Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Take Deep Breaths...

I must share my first [and hopefully last] terrifying customer service experience. 

Now, this may be hard to believe, but working in a McDonald's management office can be a tricky business. I've had my fair share of irrational customers on a tangent because they didn't get their chicken nugget sauce. Don't get me wrong; I, of all people, know how frustrating it is when you get home and your order is wrong or there isn't a straw in your bag. But let's all gather our thoughts on this particular topic.

Is it really necessary to yell at the poor girl working the drive-thru window because you couldn't hear the girl at the speaker? Is it really her fault that you are deaf? 

Will the world end because you didn't get your soda in a Styrofoam cup? 
No. It will not.

Is is really our fault when we hand you your cup through the drive-thru window and you proceed to hit it on the top of your car window seal, in turn spilling soda in your car? And should we have to pay for it to be cleaned? 
Really? REALLY??

So why, WHY, do people feel the need to constantly flip out over tiny things? Yes, of course, there are instances when their anger is warranted. But I would say about 99% of the time, it is just...well, NOT.

Which brings me back to the point of this blog.

So I get this call yesterday from one of our general managers. She started the conversation off with an "I'm Sorry" which is a clue for me that there's probably an unhappy customer about to call the office. At this point I didn't know what I was in for. After she explained what he had complained about, I said "Oh, well I'm sure he'll calm down." To which she replied "I don't think so."
[Boy was she right.]
I go about my business in the office, make a quick trip out to my car to grab something, come back in and Steve tells me there's a guy on the phone wanting to speak to the regional manager. We don't have a regional manager in this office, so I assume the owner will do; however, he's currently on the phone with the company so he can't take it. So I answer. [cue the intense, dooming music]

This is where it got fun. He started off the conversation with a mild tone, but calm for the most part. After answering his question "Do you guys still do refills on coffee?" with a "No, sir, we as an organization decided to quit doing that." He asks "Well then why can I get them refilled at the other stores?" "I don't know sir, they shouldn't be doing that." This same conversation went round and round, essentially saying the same thing over and over (in different words). 

Then, I explain to him that if you're in the dining room and buy a coffee, you can have refills. And I also explain about our senior coffee cups that allow free refills with a purchase. This set him off. "So NOW you're changing your story?" "No, sir, I am just trying to explain different ways you can get refills." "You don't even know how to do your job!"

At this point, I start shaking with anger. It was building up. I was about to blow a freaking gasket. 

I didn't enjoy him telling me that I didn't know how to do my job. After more angry chatter and yelling, I said "Sir, I don't enjoy you calling me names." Oh did that open up a can.
"Oh, you think I'm calling you names? I'll call you NAMES." 
I refuse to tell  you the names he called me. Suffice it to say, they were not nice. They were the worst names I've ever been called.
In the middle of his rant, I interrupted him saying "Sir, you are being kind of a jerk." I thought that was being REALLY nice. I was thinking of many, MANY other things I wanted to call him at that point.
He replies, "Oh, that sounds like a LAWSUIT to me!" 
"A lawsuit, sir?"
"Yeah, you just degraded your customer!"
Uh, pretty sure that's not against the law. Harassment, however, is. 
Which is exactly what I told him. 

Now, at this point, my eyes were watering with anger (and that takes a lot. I'm not a crier.), I was shaking uncontrollably, and my blood pressure was in the red. 
Steve is staring at me this whole time, just shaking his head because he knows that this guy is basically ripping me up one side and down the other. And he starts moving his finger across his neck in an effort to tell me to hang up on this ass. 

"Sir, I'm not going to listen to you talk to me like this."

"Oh, you think I'm talking to you badly?"

Uh oh.

"I'll show you talking badly. You can just go -"

He finished his last few sentences in a way I cannot describe, nor will I because it's not for human ears. 
Or any ears for that matter.
[Keep in mind, this is a summarized version of our convo. It was neither fluid or precise. There was a lot of interrupting happening on both ends.]

And then he hung up on me. 
Which was fine by me because I was going to hang up on him in 5 seconds anyway.

The moral of the story is this: the customer is NOT always right. 
This guy [who shall remain nameless because he refused to give me his information] obviously had a traumatic coffee incident when he was a child.
And all over what? 
49 cents.


Telling Matt this story later, I said "I hope he feels bad tomorrow."
And Matt replied "people like that just...don't."

And he's right. There are people in this world that 
just. don't. care. 

I, however, am not one of those people.
Being in the position I'm in, I encourage you all to be the same way. 
There's no reason to make someone else's day terrible because you are upset over coffee. 
There's no reason to make someone cry because you're upset with the service they provided. Or because they brought you the wrong drink. Or forgot to get you a side of ranch.

If it's at a restaurant; don't give them as much of a tip if they did a terrible job. But leave it at that.
Maybe, like everyone does, they're just having a bad day.
Maybe they're a fantastic server, but their dog just got put down. Or their boyfriend was a jerk to them. Or they're homesick.

Whatever it may be, it's not worth hurting a perfect stranger over.

In the end, I called the general manager that originally warned me, and we both laughed our butts off over it. And then I was fine. Because I realized that being upset over someone that cares so little about other people's feelings is just....not worth it.
People like that don't deserve my time, effort, or tears.

 That is my wisdom for the day.



  1. Oh that's awful, but a common occurrence. Some people are outright mean and unintelligent, cue, this guy. Just know their lives must be horrid being that crude and bitter day after day. Sorry that happened to you sister.

    Just remember, it's not your fault the plane is too small. That's what I did.

  2. holy crap...that is ridiculous!! that guy needs a serious attitude adjustment. i'm very sorry you had to experience that, but from what you wrote it sounds like you handled it very professionally. and you made a really good was only $0.49!!!!! these are the kinds of things people need to keep in mind before they flip out lol.


Thoughts? Love to hear 'em.