And though I had slain a thousand foes less one,
The thousandth knife found my liver;
The thousandth enemy said to me,
'Now you shall die,
Now none shall know.'
And the fool, looking down, believed this,
Not seeing, above his shoulders, the naked stars,
Each one remembering.
--John M. Ford, The Final Reflection

The Asylum Director

My photo
"The only thing I was fit for was to be a writer, and this rested solely on my suspicion that I would never be fit for real work, and that writing didn't require any." - Russel Baker

Friday, December 16, 2005

Gripe#6 Thank You For Calling Circuit City Direct?

Ever have those days when everything just seems to fall into one dry, continuous stupor? When all logic, intelligence, talent and maybe even sanity seems to be caught in a vicious little downward spiral designed to drain any semblance of individuality and humanity out of you? Somehow, it just feels so needlessly singular. Quite simply, I loathe working at Circuit City Direct.

It isn't my co-workers that I dislike. It isn't the work environment. It isn't the laughable equipment. It isn't the odd fact that many of the on-floor superiors are from different accounts and have no idea of how things work in ours. It isn't the daunting nature of the work, a work that demands that we know everything – or damn near everything at least – of product and policy, even the most insignificantly stupid things like how much a wireless optical mouse weighs. It is the pointless, illogical idiocy of the people calling in that gets to me.

Let's take one of our most common calls: the iPod. With the exception of the Heaven-sent iPod Shuffle (the Shuffle possibly the only iPod that actually makes sense and is of any practicality in terms of memory size) both the 5th generation iPod and the iPod Nano are out of stock in most stores, don't exist in our warehouses and are now on the status of in-store purchases only. The idiocy of it doesn't end there, of course. We still constantly get the store personnel referring customers who want the iPod to us even though the idiots in the stores know well and good that it's in-store only and the warehouses are out, so no shipping available.

And the customers aren't that much smarter either. They call in and ask – knowing full well that it's in-store only and not available for shipping – if we can ship it to them. Now, that wouldn't be so much of a problem if not for the universal reaction of the fact that it isn't in the stores, so their logic dictates that it's in the warehouses. We explain that the warehouses are different from the stores but they simply don't get it. Warehouses and stores are different, they're not the same, they're separate entities. Of course, that barely even discourages them and they simply just decide to try somewhere else. On some occasions, they ask us to keep trying to locate a store that would have it even though the system checks within 100 miles of their given zip codes. Okay, we keep going further and further out and when we finally find a spot and they say it's too far and ask us why we pulled up such an insanely illogical place for them to get it. Well, it's because you told us to, Nimrod. Honestly, it's ludicrous.

Then there are the 5-Hour Specials and the Weekly Ads that are even more trouble for our end. I can't blame the customers so much as the marketing and advertising people who make the ads and specials. Now, the main problem with the 5-Hour Specials are isn't the sudden volume of calls we get so much as the aftershocks. For hours afterwards – and in one instance, days – people called in demanding to avail of the price of an item during the special that we, obviously, can't go back to. It's a 5-Hour Special, genius. They seem to fail to understand the fact that once you let the offer pass, it's gone and just because you can call in and shout doesn't mean you're going to get that lost price back. Now, the ads are a totally different matter. They're, effectively, misleading. Take the fact that there are different laptops around that have the offer of a free printer and router with purchase, not openly stating that you have to buy the printer and router with the laptop and they're free after rebates. The ads clearly state that you can shop in the store, on-line and over the phone but they neglect to state that if the price on-line and over the phone if different in the ad, you have to buy it in the store. And naturally, we get to hear them complain and complain and demand and demand and threaten to sue and other such garbage, though most just decide to buy somewhere else. Go ahead. See if we care. That just makes you someone else's problem.

Then there's company restrictions on what we can say and what we can help them out on. Normally, I don't mind not being able to give my own personal recommendation on products but to maintain absolute objectivity when the customer wants a subjective answer is, to me, bad customer service (which is NOT Inbound Sales, people) and a sign of stupidity. The fact that it extends to something so innately subjective as selection of movies, music and video games is just one further sign of corporate lack of logic. There's the pressure of selling accessories and the good-for-nothing Circuit City Advantage Protection Plan. We're being pushed to ask for it twice but really, one denial should be enough for anyone. On times when I don't even bother asking, it's when I had a hard enough time selling the item to the customer as it were.

It just never ends. But it has to end. Yes, the end of my contract. And when my contract ends, I'll be free to delve into something more. Even if they asked me to, I wouldn't. Not for the money they're offering and not for double that amount. No way. I'd rather deal with endless monotony than the things I have to deal with on a daily basis working for Circuit City's Inbound Sales department.

***Gripe Ends Here***

Currently Playing: Nothing

Currently Reading: The Complete Works Of H.P. Lovecraft

On a slightly happy note, I just stepped one year closer to the grave and am slowly realizing that not only does the cost of living go up every year but the cost of dying does too. Not a terribly happy thought. That, the dismal state I have when I'm at work and my general demeanor are things I really try to push back through my writing. Yes, shockingly enough, I still try to write. Try being the key word here, folks.

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