The Wally Files #2: The Secret to Customer Service

Those of you who have the stomach to read more than two or three of these little tales of mine must think that being a People-Greeter is the worse job in all of Wal-Mart.

You would be wrong.

There is one job which is light-years ahead of mine in the category of Suckage and that would be the poor downtrodden, Customer Service Associate.

That's right, the walking targets who stand behind the flimsy counter in Customer Service and handle Returns and Exchanges. I can not even imagine the amount of self-loathing it takes for someone to actually WANT that job. I mean, let's face it, rectal Hari-Kari would be quicker and less painful than spending eight hours a day taking abuse from drool-flinging, wild-eyed, customers with persecution complexes.

My own personal theory is that the wish to work the Customer Service Desk stems from a genetic imprint on some people. I think that back in ancient times their fore-bearers were those poor souls who kept the lions in the Roman Coliseum well fed and fat.

You know....every Friday night the Romans would put on a big "Game" and the score was usually a foregone conclusions: Lions: 50 Christians: 0. I can just see it now....Two large male lions standing in a cage at one end of the Coliseum and watching the activity in the arena:

1st lion: "Hey George, you hungry? they're leading out another bunch of Christians."

2nd lion: "Naw Bill, I'm kinda burned out on Christians. I think I will wait until later when they bring out the war captives....I got a yen for some Gaul tonight."

Yup, two thousand years later those folks are now Customer Service associates. They stand there and get figuratively....in most cases....eaten by two-legged lions.

I would not last one day at that job. At least as a People-Greeter, the idiots are on the move when they get to me and rarely do they stop long enough to do much more than throw me the finger or question my parentage. If I was trapped behind that desk and had to actually interact for over two minutes with these people I would end up lunging over the counter-top and throttling  one of them.

For over ten years I have wondered how these people stand the abuse and not just go off on someone. Well last week I discovered their dirty little secret.

I was walking from the North door to the South door to give that greeter there a lunch break. My path took me in front of the Customer Service desk and as I passed the desk, I saw my buddy, Mike standing behind the desk and listening with a blank face as this Moron screamed at him.

I couldn't help myself....I had to see what this was all about, so I walked up behind said moron and stood quietly and listened.

Moron had come to the desk carrying five EMPTY plant boxes....those containers plants come in....you know, the ones you take the plant out of before you plant it. Well Mr. Moron wanted his money back on the PLANTS because he said they were not growing fast enough!

Now instead of digging the plants up and bringing them in, he just brought the boxes in and wanted his money back.

Mike: "Sir, I am sorry but to get your money back on ANY defective merchandise, you must bring that merchandise back to us."

Moron: "WHAT? WTF! YOU EXPECT ME TO DIG UP ALL FIVE PLANTS JUST TO GET MY $%$^*^MONEY BACK?"

Mike: "Yes sir. Me giving you money back for five empty boxes would be like giving money back on a television just for bringing in the empty box. Are the plants dead.?"

Moron: "ARE YOU DEAF, YOU ASSHOLE? I SAID THEY WERE NOT GROWING AS FAST AS THEY SHOULD, I DIDN'T SAY THEY WERE DEAD."

Mike: "I'm sorry sir, but unless you bring in the plants, I can't give you any money back."

Moron: "I WANT TO SEE THE MANAGER OF THIS LOUSY STORE. I SPEND HUNDREDS OF DOLLARS A WEEK HERE AND YOU ARE GONNA GIVE ME WHAT I WANT.”

Mike smiled at the man, picked up the phone and called the manager. He then politely told the man the manager would be right up to help him. The man went over to a corner and awaited the arrival of the manager and I walked up to Mike who was still standing in the same spot....a faint smile on his face and a light sheen of sweat beaded across his forehead.

"Uh, Mike....dude...how do you do it?" I whispered in his ear. "How do you keep from ripping their heads off and spitting down the hole?"

Mike turned and looked at like he was just then aware that I was there. His eyes were slightly unfocused and he was still smiling.

"Two Percodan, Two Xanax, and a Vicodin before I clock in," he whispered back, "and the same thing at lunch."

As I walked away he was still smiling...he was contemplating his navel....but he was SMILING.

Now I know!

Walter M. Geezer.....Over and Out!

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