Tuesday, August 19, 2003

Welcome to my Tuesday and my morning break. So far it's been a nice, harridan-free day. Not that it's exactly nice to spend the morning breaking bad news to people, but even the most frustrated customers I've spoken to so far have been polite to me.

The person who was going to show me how to work on the message screen, which is the way that people here communicate with the repair techs who are out on calls, will be in today. (She has Mondays off). I am hoping to get trained on that today for real, instead of just watching her to get an idea of what the screen is like. In particular, I'm hoping to get trained on the message screen and avoid doing what's called "carryovers" toward the end of the day. Carryovers happen when a tech is unable to complete all the calls on the route, for whatever reason. It could be that they had a job that ran longer than expected, their truck broke down, they lost time because they got very lost on the way to a customer's home, they're going home sick... you get the idea. Techs CAN work overtime, but they can't be forced to do it. As a result, we get carryovers at the end of the day, and these seem to be the customers who react the worst when they're told that we need to reschedule.

I have to say that I don't blame them for being ticked about waiting all day, only to learn at 4:30 PM that their tech won't be coming at all. On the other hand, a few of those mega-frustrated-customer calls in a row can really drain a person.
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OK, lunchtime. Still no harridans. :o) Well, not for ME yet, anyway. One of the other people here called a customer to forewarn her that the tech who was slated to do a maintenance check on her appliance was working on a prior call that was a serious problem and was going to last far longer than expected. She offered the customer the option of rescheduling her own appointment, rather than wait all afternoon for a tech that might not be able to come. That customer immediately started to holler and swear and demand that her original appointment be honored. I heard this call going on and thought, "Holy COW, it's only a freaking maintenance check! The appliance hasn't even got anything WRONG with it!" Talk about having anger management issues... 99% of people who have actual broken appliances are more civil if their repair needs to be rescheduled. So, if I don't have any harridans between now and the end of the day, I will bestow the Harridan of the Day award on that customer that screamed at my colleague.

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