11 September 2008

Misadventures in customer service

The county helps me pay my childcare costs. Let me be very up front about the fact that I am grateful for this help. But let me also tell you this RIDICULOUS story. About a week ago, I get a letter in the mail telling me that my recertification appointment is scheduled for Monday, September 22nd, at 3pm. Monday the 22nd is going to be a VERY busy day for me. I already know that I'll be working from 8am to 7pm, mandatory overtime. I call the organization that funds all of this, I have a conversation that went something like this:
"I CANNOT leave work for appointments any time between September 17th and October 10th. It's a period of mandatory overtime at my job."
"Well if you wait that long, service will be terminated and you'll be put on the waiting list."
"Let me ask you something. You know I HAVE a job, because I need childcare, so is it unreasonable to assume that said job may have scheduling requirements? Because I am telling you that I CANNOT make that appointment, and I'm just not really clear on why you would arbitrarily assume that I could, as opposed to calling me to schedule. Could you explain that for me?"
Then I got an appointment for today, at 8. I got there, at 8. The doors are locked. There are clearly people inside because I can SEE THEM. At 8:05, I knock. A woman motions that they are not open, and turns her back to me. At 8:10, I get a call on my cell phone. Where are you they want to know. I'm standing by your locked front door. Big sigh. THE SAME LADY WHO WAVED ME AWAY IS THE ONE WHO CALLED ME TO ASK WHY I'M NOT THERE.
Did you bring your paperwork?
What do you have?
All of the paperwork you asked for.
What did we ask for?
Blank stare. Seriously?
So I go through each form and explain what it is, like this is a fucking oral exam. And I have this lady talking to me like I'm 5, or mildly retarded, or SOMETHING.
About an octave higher than normal, "And do you go to work every day?"
"Well you have my pay stubs, my written schedule, and a signed form from staff HR. I would say all signs point to yes."

I mean, okay, I'm receiving assistance, and for all I know, yeah, you probably deal with a bunch of tardos on a daily basis, and yeah, that's probably frustrating. But at some point can't you figure it out? I OBVIOUSLY have my shit together, stop talking to me like a child.

Then this afternoon I had to go to Staples with my boss. It was a nightmare. So much so that I would have to use WAY too many cuss words to properly convey the experience, plus I had to actually show the lady how to use her cash register, and um......how to run their ordering software? The stuff is designed for idiots; I have NEVER used the system. You're just....not running with a full deck I guess. Afterwards my boss said something racially inappropriate about how he thought maybe they all sucked at life because they didn't speak English very well. I told him that while, yes, they were hispanic, I'm pretty sure they all spoke English pretty well, because they did. No, the problem had nothing to do with race. They were all just a bunch of fucking MORONS WHO WORK AT STAPLES. And those were the ones who GOT the jobs, think of all the people that Staples rejected.


  1. Wow. I deal with a lot of stupid people a lot, but that really takes the cake.

    Sorry you had to go through that.

  2. Wow. I also recieve assistance for various things relating to the kids and everytime I have to have any contact with these people its always like that. I even travelled to another province to do a presentation on just that at a conference last year. Those people suck!

  3. I hate to say it but I hate city/county organizations like that because it's about as productive as going to the DMV. But at least they help, that is nice, but sometimes the BS that goes with it is ridiculous.

  4. I think all the rejects from Staples work at your childcare services facility.

  5. It's like they TRY to make it harder for the ones who are already trying hard! Sucks.

  6. jenny are you f'ing kidding me? wtf.

  7. I honestly cannot believe you went through this. I think I would have broken down into hysterical tears when the lady called me on the phone as I stood looking in the window. How do these people make it through life?

    These people walk among us! Every day. Frightening.

  8. Well, I have to say that I am tired of being "helped" at retail stores by people who would obviously rather be having their fingernails torn from their fingers.

    Despite this fact, I have to say that the expectations we bring to the world do color the way we behave. I am saying WE because I don't want anyone to imagine that I am just pointing the finger at someone else.

    As a teacher, I learned that students would genuinely move towards the expectation ... high or low. Unfortunately we live in a society that believes that anyone who isn't financially solvent is doing something wrong -- not that perhaps a capitalist economy requires some to make very little so that others can make quite a lot -- and that those in the middle will foot the bill to make it all work out.

    If folks treated the very well off bank/mortgage/investment workers like mentally deficient people when things don't work out for them (like now), then it would all be fair and I would take my little opinions home and shut up ... instead, we are bailing them out -- to the tune of BILLIONS -- while the agencies continue to treat US like idiots.

    I hope that you survive your mandatory overtime with some sanity... I will be looking forward to hearing how you are doing upon your return!