Customer Service has been called anything from an oxymoron to one of the world’s greatest unsolved mysteries. Apparently, somewhere in the middle, is a portal of sorts. A portal to a dimension that can only be described as, The Call Center Zone…
"Sir, I'm going to reset your cable TV box from my end and send an update to it, that should do it. The reset will take about ten minutes..."
Two minutes later: "Sir, is it done rebooting?"
"That's because it's only been two minutes, it takes about 10 minutes. Give it more time..."
Two minutes later: "Sir, is it done rebooting yet?"
"Yeah, it takes ten minutes, you have to give it time."
"Whatever you say."
Two minutes later: "Sir, how about now?"
"Of course. Ten minutes haven't gone by yet, sir, be patient."
One minute later: "Sir, is there anything wrong with your phone? I don't hear any noises in the background..."
"Um… you want me to make noises over the phone??"
"No, no: the reason I keep asking you every two minutes is because not a single sound is coming from your home. Normally there's some kind of noise on our calls. Kids screaming, dogs barking, things like that. It's also a way we know we're still connected to the customer. Is everything OK?"
"Well, it WAS... but frankly now I'm a little self-conscious. I come from an Italian family, you know, lots of screaming all the time... I've worked very hard for the silence you're hearing. But now you're making me wonder if I've taken things too far..."
Nikolai looks at me with that look he gives when he's thoroughly confused by what's going on. Tech support woman interjects:
"No, no, no, I'm so sorry sir, I didn't mean anything by it! Oh my god, I was just making conversation, you know, since we do have to wait ten minutes! No, you're fine, no need to worry... take as long as you need sir, I'm in no hurry, really..."
"Okie dokie." A few seconds later I start humming "O Sole Mio".
"Oh, I know that one... It's Italian right??"
"Is it the one about the moon and a piece of pie??"
"I'm not sure. Hum a few bars for me?"
"You know: 'When the moon eats your eye like a big piece of pie...' Oh... I'm sorry, can I put you on hold for a minute?"
"Thank you for holding, I'm back."
"No problem. Box rebooted, problem fixed by the way."
"Good! And sir, my supervisor would like to know if I have resolved your problem to your complete satisfaction..."
"Please tell your supervisor that you can sing Italian songs to my cable box anytime. Fixed the problem, I don't really care what technology you use. Your competition was using fiber optics, and they couldn't get it to work if their life depended on it."
"Oh I'm so happy to hear that! Thank you for being a valued customer!"
Tech support woman giggles, and then hangs up. Nikolai rolls his eyes and sighs. I don’t remember if most dogs sigh or not, but Nikolai sure sighs a lot. Maybe it’s a Siberian thing. It couldn’t be an Italian thing, because it would involve a lot of paw gesturing and a lot of barking.