Today I was encouraged (!) by L. to place an order over the phone for a Christmas gift. I thought it was a little early but they would probably ship it whenever you wish, right?
So I called the number and reached a person who seemed to speak and understand English as his first language. I told him I wanted to place an order. It pretty much went downhill from there.
He asked the questions and I answered with only the information he requested. Then he wanted the identification number on the outside of the catalog. I told him this was in a newspaper ad and I had a source code. Long pause. He asked me if I could hold for a sec. Yes.
Several minutes with Christmas carols and he returned. He started from the beginning although I had already told him the friend's name, address, item number, my name, address and item and email.
With many apologies he back-tracked and seemed to insist that the address had to have a Drive, Avenue, Street or Road on the end of it. It does not. I was patient and answered each thing he asked, twice. As for the date to ship, Christmas or as soon as possible? I thought I'd make it easy. As soon as possible.
After almost twenty-five minutes, we concluded the deal and I hung up. Dear L. said, "I would have hung up long ago." (I said that I knew that!) Everybody has to have a first day at a new job and maybe this was his. I just can't see ruining somebody's day by being impatient or hanging up. I really believe he was doing the best he could and I know he had a script to read the right phrases - asking if there was anything else I wanted to order; thanking me for my order; wishing me season's greetings etc.
Usually I'm not this patient. Maybe it's the Christmas spirit. But I felt like he was really trying and he was not rude. Just a little confused.
When a clerk IS rude or has an attitude, I CAN ruin their day.