Wednesday, April 04, 2007

The Dark Side of Customer Service

Is it just me, or has customer service become somewhat depraved? The point of customer service should be to serve the customer, give them what they want. Right? Where did they get the idea that what I want is to be waited on by the human equivalent of a black lab puppy?

I went to the bank’s drive-thru teller today to deposit my paycheck. This is what happened. Names have been changed to protect my federally insured deposits. Other than that, I am not making this up.

“Hi! Welcome to Happy Friendly Bank! Thanks for waiting!”

There was no one in front of me when I drove up, but I’m not going to argue with someone who is clearly in the throes of manic cheerfulness. I place my deposit in the slide-out tray.

“How are you today?!” I swear her tail was wagging.

“I’m fine, how are you?” Hey, I can be nice.

“I’m terrific!” She retrieves my deposit. “Thank you, Ms. CB! Making a deposit today, are we?” She is the embodiment of effusive joy. She’s practically wriggling with it. “And withdrawing just a little cash today, Ms. CB?”

What the hell am I supposed to say to that? That it seemed like enough to me? I filled out the deposit slip, I figured that was enough instruction. But I smiled and said, “That’s right.”

She reads the company name on the check and says, “Oh! Does XYZ Company really sell XYZ? I’ve always wanted one of those!”

I’m speechless. My smile has already frozen in place, so I just nod. This woman is so impossibly perky she’s making Quincy the Wonder Dog look lethargic by comparison.

“Ms. CB, I’m happy to say everything here looks just fine!”

What? It’s a damn paycheck. I’m overdue for a raise, but why wouldn’t it be fine?

“And how would you like your cash today, Ms. CB?”

Okay, I know what you’re thinking. And it was almost impossible to resist. But I didn’t say it. Not one word. And there were so many that sprang to mind.

“Twenties is fine.”

“Great! Twenties it is, Ms. CB!” Is she panting? “I’ll just put your driver’s license in the envelope with the cash!”

I’m still smiling, I think. Does she keep this up all day or does she curl up on the rug until the next customer arrives?

“Is there anything else I can do for you today, Ms. CB?!”

Oh god, this woman has no idea the peril she has just placed herself in. But my smile is now a rictus and no words emerge. I manage to shake my head in the negative.

“Thank you for banking with Happy Friendly Bank, Ms. CB! Have a wonderful day, as always! See you again soon, Ms. CB!”

The hell she will. I’m signing up for direct deposit.

It’s either that or bring a rawhide chew with me next time.

11 comments:

Jennifer Talty said...

OMG - too funny. Those people drive me nuts and usually I do or say something mean to get then all flustered just because I can. Nope, not a single marshmellow in me. Just a hard nosed evil person... oh stop...I'm kidding. Sheesh. I know, I'm the burnt kind of marshmellow, hard and crunchy on the outside, all soft and gooey on the inside...whatever.

McB said...

Oooh. Perky people scare me. I have this fear that they'll decide I need 'cheering up' and will end up glomming on to me, talking incessantly and suggesting craft classes and other heinous tortures. Run, BCB! Run for you life!

orangehands said...

ROTFLMAO.

i'm suprised you didn't crumple a piece of paper and say "fetch".

btuda said...

You know, I should really know better by now than to drink something while reading your blog. I just had three people offer me the Heimlich.

Perhaps that financial institution was previously in the grocery store business, or at least the teller. At the one I worked at in college, we had people walk out because they were being killed with kindness. I can only imagine it was like getting stuck on the "It's a Small World" ride at Disney World.

My favorite line? "The hell she will. I'm signing up for direct deposit." ROTFLMAO!

Margaret said...

Ewwww!! Ok, here, y'all, I brought anti-nauseas for everyone. I hope I brought enough!

Please tell me that this transaction didn't take place first thing in the morning; that would be just too cruel.

Perky. Huh. Who needs it?

Scope Dope Cherrybomb said...

Loved it Bcb. Just remember it is best to be nice to over friendly dogs because they have big teeth and can bite otherwise and you wouldn't want them to rip up your money. LOL

Mary said...

The only good thing about that story was that she referred to you as Ms. CB. Last drive-through encounter I had, the girl looked at my card before she handed it back and said "Thanks, Mary!"
(Excuse me? Do I know you?)
I can just see some gung-ho manager enthusiastically telling all his employees to do this because it would give the customer a warm fuzzy feeling. Not at 8 am when I'm gasping for caffeine, it won't. Probably not at 11 pm when I'm gasping for a margarita either. Sheesh.

zbfljjuc - what I shoulda told that girl to tell her manager from me

btuda said...

I felt obliged to send a few of my co-workers links to this blog.

We have now nominated our resident "puppy."

BCB said...

Hey, Btuda, the more the merrier. Just make sure they don't all read it at the same time while at work. I don't want to hear about any mass firings. [grin]

btuda said...

BCB - ironically, our new "puppy" is in charge of hirings and firings around here - LOL.

Cary said...

Oh my Bob, what I missed while I was away. Too funny!

Yep, I miss the days of cold, impersonal customer service. I hate dealing with an overly friendly waiter when I'm dining out. (They ever think that maybe I'm dining out alone 'cuz I'm just too tired to contemplate unpacking takeout containers, let alone actually going to the grocery store and making something?) Or dealing with the overly friendly cashier when I'm buying groceries at 11 p.m. Come on, "Have a nice night?" Would I be at the grocery store at 11 at night if it were a nice night??!

I have a great Luann comic posted on my bulletin board. Dad and son are at the hardware store, dripping wet and carrying a monkey wrench, buckets, a shop vace, etc. and the checkout clerk says, "Have a Nice Weekend!"