A tale of woe and customer service

Happy nearly Friday Loungers! Here’s a funny story for you. I’m actually, truly, so snowed with work I’ve gone and delved into the Face First archives for a delightful story of work hell for you this week.
Upon reflection, I’m SO VERY grateful to be snuggled up at my desk under a pile of paper in my ugg boots. Getting older can be a beautiful thing.

A bit what I look like right now, except not quite so much like a sheep.

I am doing great big leapy happy jumps of YAY to be hit up with an unrealistic deadline next week, because it means I am WORKING and working HARD. There’s nothing I love better. (OK – that’s kind of rubbish …  I can’t drink wine at the same time, so that kind of sux, and there are other things, like holidays and cocktails and swimming and reading in the sun and being on boats …) Anyway. Digressing. Working is pretty great.

The little trickle of opportunity is starting to flow again, and I’m feeling like hugging the world, I’m so grateful. Freelance work is such a capricious beast, it’s a bit like a Christmas present whenever a work offer pops up in your inbox.

This means I will be leaving you sad and lonely next week while I stick my bum in the air (and wave it around like I just don’t care … sorry. Sometimes my brain to keyboard filter needs a really big SMACK.) So don’t forget me.

Meanwhile, this lull has given me pause to reflect on the less savoury jobs I’ve had in my life. Strangely enough, most of them have been centred around customer service. From this we’ll conclude that I generally suck at people. Don’t argue with me. I do.

Job 1. Charcoal chicken shop. Time of employment: 3.25 hours

Do you have any idea how HOT it is in a chicken shop? Do you have any idea how heavy a rack of chickens is when they’re all raw, before they load them up onto the rack for roasting? Neither did I. My poor little flimsy 15-year old arms couldn’t quite cope, and I dropped the whole pole of pale wrinkly little squidgy smelly chickens into the ash and coals, covering them in black dust and turning myself into some kind of camouflaged warpainted black-faced child, complete with sweat streaks and bright white eyes of terror. The evil demented shop owner tried to get out of paying me my $17 for the days’ work, given I had cost him a rack of chickens. My dad went and yelled at him though. He showed him. Bastard.

 

Don’t they look cute and cosy all snuggled up together over the fire?

Job 2. Checkout chick. Time of employment: 1 year – 4 hrs per week = $20

Wow. I said WOW. Can you even believe the cash I was raking in? I trotted up to the local IGA two afternoons after school each week, to earn the princely sum of $20. There was a girl who worked there full-time, and we used to glare at each other in mutual disrespect, because I refused to take her lectures on the importance of the job seriously. Eventually I got into trouble because I couldn’t say no to selling whipped cream bulbs to all the local school boys who came in. How could I? They were cute! I pretended I had NO idea they weren’t using them to help their dear mothers bake cakes.

Useful for dispensing cream and …. ??

 

 Job 3. Pizza Hut call centre: Time of employment – 18 months

This was possibly the worst of the lot. I’ve never been abused or sworn at so much in my life as I have over pizza. And, as I’m pretty good and bad with confrontation at the same time, I never managed to deal with it properly. We were supposed to put them straight through to the managers, but because that’s exactly what these losers wanted; ‘My pizza’s late. Put me through to the manager’, that’s exactly what I refused to do. Oops. I was very cold and polite and tried to sort it out for them, but HATED the disrespect from people over pizza. I can recall on more than one occasion saying ‘Dude – it’s a PIZZA. Stop swearing at me.’ I’d be stubborn and pigheaded with them on the phone, but when I hung up I was usually shaking. When I eventually got really jaded by the job I’d just wait long enough until they swore, and then I’d hang up on them. I was allowed to do that. When someone asked if I was interested in applying for any Supervisor roles I said HELL NO – they ONLY get to talk to all the sweary angry people, all day. Like I said, me and people. Not a great combination.

This actually exists in the UK. Want to watch me vomit and die of heart failure at the same time??

Job 4. Black Stump – waitressing: Time of employment – 18 months? 

We had fun here – ‘At the Slack Dump, we’re Famous for our mistakes.’ I was a waitress,  my brother was a waiter, and my then boyfriend worked behind the bar. There was a good crowd of people there for a while and we did plenty of time at the pub after closing time. We were united by our horror at the appalling quality of the food we served at unnecessarily high prices. It was a good place for old people who wanted a ‘home-cooked’ style meal with their (frozen and boiled) corn on the cob, jacket potato, steak (generally overcooked and left to dry out on the bain marie) and cookie-cutter peas and carrots, but otherwise, we couldn’t really understand why people would come. But come they did, and the tips were GREAT. I was a pretty good waitress, and I banked all my pay and just lived off the tips. I went to a 21st one night at the last minute in my ‘Famous’ shirt – a black polo with big ugly orange lettering splashed across the chest (with additional splatters of sour cream). It was an awesome party, but you’ll be surprised to hear I did not pick up that night.

My next job was in publishing while I was still studying at uni, and I thought it was AWESOME to be going off to a proper desk while all my friends were trying not to get bailed up at service stations each night. I had officially arrived in GROWN-UP LAND.

What was your worst job ever? Does customer service really suck, or am I just a princess?

Come and take a seat in The Lounge. Add your link below. Tell us about your work tales of woe.

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