[LMB] OT: Professionalism

Pat Mathews mathews55 at msn.com
Fri Nov 30 23:55:34 GMT 2018

Margaret - try GoGoGrandparent. I use it when nobody else can drive me. IT piggybacks off Lyft and Uber, abnd is very easy to use from a common (dumb) cellphone.

As for dealing with customer service, I found the following gem in a pamphlet 50 years ago and have never forgotten it and taught it to my children:

"Never pick on the front line clerk, who is caught between the customer and management and has no power to change things. Complain to the guy in charge."
From: lois-bujold-bounces at lists.herald.co.uk <lois-bujold-bounces at lists.herald.co.uk> on behalf of Margaret <margaret at devere.net>
Sent: Friday, November 30, 2018 4:25 PM
To: Discussion of the works of Lois McMaster Bujold.
Subject: Re: [LMB] OT: Professionalism

>>On Nov 30, 2018, at 12:36 PM, WalterStuartBushell <proto at panix.com>
>>>On Nov 30, 2018, at 1:38 PM, WILLIAM A WENRICH <wawenri at msn.com>
>>>My son, Brian, worked for the AOL call center many years ago. He got
>>>death threats.
>>>His standard reply was, “You do realize that this call is recorded
>>>and that you don’t know who I am or where I am.
>>Being angry at the wretches at consumer support is right out. They
>>don’t set policy and the jobs don’t pay well.
>  Marina:
>You’re right, Walter. I would not want those jobs. I try to be
>courteous, and in signing off, to wish them no cranky or nasty


When I'm dissatisfied with how a support situation is going, I say
something like: "I know it's not your fault or your doing, but I'm very
unhappy about ...."

Had another incident just yesterday. I was managing the follow-up for a
94-year-old man's car accident. The vehicle was totalled last December,
and he called them to file the claim. That was processed, and the
insurance company paid out in full, but just a couple of weeks ago we
discovered that they had not cancelled the policy, and had been charging
him all year long. When I asked about this, I was told that the claims
department doesn't communicate with the policy department. I expressed
my thoughts, using the format above, and the person agreed with me and
offered to write a formal complaint. I also pointed out that AFAIK this
extra requirement was not documented anywhere.

It's about $600 US. Yesterday I didn't think it was worth fighting them
about, but now that I do the math, maybe it is. Not only did he call
them to file the claim, he called them in June to get a new vehicle
insured. Surely at some point it would have occurred to the support
person that the old vehicle should be taken off the policy -- at least
they should ask about it.

On a side point -- he's not driving any more. He has the vehicle -- a
mini RV -- so that other people can drive him on little excursions to
various battlefields and so on (he's a history buff). He took the
accident as a sign that he should stop. He has dialysis three times a
week, starting around 5:30 in the morning, so no one wants to volunteer
to drive him. And for various reasons, none of the city services or
elderly services or taxi companies are willing to take a standing order
to drive him. But that's another rant :)


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