TWO ears, ONE mouth: Use accordingly.

Good grief! I’m pretty sure the listening skills of the general population have been flushed down the toilet. In the last 2 days I’ve had conversations with customer service people (bless them for their jobs as I couldn’t do it, but STILL!!) who apparently didn’t listen to a single word I said during the entire conversation and then asked me the world’s stupidest questions.

Customer Service Cluster F*ck #1:

Situation: My Dish Network receiver has been crashing 5 times a day for weeks. So I call and troubleshoot over the phone, to no avail. After another week I call back in and request a new receiver. When it arrives, I install it, no problems there. But on step 4 of 7 of the software setup I can’t get my 2nd TV to get a signal. So I call back.Β This is how the conversation goes:

Me: Hi! I just installed a new DVR, am on step 4 of 7 of setting up the software. I’m trying to get signal to TV2.Β  On screen it tells me I have channels 73, 60, 21 and 75 as choices for the 2nd TV’s reception and none of them work. I’ve tried them all.

Him: How old is your receiver?

Me: 5 minutes as I just installed it.

Him: What are you seeing on screen?

Me: (I tell him the step 4 of 7, channel lineup, blah blah blag again.)

Him: What error code is there?

Me: There is no error code. I’m on step 4 of 7. It’s not a error-code issue. I just can’t get my 2nd TV to pick up the signal.

Him: Yes ma’am, but what is the 3 digit error code.

Me: There is no error code.

Him: If you aren’t having any technical issues, then how can I help you?

Me: I again repeat the problem.

Him: Maybe you need a new receiver. How old is your receiver.

Me: 20 minutes old (as this pointless conversation has now taken 15 minutes)

Him: And what error code are you seeing?


Customer Service Cluster F*ck #2:

Situation: I go to Urgent Care this morning for having all these insanely itchy bumps on my arm. Ewww…gross! I thought they were more bug bites and the swelling and redness was increasing. Quack at Urgent Care tests me for MRSA (of all things!) and tells me I probably have Shingles (which I do NOT have). She gives me 2 prescriptions (for puke-inducing antibiotics and some other awful drug)Β  which I drop off at Walgreens. Then she sends me to a dermatologist. After waiting TWO HOURS (talk about shitty customer service) the dermatologist sees me and says I have hives–a reaction to the bug bite from 10 days ago. Tells me not to take the meds the Quack gave me. Tells me I don’t have MRSA or Shingles. Just put this ointment on to stop the itching and I’ll be fine.

Back I go to Walgreens and the madness ensues:

Me: Hi. I have a prescription to drop off. I dropped off two earlier this morning, but won’t be needing them. I’m sorry for the inconvenience, but can you fill this one for me and just put back the other two?

Him: Sure, just come back in about 30 minutes and we’ll have all 3 waiting for you.

Me: Ummm…I don’t need all 3. The two I dropped off this morning were prescribed in error. I only need the one I’m dropping off now.

Him: It might take longer than 30 minutes to fill all 3. Better give us an hour.

Me: (With the world’s most confounded look on my face). I only need the one you have in your hand. The other two you can cancel. I don’t need them. Please just fill the one in your hand. The anti-itch ointment. I don’t need the antibiotic or the other cream.

Him: Sure thing. See you in 30 minutes and we’ll have all 3 of them waiting for you.

Me: Thanks so much. (And I drove away wanting to burn the building to the ground.)

I totally understand that people who deal with the public probably want to become mass murderers. I’ve had jobs that were nothing but customer facing and I sometimes wondered how I didn’t bring a chainsaw to work with me and just do everyone in. But c’mon!!!??? Really???? There were no language barriers causing issues. I am a pretty clear communicator, as you guys all well know. I’m so damn polite I annoy myself. WHY can’t anyone just LISTEN??? Good Lord have mercy. I sincerely try to be the most patient person on earth, but sometimes…

What I’ve learned from all of this is that in order to not be horribly hypocritical I’m going to do my damnedest to always listen more than I speak in face to face conversations. I’m usually pretty good at that, but I’d never want anyone to feel about me the way I feel about these two…ummmm…can’t find a polite word so I’ll just not give them a name. πŸ™‚

PS: I KNOW my photo has horrible language (I can’t help myself, I love to cuss), but it just made me bust out laughing when I read it so I had to share. I’m not sure about copyright for images on other blogs, but I grabbed the image from here: I hope that covers my butt!

34 comments on “TWO ears, ONE mouth: Use accordingly.

  1. “I’m pretty sure the listening skills of the general population have been flushed down the toilet.” I will second that! The chainsaw thought was interesting, a quicker alternative to a bat! Kidding! Also, I quite enjoyed the picture, but then, I also enjoy foul language. Great post!


    • I was so hoping, that with your daily experiences of customer-induced frustration (“Is there ketchup in the bag??”), that you of all people would understand! πŸ™‚

      I think a bat might be more satisfying. πŸ™‚

      Glad you liked the pic. I cracked up when I read it and just HAD to post it!


  2. I can tell you from experience that the Dish network guy was just reading off of a flowchart. Back when I worked in IT and couldn’t find a job, I stooped to a new low and applied for a tech support job for Dell. They actually told me that my IT experience wasn’t necessary and they were looking for someone with more customer support experience. I mean COME ON. IT experience isn’t needed for a tech support job?! That was the beginning of the end of my IT career there. Sadly, the next IT job I got put me on the phone with Dell tech support almost daily. Freaking flowchart readers. I memorized the steps they walked me through when we had a mouse go bad and needed a replacement. When I called, I would quickly tell them that I went through each step in hopes of a quick resolution. No. I had to start over because they couldn’t follow along on their flowchart quick enough. Tech support today is an absolute joke. Sorry for the long rant, but I’ve had a long history butting heads with Michael Dell and his flowchart flunkies.


    • Rant away, my dear! That’s what my blog is ALL about!! Lord knows I do it enough!!!

      It really is all scripted and you can tell because they never fuckin’ pay attention to what you actually SAY. It drives me insane. And I can truly be patient beyond all reasoning, but I wanted to stab that guy in the neck.

      So, even though you and Mr. Dell had an unpleasant experience, what you do now (except for the occasional idiot you have to work with) sounds like a lot more fun anyway. Good riddance to jobs we hate. I know I’ve had more than one of those over the years. πŸ˜‰


  3. Customer service has become an oxymoron.
    The cartoon? Made me literally laugh out loud! (Inappropriate perhaps, but a beautiful thought!)
    After one explanation I ask for a supervisor. And after waiting and hour for any “service” industry where I pay them? Yeah I feel a Pulp Fiction progression from chainsaw to baseball bat to samurai sword. CHAAAAAAAAARGE!
    What if we all just walked out? F ’em! It’s not like we’ll die from itching or the sniffles. We just all stop going to the doctor / hospital / specialist and become self sufficient for one week… (Herein ends the Thoreau-fueled rant. thanks for the post, I’m walking away now!) ~Regards, Dan


    • I’m so happy you liked the cartoon. It makes me laugh every time I read it. I kinda wanna put it on my fridge. πŸ™‚

      I’m thinking you are right to go from chainsaw to bat to sword! I’d well imagine that would get their attention! And the worst part was, I called to schedule the doctor’s appointment at 9:30am. She told me they had an opening at 11:00am. But at that point they were already running almost 2 hours behind. Why on EARTH wouldn’t she tell me to come in at 1:00 instead of 11:00? If she knew I’d be sitting there for 2 hours, why not just give me the real time??? Stupid dummyhead! πŸ˜‰


  4. Hi Jodie, loved it – it’s all so familiar – USA, UK – everywhere! I’ve followed you on Twitter – have a look out for me @SocialsingleDeb πŸ™‚


    • Hi Debbie! So glad you enjoyed it! I agree with you–doesn’t seem to matter which side of the pond you are on, sometimes people just forget that they have ears! πŸ™‚ And I’m following you on twitter now. Thanks for giving me your tweet name. πŸ™‚ Have a wonderful weekend!


  5. lol. They made me smile. All so relatable. Funny thing is I didn’t realise the language in the photo until you pointed it out. I realise you are a great communicator, so don’t understand why you love cussing. smile.


    • Hi godcrazzzy! Thanks so much for stopping by. πŸ™‚ Thanks for the sweet comments. Cussing, for me, is just a way to punctuate things or make them more humorous (at least to me). πŸ™‚ I’ve always had a trucker mouth. I just can’t help myself. πŸ™‚ Hope you have a great night!


      • πŸ™‚ I’ve never really had what you’d call a “trucker Mouth” but trucker mouthing would occur when in my head and sometimes verbally when I get upset. lol. Guess I can understand what you’re saying. I work with young people some of whom have that same issue. Guess I got to helping myself after transforming my mind. I got to punctuating and highlighting my anger in other ways; with other words you know… lol. It was hard but now rewarding. Totally Like your humour tho. Looking forward to reading more from you. blessings.


        • My mom would tell you that she’s very proud of you for curbing your cussing. πŸ™‚ I’m sure she’d like it if I curbed mine! πŸ™‚ The one rule I do hold fast is that I extremely rarely ever use cuss words at someone. Almost never really. When I’m angry I know it’ll never help the situation to scream appalling things at someone, so oddly enough, I cuss less when mad at someone. Now, get me mad while I’m driving and I’ll say things that would make a sailor blush–but again, never at someone’s face. It just doesn’t seem polite. πŸ™‚


  6. ha ha ha. No! no! no! Never did it to their faces. I would just die and prob so would they caz nobody really knew i had that issue and I did not want them to know. lol. I was undercover. It would be muttered under my breath and behind their backs which kinda made me hypocritical πŸ™‚ Caz they would never know that’s what I am truly thinking. I would cuss while away from them or if am angry and alone. Oh Geez the old days πŸ™‚ Glad you have that as a rule tho. Have seen it in action and it really doesn’t make the situation better for real. Soft answers, smiling or walking away is truly the way to turn away wrath. Cussing them out to face is more than impolite – Just plain rude and non-nonsensical πŸ™‚


    • We both have such amazing will power!!! πŸ™‚ I dream of a situation where I just let it all out, but I just don’t have it in me. I’m with you, dealing with it quietly or just leaving the situation is usually the best move (not that it’s always easy!!) :):)


  7. As a pharmacist for “not that drug store but one down the street” I can say I truly truly understand what you are talking about. Also, we fired our cable company for the same reasons. “I told you I need a ticket number so I can bring this DVR box back to you! No I do not wish to ass premium channels such as DIY network to my bundle! I”m canceling my service and watching Netflix on my Apple TV! I don’t wish to add a home phone line for only $3.99 per month more!!!”


    • Doesn’t it drive you bonkers!!!! πŸ™‚ If people would just listen, communication could be so much less frustrating. I wanna pull my hair out sometimes. πŸ™‚ What doesn’t someone get about the words, “I’m cancelling my service?” Good grief. πŸ˜‰


  8. It did!!! We haven’t had cable in 3 years because of it! We seriously bought two Apple TVs and pay $7.99 per month for unlimited Netflix streaming. I feel like I stuck it to THE MAN!


  9. Amen! I looooove this post! I have had nearly identical situations, both with Dish Network and my local pharmacy. Being as I’m hearing impaired, it turns into a fiasco quickly. So I can’t yell at them, “Why won’t you listen to me?” because in truth, I can’t listen to them. :/


    • Oh my gosh, did you make me laugh!!! πŸ™‚ What a lovely sense of humor and irony you have. πŸ™‚ Glad you enjoyed the post. Sometimes, I just gotta let a bit loose on the doofusness (so not a word!) around me. πŸ™‚


  10. Your rant was wonderful. It’s so true. I can’t remember the last time I had a conversation with a customer service person on the phone that didn’t go exactly like that. I think of myself as a good communicator too but I think the entire world is just getting really confused. The basic underlying message behind most customer service conversations seems to be “I have no idea how it works either but I’m being paid to talk to you until you go away”.


    • Preach on, hobbyvictim! πŸ™‚ Another blogger shared that when he was going to work for Dell as tech support that they told him he didn’t need to know any tech support. Good grief!! Not a good state of affairs.

      I used to teach customer service classes and my first sentence was, “If you don’t like people, don’t want to help people, or can’t fake it, change jobs immediately.” Not everyone liked that, but it’s the truth darnit!! πŸ™‚

      I’m really pleased you enjoyed the post!! πŸ™‚


  11. But… but… but… my mouth is TWICE AS BIG as both of my ears put together! πŸ˜€

    (BTW, thanks for visiting my blog today. πŸ˜€ )


  12. You’re so “damn polite you annoy yourself”, and yet you like to cuss. Bit of a cognitive dissonance there, dontchathink? πŸ˜‰ I can tell you, there are some people who can eviscerate someone verbally up one side and down the other without using a single cuss word. It all lies in how you say what you say. I know, because I’ve done it more than once. And sometimes I feel like a Dark Lord of the Sith chuckling darkly over the Dark Side of the Force because I can. Myers-Briggs ENFPs with a mad on – there’s nothin’ like ’em… πŸ˜› Pure berserker mode, they are (they and ENTPs, and for the same reason). I hate what that dragon usually ends up doing even if it’s ultimately needful, but sometimes the dragon leaves his cage before I can put the chain around his neck.

    You have a like capacity, I can tell, whatever your personality type is (as in how you take in information and then decide what to do with it, among other things). Restraint in the area of “cussing” and replacing it with a finely tuned vocabulary (which I see you have already) will give your language more power, not less. And when you have it, it’ll be well to consider the first thing I thought of (not that I know what your metaphysical worldview is, but it’s wise advice from any angle):

    (James 1:19 RSV) Know this, my beloved brethren. Let every man be quick to hear, slow to speak, slow to anger,
    (James 1:20 RSV) for the anger of man does not work the righteousness of God.
    (James 1:21 RSV) Therefore put away all filthiness and rank growth of wickedness and receive with meekness the implanted word, which is able to save your souls.

    As for customer service: thankfully I never had to work from a script, and so far I’ve lucked out in that 98-44/100% of those I’ve dealt with on the phone haven’t been tied to their notes either. How do I manage this sort of thing? I’m not sure. My late mother used to call me the luckiest person she knew. I’d like to think that by the grace of God, the laws of chance don’t work normally around me and that my compassion draws compassion to me (these are connected to the same thought process predominant in an ENFP).

    Just for the record concerning what I’m talking about, here’s an overview page from one of my blogs. I hope you like it.

    Cheers. πŸ˜€


    • Hi John. Thank you so much for dropping by. πŸ™‚ Your comments are always welcome.

      I don’t really think there’s any cognitive dissonance going on. I am ridiculously polite to people. I always say, “Please, excuse me, thank you, you’re welcome, would you mind…” I even wave when people are nice to me in traffic. I also have a caustic mouth, but never in anger, and that’s where the polite comes in. I’m not the type to yell, “You MFing SOB!!!” I don’t think cussing at someone when angry is ever effective (while it may help let off steam, it’s not worth the fall out.) Where I do like to let it all verbally hang out is in my writing or when talking with friends. I think cussing can be good punctuation and help make points–though I don’t actually give it any thought as I communicate in the real world.

      As you can see, I have a fairly diverse vocabulary and don’t need to cuss. But I like to. I don’t take it as a sign of the less creative mind. I’ve read some things that were so full of cuss words even I was embarrassed, but were so cleverly done that I was about to pass out laughing. I think it’s about not being afraid of words. Not that words don’t have power–they do. Especially when said in anger. But when said jovially or to make a point, I think words that aren’t slurs against any race or religion can be fun.

      Believe it or not, I am quite spiritual and have a deep belief in God and Jesus. And in all honesty, I don’t think God cares too much if I cuss. It’s all about intention with me. For example, neither my husband nor I have ever cussed at each other in anger. I don’t believe in expressing anger in that way. It’s hurtful and that I do believe God wouldn’t like very much. But when he and I are joking around and he says (in jest), “Go get me a beer, whore!” I laugh and laugh and laugh. He knows he’s not getting a beer, but he likes to play and be silly. It’s the impact of the cuss word that makes it funny because he knows there is nothing further from the truth. It’s when cussing is used creatively, to punctuate a thought, or to add humor that I simply love it.

      I hope you have a wonderful day, John, and thanks again for stopping by.


      • You’re welcome. P.S.: I don’t think that second figure, in the cartoon, meant to say “two LEGS”… if he were talking to another male. πŸ˜› If to a female, then he just might appreciate these lines from Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet:


        (…) I conjure thee by Rosaline’s bright eyes,
        By her high forehead and her scarlet lip,
        By her fine foot, straight leg and quivering thigh
        And the demesnes that there adjacent lie,
        That in thy likeness thou appear to us!

        See… not a single cuss word, and yet it’s absolutely hilarious. Ah, those were the days.


  13. You are way more accommodating than I am. After the second try, I politely (usually with a forced smile on my face) ask to speak with their supervisor or manager. It’s amazing how quickly the managers grasp the issue. I never have to be rude, but I also don’t have to spin my wheels with someone who isn’t plugged in.


    • I think you are the wiser, between the two of us!!! I should do that too. Why spend what felt like 10 hours dealing with someone who can’t even give you half an ear? Good suggestion. πŸ™‚


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