Well today, for the second morning in a row I was wakened before 8am with a call from the lovely Ahmed.
I do worry that this post, like yesterdays, seems awfully British: are we ever happy?
I mean I yearn for better customer service here, for sales assistants to receive the apparently necessary speech therapy to allow them to form words rather than grunts and for Argos to take a good, long look at itself in the mirror and realise it’s not the store it used to be. I have lost count of how many times recently I have emailed companies and received no reply, not even a mass generated one, or how long I have spent listening to crackly, unheard of 80’s music as I hold patiently, my call being passed back and forth over oceans and continents only to be sooner or later disconnected – usually when the company realises the problem is theirs and that they will have to do something about it. I feel tears of frustration welling up in my eyes as I remember all of this…
So my wake up calls from Ahmed should be a relief, no? Well… yes and no.
They had been phoning me for a few days and I was genuinely missing the calls because frankly I refuse to move my phone around the house with me like a newborn baby, ever listening out for it’s cries for attention. I only knew it was them because I called the number back and was put through to the Adobe help line, despite all six of the calls coming from different numbers – Adobe; stealth phonecalls.
So yesterday morning laying in bed my phone rings and the number is withheld – normally I avoid these like the plague because the only withheld number calls I get are sales calls, Orange mobile and my sister (just kidding Jens), but of course with it being 0717 in the morning the part of my brain responsible for making these decisions is switched off along with basically every other section, except whichever part controls breathing, thankfully.
I answer and Ahmed introduces himself and says he is phoning because he’s just emailed me my serial number and have I had a chance to use it yet?
Why no Ahmed I have not, I have not actually had a chance to open my eyes fully or take a wiz yet this morning so you can see why I have not yet booted up my laptop, logged into my email and began typing codes into software.
No problem says he, I just wanted you to know it will work.
I’ll give you my email here at Adobe, any questions and you send me a message and I will call you.
I spent the rest of yesterday feeling faintly guilty about the whole thing, because unlike a lot of people who dislike talking to people in foreign call centres, I love it! I love talking to people in all different times and seasons and moods, it fascinates me a bit – one of my odder hobbies probably. Long ago I stopped thinking of them as employees of whatever corporation and started talking to them like people, asking about the weather, their day, just anything that makes the experience more human and less like a.. well like a recurring nightmare frankly.
Highlights of my experience include a 40 minute phone call to Sanjay to help fix my internet, it was a rainy day there and really getting him down. I could relate. By the end of the phonecall I had him saying “awesome” and shouting “Well done Katty!!!”
Also “Holly” based in China (debatably not her real name methinks…) who, in between printing my UPS packing labels, was counting down the minutes until the end of her shift because she had a date that night .
Sure every so often you get someone who has no interest and probably regards my questions as rude, suspicious or worse, but mostly they react brilliantly, as most of us do, to some honest, human communication.
So as my phone rang this morning at stupid o’clock I smiled and answered with a “Good morning Ahmed, that code you sent is working perfectly”.
He’s having a good day but can’t wait to finish work because the weather is lovely,and he’s an outdoor person. And you know what – maybe it’s just me, but I do sleep a little better for knowing that.