All you do is complain about the tech. And you know what? I don’t care! Complain about the tech all you want! Complain your heart out, but do it when they ask about the tech. Not when they ask about me.

We the phone reps get this feedback from those who conduct the survey. We want to know what you thought of the service we provided to you. And all we get back is complaints about the tech. Uh, great. You know what? Our bonuses, our raises, our freaking jobs depend on those results. You are the type of people who call “How Am I Driving” numbers to complain about traffic that had nothing to do with that driver, aren’t you?

Should I call your work and complain about someone else in the building, not even in your department mind you, but only call them by your name? Someone who doesn’t even do the same type of job you do … yeah, I like this idea.

My friend Flubflub (not her real name) does the exact same thing I do. We have been told numerous times the our supervisors, managers, etc understand that these results aren’t 100% accurate … or even 50% in some cases, but that the surveys do not count against us because the higher-up’s don’t want to punish for what may not be our fault. However, on her last review for a raise, her survey results were brought in and she was told that everything else was great except her results. Because of these inaccurate, not supposed to count against us surveys, Flubflub (again, not her real name) didn’t get her raise last quarter. How fair is that? I wish your raises counted on what I had to say about you. Do people even stop to consider that by not paying attention to the question being asked of them, they are affecting someone that doesn’t necessarily deserve it?

Think about that next time you fill out a survey.

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