Wednesday, 29 July 2015

Two cents worth of yarn

Customer service is dead.  Cremated by its agents.  Damped over the customers’ expectations.

Recently I needed client giveaways.  Urgently.  I called someone who gave me a number for a firm that deals in exactly what I wanted.  I made the call.  And explained what I needed.  I was asked to hold on, and be transferred to the person who could help me.  I talked to a madams.  Lets call her Jean.

Jean told me she could send me a catalogue immediately, and I gave her my email address.

I waited and waited.  Meanwhile, because I never put all my eggs in one basket, and a bird in the hand is worth two in someones else' office, I called a couple more numbers and got a look see.

Twenty four hours later [oh how my patience has grown], I called the firm and asked to speak to June.  I was informed by the person at the other end of the phone that Jean was out, but they would pass on the message.  I impressed upon her my urgency, and asked if was there anyone else who could help me.  No there was no one to help me.  Thank you madam, and I will tell Jean to call you.

A minute later my phone rings.  “You called a few minutes ago looking for Jean, and I told you she was out.  What you can do, is take her number and call her”

I laughed loudly in my head.  “No,” said I, “I am not interested in Jean’s number.  I am interested in the catalogue, so I can see what you have and maybe pick something out.  If Jean is interested in my business, and since you have my number, I am sure she will call me.”  I am still waiting for Jean to call me.  It has been two weeks.

And I did get my giveaways, on time, from a young man who though not schooled in etiquette and any business lingo, coupled with having no reception and catalogues, knows how to deal with a customer.

Which brings me to yesterday or was it today.  I forget.  Anyway, I made an enquiry on some online portal regarding availability of yarn.  Yes – that thing made of wool, real or not, but is used to knit or crotchet.  Someone else had posted an inquiry, got a response, and I put my nose in the mix, and asked a question - was the yarn was available.  The vendor moved me to the inbox with a message;

VENDOR;  Did you make an order for yarn?

ME;  No had not made an order, but if have [any] I am interested

VENDOR; Ok best to call me 07** ******

ME; Do you have in stock? What colour?

VENDOR; Call me.

ME;  Sorry [born of the same womb as Jean], I operate a bit differently.  I ask a question, I usually expect an answer, not instructions on what to do. Thanks anyway.

VENDOR;  No I don't have in stock. Sorry that you operate differently to everyone else, but as my time is precious and I get 50 enquiries a day, it's easier (and nicer) to talk to my customers, then having to spend 30 minutes explaining things through messenger. If you had taken the time to read the pinned information then you would know that I do not stock yarns. Moreover, I find your reply to me rather rude.  This is not a dictatorship you know. Good day to you [my name].

ME – ACTION; I sat up. 

ME – THOUGHT;  Rude? 

ME – ACTION;  Scroll back and see what I wrote. Reading what I wrote.

ME – THOUGHT;  I wrote, I do not do things this way, usually I asked a question, and get an answer, and not “call me” instructions.  If I had been asking – how do I get the information.  Then “call me” would be an appropriate answer – yes? 

Hala!!  Kwani I cannot have a different thought than the vendor?  I must do what the vendor wants?  Who is this? 

Okaaaaaay, so I did not schmooze the vendor, why should I; they are the ones selling, making the money and I am sure good yarn is a not a scarce commodity [this is post the agrarian and industrial revolutions, right]?  But was I rude?  If I say I just want an answer and will not call, is that rude?  Wait a minutes - was that vendor rude to me? 

Dictatorship?  My God!  Idi Amin Dada.  Who is a dictator here?  Vendor for ordering me to call?  Or me for refusing to call and instead asking for a written answer, a simple yes or no.  Help me understand how a call is easier and nicer, when I have sent you a massage query, than a Yes or No written back? 

I am a dictator!  Bifwoli Wakoli, come and see.  Who calls a potential customer a dictator?  Or is the vendor calling themselves a dictator?  I know we all cannot have the gift of gab, ability to put down others so wittily the others applaud.  But you can try.  Learn the art.  Practice.  Even on me.  I do so admire an adroit turn of phrase.  But was that even a put down?

Question – am I a potential customer?  Am I seen as a customer?  Goodness gracious?  Maybe I am not a customer.  Who do they deal with?  People like me?  I’m peering at my reflection on my screen.  You know that reflection of yourself that sits behind what you are doing on the screen.  I’m peering at it and wondering if I look like a potential customer.  Coz that’s me.  And I am wondering if the vendor can see me, and doesn’t want me as customer.

50 inquiries a day?  Vendor time is precious.  Come with them running!! Read pinned information.  Pinned to who?  On what?  Wahala dey find me merrn!

A few seconds later…yes, Jean and her elk are good at this.....

VENDOR;   PS: "Call me" twice means I have the answer for you ready on the phone. So maybe it's yourself that operates differently to anyone else. My 2 cents worth.

ME; Yes [kin of Jean], I "operates differently to anyone else", because I am unique person, fearfully and wonderfully made. I rarely join bandwagons, and [only] step to my own drummer. Please do not be sorry for me. It is a wonderful liberating position to be in.

Note too, that there are people who do not enjoy conversations with vendors - and that is why they will ask for written information over and over again, even on the vendors request to call. People are different. I’ve always thought that a vendor’s aim is to sell, and doing that means creating a win win, mutual beneficial experience.

Yes I totally recognise your time is precious, and you have a many inquiries, but maybe, a written response may not hurt your business too.

How you find my response to you, I cannot control. What I know is my intention, and my operations, which govern my boundaries and interactions.

Yes it is true that “If [I] had taken the time to read the pinned information then [I] would know that [you] do not stock yarns.”. I think we can argue, that we potential customers are still humans and funny like that, and will ask instead of reading, or will miss out some details even if we read.

It has been interesting and actually entertaining “messaging” you. Do have a nice day, and I hope your 2 cents gets you your worth.

ME – FINAL THOUGHT;  not going to get even two cents worth of yarn there am I?


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Saturday, 11 July 2015

Lie back in contentment

I know I am smart.  I can figure out things quite quickly.  And see opportunities clearly.

I am brave.  Fearless.  I go for the opportunities.  And I can take on anything and anyone at any time. 

I am confident of my prowess and outcomes in situations.  In all that I do, I am first-rate. 

And my determination?  Unoutclassable.  Through thick and thin, I get there.

I look good.   Actually really fine.  I cut a handsome figure.

Which is what makes me think that I can be something more than I am right now.

Words running idly in my head as I crisscross the township roads getting my shughulis done.

I know I do not know everything.  But I know, I know enough.  To get to where I am going.

I know that one day, I will marvel at my journey and be really glad of who I am.  Those around me will be glad too.  They will wonder how it happened, but I will tell them, I did it my way.  Do you know that song?

My way, I know has many others involved.  I can feel it.  The ones that will count will be the ones who make an impact.  Good or bad.  It does not matter.  But they will be the ones that will mater.

I am not perfect.  There is no perfect.

I know I will hurt people.  There probably will be casualties.  I know I will make mistakes.  Some that I may witness, and others I never find out about.

I will make decisions.  And other not made.  And others will be made for me.  And I will just follow on default mode.

There will be paths taken.  Alleys not explored.  Things not sniffed out.

I think the outcome is preordained.  Whichever road I take, I will get there –to that sit up and marvel place.  Have you watched Sliding Doors?

Where?  That is what I often ask myself.  Where am I going?  Where is my outcome?

During my down times – like the time I had the strange stomach grand mal, and I thought I was dying - I ask myself, is this it?  Sum total?  Live and then die?  Just like that?  Die to where?

Where did I hear that preordained story?  Cannot remember.  But its better than thinking that if I step on the toe of a higher being I could be punished and end up in the gutter as the final destination.  I hate those movies.  Though they drive that predestination theme don’t they?

If I believed in that reincarnation story, it means that I was a really bad higher being and I must be paying for it now.

On my up days, and that is when I give tentative weight to the reincarnation story, I know I must have been a good lesser being and did something to gain my climb up in the value chain of life.  For by golly this journey is exciting.

Let me bypass the junior pack now.  Outrace, outmanoeuvre them.  It’s almost time for them to set out the rubbish outside the SideStreetCafe.  I will be damned if the junior pack led by that pesky Tusker will get first dibs at the juicy rubbish.  Gosh, my jowls are saliva’d already. 

Pick up the pace.  Keep to the plan.  I am not going to get to the sit up in awe place without keeping to the plan.  To the "lie back in contentment" goal.

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