My Simply Complicated Life

Welcome to the blog of an ordinary mother who sometimes just might have something extraordinary to say

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

The customer is NOT always right...

....unless I'm the customer, naturally!  Well, I am back after far too long of an absence from blog-la land.  Oh how I have missed pouring out my heart on here.  Hopefully I will not allow as much time to pass the next time around.  I actually owe an entire blog to my beautiful daughter R who turned four last month.  We were away and therefore, she has been neglected in the blogisphere. 

So unto our topic at hand.  The age old saying that the customer is always right is a crock, to put it delicately.  Obviously, whomever coined it never had my client (for privacy and safety purposes, we'll call her Priscilla - safety purposes that I don't want to be reprimanded or terminated for using her real name in a negative connotation) as a customer.  And on a side note, I named her Priscilla because I went to school with a real "peach" (again, to put it nicely) with that moniker.  The originator of that phrase also could never have been a Dell employee which as you'll soon find out (and likely already assumed) is part of one of the examples I will be using to support my stance on the lousy "customer always right" mumbo jumbo.

I have had two (technically three) experiences recently and have been on both ends of the spectrum - client and service provider.  In all three instances, the inaccuracy of the statement has been reinforced. 

Humor me if you will...

Scenario 1: Jessica versus Priscilla - I play the role of the service provider while Priscilla is the never wrong client
My job is to provide Priscilla and her team with qualified applicants for her job openings which I have done.  However, Priscilla has unrealistic expectations and desires that not only go against company policy but also that flat out make no sense.  I would love to tell Priscilla to stick to her job and I'll stick to mine.  Afterall, when it comes to recruiting, I am the subject matter expert.  I would not presume to know how to do her job and even if I did, I certainly wouldn't have the chutzpah to tell her how I think she should do hers.  I would also be much obliged to fulfill her requests if she had the decency to handle herself in an endearing manner.  Heck, I would be happy to help her if she would use any form of manners.  Instead, she is stubborn, demanding and ungrateful.  I am usually the type to "kill with kindness" when someone doesn't warm up to me but in this case, I prefer to have as little interaction with her as possible and would rather invest my kindness elsewhere.

Scenario 2: Jessica versus Dell - I play the role of the client while Dell is the service provider
At the beginning of May, our family computer crashed and burned.  I subsequently was on the market for a new PC (or Mac, although very, very interested in one - I wasn't quite convinced that I was ready to make the switch to a whole new operating system or invest that much money (though in retrospect, the extra few hundred probably would have been a wiser investment but that's neither here nor there)).  After going back and forth for nearly three weeks on whether I was going to purchase or not (and also which brand to select), I settled on Dell because there was a sale which included a basic version of Microsoft Office, a two-year warranty and some other crucial features I insisted upon.  I also have a credit account with Dell which was handy since I had not been saving up for a new computer until our other malfunctioned.  Alas, when interested in purchasing the Dell, I was reached by every method of contact besides a knock at the door.  Fast forward to a week later, my brand new (house-payment equivalent) computer had arrived.  In less than 24 hours of possession, this expensive new member of the family was not charging while plugged in to the A/C adapter.  Lovely!  Naively, I figured I would easily chat with their support folks online and quickly have the issue resolved.  Not so fast, Jessica!  My computer was not recognized so I was instructed to call for support.  Low and behold, when calling, I was told that my computer's warranty had expired (mind you, they were using my phone number to pull up my account and completely neglecting the fact that I had previously purchased products from them that in fact were no longer under warranty).  After an hour and a half of being re-routed to customer service specialists who not only had no idea how to resolve my issue, let alone speak audible English, I finally spoke to someone who was able to "fix" the bug that was causing the charging issue.  Ah, happy Jessica!  The feeling of contentment and excitement lasted a mere twelve hours when later in the evening, the Microsoft Office programs were not opening.  After another merry-go-round with Dell's incompetent help desk, I was told that I would have to reset the computer to factory settings to reinstall the Microsoft Office program as there was no other way to download it or be provided with a hard copy of the software.  Awesome!  At this point, I had already loaded this oversized coaster with photos, music and other goodies.  There was no way I was going to wipe it clean and start from scratch.  I made sure to express my disdain to the poor soul on the other line advising that I was almost to the point of sending the hunk of junk back.  I found it rather funny that when they wanted my money, I couldn't hide from them but when they had my money, they were no where to be found!  I'm still pretty livid about the poor treatment I received and the unresolved Microsoft issue but thankfully a dear friend came through and helped me out in that regard.  (Shout out to V)

Scenario 3:  Jessica versus Anonymous Resume Client - I play the role of the service provider to Anonymous
As some of you know, I run a side business in which I create or revise resumes.  Earlier this year, I was asked to revise a resume for an acquaintance.  Because this was a close enough acquaintance, I offered to provide the service at a discounted rate.  I completed the revisions and sent the finished product off which in turn received stellar reviews.  Everything was great...or so I thought.  A week or so later, the client contacted me requesting that I review their resume which they made some "slight" changes to.  I agreed, however, I was stunned when upon opening the document I realized that "slight" changes translated to new font, new formatting, new verbiage, etc.  It was basically a completely new resume other than having the name and address formatting in common.  I was honestly more than "slightly" offended not only that the client was dissatisfied with my revisions but that they neglected to approach me to adjust to their liking and instead handled it on their own.  Even more so, I was annoyed that I had invested time and energy into developing a product that I knew was good, in fact, better than this new hot mess they had sent for my review.  My blunt opinion would have been that they should have stuck with the version I had provided especially since I look at resumes daily and (not to toot my own horn) know what is considered a strong resume.  This person completely disregarded my expertise as well as my hard work and expected me to critique (and possibly revise) this new and not-so-improved version.  I was flabbergasted.  To date, I still have not received payment but figure this client may not have the funds if they are using that resume to find employment. 

The lesson of the day is that if the saying were true, Priscilla would be Queen of the Universe, Dell would have sent me Microsoft Office 2010 on disc and a $100 credit for my patience and Anonymous could have free lifetime revisions to their resume.  Fortunately or unfortunately (for me), that's not "the way the cookie crumbles."  Life isn't a box of chocolates and the early bird doesn't always catch the worm (ok, ok, enough stupid cliches)...the point is, "you can't always get what you waaaaant...but if you try sometimes, you get what you neeeeeed!"

On a lighter note, I promise to sing a happier tune in my next blog which will be dedicated to R, one of my best and favorite lil customers!

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