Day In The Life of a Freelancer #2
Nothing noteworthy happened this last week in the land of telephone receptionist. Just the usual barrage of idiotic questions and statements was to be had. I feel let down, to be honest. So how can I possibly top the obligatory ‘happy ending’ story? Not too easily. What I can guarantee though is a smattering of stupidity from your fellow humans with snarky, sarcastic, or angry commentary from my brain. Personally, I have no idea how I make it through the day without letting loose on certain people. It’s a Christmas Miracle, to be sure. Generally, I have at least one new story to impart, but this week it seems to be lacking. So that leaves us with the tried and true stupid questions. Don’t let anyone ever tell you that ‘there are no such things as stupid questions’. We all ask them. Don’t lie. We all do it. I can promise you, should any of the following (or former) things have come from your mouth to the ears of a phone representative, likely they have had the same thoughts or even spoken these things aloud.
Me: I am sorry to tell you that we are currently very booked. Our soonest available appointment is on (insert date 3 or 4 weeks in the future).
Caller: You don’t have anything sooner than that?
Me: I am sorry, ma’am. We do not have anything sooner.
Caller: How about two weeks from now?
Me: As I have said, ma’am, our soonest is about a month from now.
Caller: Could you just look?
Me: I already have, ma’am. (Insert date) is the soonest we have.
I get numerous calls with variations of this. They seem to think that if I don’t mention a specific day or date they request that I’m hiding the availability from then, despite me saying the words ‘soonest available’.
I don’t understand this need that people have to argue with me about availability. It’s like they think I am trying to trick them or hide appointments on purpose. What drives me even crazier is the Grouponers that call me the last week before (or even on the very day) their Groupon expires to make an appointment and then get upset because there isn’t any availability. Dude.. You had three or more months within which to make that appointment. Do NOT blame me for your lack of forethought. It is neither my fault nor my responsibility to make sure you, the Groupon user, gets to use your Groupon before the expiration date. If there is availability, I will be happy to schedule you. Otherwise, do not take your failure to fulfill your desires out on me.
It is agreed by most places/people that accept Groupons: Most customers that use them are outright jerks; especially to those in the service industry. I have never heard a group of more entitled, rude, demeaning and immature individuals in my life. Between the last minute appointments, a general terrible attitude and the lack of proper tipping, it’s a wonder my boss kept it up as long as she did.
Tips for Groupon users:
- Properly tip your service person — “Proper Tip” means tipping according to the actual price of the service, not what you paid for the Groupon. If the service you are getting is $100 originally, then you tip 15 or 20 dollars, depending on how good the service was; Not $6 because you paid $40 for the Groupon.
- If you need an appointment on a specific date, call as soon as you get the Groupon or even before you buy it. Do not expect that you will get what you are looking for if you call at the last minute. Just because a business accepts Groupon coupons does not mean that they are not busy or in need of clients.
- Understand that Groupon is NOT friendly to the businesses that try to use them. Their representatives treat their potential and current clients like dirt. I’ve read and heard numerous stories from multiple business owners about Groupon’s practices. Everything from intentionally ignoring important calls and queries, to outright ripping off businesses.
All this leads to one important point: Regardless of what you bought, the price you paid is NOT the full price of the service you are getting. Do not expect to be treated the same as a full paying customer/client unless you are courteous and respectful.