This, my angry friends, is The Ballad of Prepay Cell Phones. A story about a young retail worker who has serviced tables as a waitress, became a manager in a retail store, and even photographer-which mind you takes much more patience than I had dream. All were tasking, but none were as tasking as being a seller of cell phones, if you will.
Being Prepay means we get a majority of customers who are living paycheck-to-paycheck. While their is nothing wrong with that (I certainly am) being poor only creates two types of people. The kind that flick their cigarettes in my parking lot and smell like rotting feet, and the kind that knows how to be a functioning human being. Its should be clear which one of them gives me a hard time.
My personal “favorite” argument is about activation fees. “WHY IS THERE AN ACTIVATION FEE IF I AM ALREADY A CUSTOMER,” they yell impatiently. It is a matter of mathematics and keeping my doors open. You see, I am not owned by a corporation, I am a small business. The corporation that I sell products for does not pay my payroll. They do not pay my $3k rent every month. They do not pay for the lights or the heating. They authorize me to sell a product and that is IT. On top of that, 99.9% of the phones we sell are not for the retail price we purchase them for. In short, the activation fee goes towards my hourly pay, my rent, my electric, my service, my phones I purchase to sell you for less, etc. I am not charging you because its fun or because I am “Greedy” as I am called everyday. I am charging you because this is how I stay in business. I had a lady straight up tell me one time that I wasn’t worth paying a fee for and I was going to pocket the money because I am a criminal. A CRIMINAL.. I am actually a college graduate who thinks your attempts to make me feel bad about myself are funny and now I am going to definitely charge you, but okay.
So far today I actually haven’t dealt with the classic activation fee arguments, but another rather complexing issue. This thing called a “late fee?” Have you guys heard of those? Apparently as human beings who pay for services we can’t just pay our bill when we feel like it otherwise there is a late fee?? Gosh golly the olden days were so good and now this millennial is going to charge me a late fee? Well, mister, I hate to break it to you, but for one I don’t choose who gets a late fee. The corporation that you pay monthly does. I don’t get that fee. I don’t even get your bill money. Instead I get to sit here and listen to you whine about how you have been mistreated. Also, this late fee is only $5. But that $5 could have bought him a pack of cigarettes.
Then comes another heard of the nearly dead while I am working with a serious issue on a customer’s account. Just for records sake, the 18-year-old I am working with had to shell out $40 in fees and fines to get her service on. Then another $40 to move her account, and ontop of that her internet stopped working. She never once raised her voice an octave at me for these fees and fines. Not once. So back to the old bats, they are now congregating in the corner of the store and quite loudly yapping about how long it has been. So, both politely and snarky, I tell them that there is another location within five minutes of this store that may be able to assist them sooner. Then I asked, just to be overly polite again, if they are paying bills so that I can assist them immediately. Both insist that they have a list of questions about their FACEBOOK accounts and need to wait. Another twenty minutes passes and the latter old bat decides to stand up and announce that I was taking too long and service here is “RIDICULOUS!” I said, “Good luck” and let her be on her way. Ten minutes passes before the other impotent ape decides to pipe up. “SO YOU CAN’T ANSWER MY QUESTIONS OR WHAT YOU’RE JUST STANDING THERE.” I look at him. My eyes are a blaze with pure rage and I am about to bite my tongue to prevent whatever sewage was about to poor out of my mouth and destroy his self conscious. I answered, “YES. I AM BUSY WHAT DO YOU WANT?” He looked shocked, but shrugged over to ask his question. ABOUT FACEBOOK. TWO SIMPLE QUESTIONS. “How do I do a check in on Facebook,” he asks. My brain is shouting, “I DON’T KNOW LETS CALL MY GOOD BUDDY MARK FUCKERBERG.” And I reply, “with this button.” That was it. He could have politely asked me earlier to help him while I waited on customer service, but no he had to shout and be an ape because he didn’t learn how to communicate with another human being growing up. He storms out after I answer his trivial Facebook question.
Facebook…Don’t even get me started on how much I despise Facebook questions. My door does not say, “Facebook Customer Care.” My job title is not, “Facebook Specialist.” Nor does it say, “Bored Twenty Year Old looking for People who are Too Ignorant to use a Cell Phone.” I don’t give two ham sandwiches about your Facebook account, your gmail, your dating apps or WHATEVER is on your phone.
Don’t get me wrong, I consider myself to be one of the most patient and one of the best reps on my team. I can do everything from the old computer system to new, and just about troubleshoot any issues a customer may have. I can keep my cool and service with a smile in any situation. I just wished that people knew how truly awful and disrespectful they are being when they think anger is a respectable reaction in these situations. We are all people who can communicate. In the end, this is a business, not a place where you can come torment an employee for stating company policies.