perjantai 1. syyskuuta 2017

A Farewell to Good Service

Not so long ago I was sorting some issues with my bank. There were some things I didn't feel too happy about and I had to contact customer service. Turns out my Estonian number doesn't cope too well with the customer service numbers, and about half an hour later, I found out I was unable to serve myself online. There's the chat, dummy. Use the chat. Five minutes of waiting brought me screen to screen with ”Niina”.

”How may I help you?”
”I have multiple issues but let's start with my contact details.”
”You have problems with your card?”
”Yes, but let's get to that later.”
”How may I help you?”

Twenty minutes later my problems weren't any more solved than they were at the start. I was robotically told to ”call” a number of places, even though I insisted from the start that I was unable to do this. I, of course, understand ”the security reasons”, why ”niina” couldn't answer my questions (even though I was logged into my web account). Possibly something I just didn't understand. Judging by ”niina's” answers I couldn't have been talking to an artificial person. I gave up. I asked if my message could be forwarded to my credit card company (within the same bank), but it's a different organization, so impossible. Possibly it is, I wouldn't know. The name is the same. I told her I felt sorry for her, since even I, theoretically, should have been able to contact them (if it wasn't for the phone!). She was doing customer service. I gave up. I left her at it.

A couple of weeks ago I booked tickets to fly to London to see my friend. I booked the tickets on the road and just quickly checked my email that I actually received a confirmation from the company. When the time came closer I wanted to check-in online. I noticed the email sent to me didn't have any booking reference. I checked my credit card and found the tickets weren't charged. I sent an email and made a call.
”You don't seem to have a booking.” I was told.
”Then why did I receive an email thanking me for making the booking?” Inquired I.
”Oh, it's the automatic response when you finish a booking!”
But no tickets. But I also didn't lose the money. Unfortunately, it was too late to make another booking. The price had gone up. I gave up.

Last spring I ordered a book from online. It took a rather long time to arrive. Eventually it was a wrong book. What should I do? I didn't actually need the book anymore, not to speak that it was the wrong book. I guess I could have asked for refund and have the trouble of sending it back. But it was only £2.50. So I gave up.

When I started studying I needed to deliver a wheelbarrow-full of papers to a couple of offices in Finland. Every Finn knows something about making business with these two specific governmental offices. For some unknown reason they are always interested about you at the same time but they don't communicate together. Possibly this is a good thing for an individual in a juridically protective sense. Trouble was, I started studying abroad, which didn't exactly make matters any easier. Sometimes I met deadlines overlapping. What can I do? I can't complain because it's welfare coming my way. I just need to ask to be excused, even though it was my request in the first place. Why did they need to set a deadline for it?

It's a ”welfare society”, I'm told. But how come I feel bad? I still get a little money to spend from the government (even though they just cut my ”salary” by 20%. Imagine it to yourself). I get a little extra from my job. I have a place I can call home and a fridge full of food. Yet, I feel my jaw aching from grinding my teeth.

We are made clear that the ”services” stand for themselves. We are there to ”serve” by turning our paychecks in. We put a monetary input and, reasonably often, get something in return. Only the strongest of us (or the unemployed?) can keep on passing their reclamation from time to time in order to get their refund for non-delivery. The rest of us just have to suck it in.

The welfare society has definitely done it's homework. In jurisprudence it comes clear to everybody quite quickly that justice is hard to come by. Technically it's there but are you willing to go all the way? You might be facing a long cycle of trials, paperwork and stress. It's not made too easy. Otherwise everybody would do it. Unfortunately, the axle turning the wheels of our welfare society noticed this same numbing effect.

Your phone bill doesn't check out. Are you gonna spent the whole afternoon listening to music when you wait in the line for ”service”? Just because of fifty cents!

You are not given time, nor choice, to decide on your things. You shop online, because you don't have the time to visit the actual shop to see what you want. Obviously this leaves you under the risk that the colour or the size of your t-shirt is slightly wrong. But are you gonna change it just because of that? Sure, go to the shop on your day-off. What are you going to buy? I can tell you from experience not to try to look for a turtle-neck sweater or a gray tank top. They don't exist at the moment, I've found out, because they are not ”trendy”. The Nike passes it's order of 900.000 pairs of sneakers to Vietnam. They are bound to Rotterdam... say in a year? I wouldn't know. What I do know is that it's the same time what is given for the markets department of Nike to convince every rational European consumer that it is simply impossible to live without that pair of sneakers.

But there's vegetarianism. Sure that's my own free choice? Maybe so, but stop for a moment and consider the possibility that producing the diabolic red meat is a pain in the ass for the producer as well. It would be convenient, and much more cheaper, to actually use something made not out of meat and ask the same price. Bring forth the ”Härkis”! Again, it takes time to convince people to go ”green”, and there's been tofu rotting on the walk-in fridge's shelf for that occasional hippie as long as I remember. But when they do you have a line of products ready.

On a couple of occasions I had to actually call somebody to come clear the hair from the wet-lock of our apartments bathroom's sink, since some smart guy had attached the drawers to the wall around the sink drainage. 
”Next weekend OK?”
Sure, I'll just not use it.

Nothing gets done properly. I realize I have to have a schedule to call a number of people (you have to call since they never actually call you back). I can't keep track otherwise. Things that eventually take less than five minutes to sort out take days or they don't get done at all. I feel bad because I can't finish anything.

I get frustrated, angry and start grinding my teeth. Luckily they offer anger management at work. You just spill your bad mood on customers. They deserve mocking for being so stupid and asking stupid questions. I guess even the mighty restaurant workers have fallen for the same as the robot-lady at the bank, the clerk at a phone store last week and the study counselor at the university. After all it's a well-known saying in a restaurant: ”The evening service ruins a perfectly good mise en place.”

Thank you, excuse me and good bye!

- Half-assed chef

Ei kommentteja:

Lähetä kommentti