Friday, October 01, 2004

Let Me Get My Manager

Last night, I was approached by a customer who wanted to make a complaint. He's a semi-regular who occasionally buys a magazine or two. Let's call him "Homely Asian Guy".

Homely Asian Guy: "I want to complain about one of your employees, [Gun Nut], who was very rude to me."
Disgruntled Bookseller: I'm sorry, sir. I would get the Store Manager for you, but [Gun Nut] is the store manager.
HAG (incredulously): He's the store manager?
DB: Yes, sir. I'll be happy to call him for you.
HAG: Well, he was very rude to me. He was searching for something for me, and he raised his voice to me, and I don't think that was called for. I shop here all the time, but if you guys want me to shop at Rival Bookstore, I'll go there.
DB: I apologize for the bad experience, sir. Would you like me to search for something to you?
HAG: No. [Gun Nut] was very rude. Do you want me to go to Rival Bookstore? Because I can go to Rival Bookstore if you want.
DB: Again, I apologize, sir. Is there anything I can do to help?
HAG: No. If you don't want my business, I can go to Rival Bookstore you know.
DB: Again, I apologize, sir.
HAG: Is there someone I can call about this?
DB: Of course, sir. [writing name of more senior manager on paper] You can call [Queen of the Flying Monkeys] and speak with him about [Gun Nut].
HAG: I can go to Rival Bookstore you know. Do you want me to go to Rival Bookstore? Because I can.
DB: Sir, you are welcome to shop wherever you want. All I can do is apologize. Repeatedly.

Then he left.

I spoke with Gun Nut afterwards, and of course, he didn't raise his voice to the Homely Asian Guy. Gun Nut was searching for something for the HAG in our inventory database which is proprietary software. Using this database isn't rocket science, but there's a reason we don't let the customers use it. It is not, to put it gently, user friendly. After HAG's third attempt at telling Gun Nut how to query the database, Gun Nut informed HAG that he knew how to use the software, thankyouverymuch.

I really hope Homely Asian Guy doesn't start going to Rival Bookstore. Because he can, you know.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

oh come on, you know that in reality Gun Nut knows absolutely nothing about searching the database, and neither do any other employees. Because we don't want to sell those books. We want to keep them. We hide them in strange places and lie about the very existence of books -- because we don't want to sell them. It's not a retail establishment, it's a front for stinking liberal hippies to hang out and ..... sorry, time for my meds, I guess.

10:05 PM  
Blogger meateater said...

isn't that just the way. this is probably the same person who tells his mechanic how to recalibrate the fuel injection system, or offers advise to his doctor on the best way to remove his spleen. I encounter these people everyday. it is always the same thing, "couldn't you just do a subject search", or "how about is you type in.....", "maybe you could just cross reference the editor with the date published and factory that supplied the paper." My response is always the same, "sir/ma'am our data base is very limited and only allows us to search by title or author. we are however going to be updating the system soon to enable us to search by color of the book. so if you are the one looking for the blue book, never fear we will be able to help you."

12:37 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I'm still waiting for the feature that allows us to search for "the book that my friend told me about". Or the book where "they turn out to be related at the end". Or my personal favorite, "the book by Anros-the-angel-who-talks-to-people, who told me about it". I didn't have the heart to tell that particular sweet old lady that the voices in her head probably hadn't published any books.


10:11 AM  
Blogger SauciSquirrel said...

Better yet is the search that allows you to find books that are X" by X" and have blue covers. :)

11:25 AM  

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