RantWoman's last customer cameo was so popular and this afternoon's Friendly Neighborhood Center for Extreme Computing Customer of the Day moment is so classic that RantWoman MUST share. RantWoman must also share the observation that the Friendly Neighborhood Center for Extreme Computing needs more volunteers, among other things to spread the classic customer contact moments around or help turn classic customer contact moments into teachable moments and learning opportunities...
Customer is from East Africa. His English is uneven. His manners are pretty imperious and demanding, except he is not very clear about what it is he needs RantWoman to print out. RantWoman is unclear whether he has enough computer skills to find the document himself. Turns out, he wants RantWoman to do his bidding while he sits down at the machine next to RantWoman and finds some kind of music video which RantWoman can hear through his headphones.
Customer hands RantWoman a job description for a customer-contact intensive job opportunity at the airport. Customer has already blown past so many of RantWoman's "probably good at customer service" indicators that RantWoman shudders to think about him doing the exact job he is asking about. But never mind because the customer needs more English and some practice navigating a job site before he gets turned loose on travelers in the first place.
RantWoman decides that she can probably fake it: squint at the paper instead of find a magnifier, stick with the computer that has no AT, tab throuh webpages, see what happens to the websites we look at if RantWoman just relies on enlargement in Explorer. SILLY RantWoman. At first, customer fails utterly to detect how hard RantWoman is trying. RantWoman's very spotty capacity to do meainingful eye contact doesn't help: when RantWoman can unsquint her eyes and keep them open enough to look, things go better. That is one reason Customer of the Day saved himself from total RantWoman exasperation.
RantWoman types a couple different phrases into Google. RantWoman gets to the job description Customer has brought in. Customer's paper mentions Sea-tac. RantWoman peers close enough almost to read the screen with her nose. The computer mentions only San Juan Puerto Rico. Back to the Googld with a different search string, some more tabbing around, the page up and page down keys...
RantWoman gets to things which point to SeaTac. RantWoman gets to things that say here, go to this link or here print this long workbook and then go in person... RantWoman does NOT get whatever map or test the customer is looking for. RantWoman does get to the realization that probably it would be preferable for the customer to be able to find his own map. RantWoman becomes highly certain of this, but then TRIES to make allowances for people who learn orally instead of on paper.
RantWoman still thinks the customer needs to know his own way around job-related computer stuff, at least a little. Unfortunately, Rantwoman has no better support and encouragement to offer Customer today. Customer almost redeems himself in terms of RantWoman's assessment of his customer service skills: he gets that everyone has done the best they can today and he listens when RantWoman makes a couple suggestions about how to figure out better what exactly he wanted to print out.
And tomorrow is another day.
A Curbside Chat in Washington, DC
17 hours ago