START A PETITION 25,136,189 members: the world's largest community for good
START A PETITION
x

How To Be Seen As More Than A Number

How To Be Seen As More Than A Number

By Monica Wilcox

Dear T-Mobile Customer Service Rep,

Kathy I believe it was; with a K.  We talked earlier today on the phone; my disabled phone.  I called earlier to make sure someone would be at this mall kiosk since I’ve already been here twice…I believe that was on a Wednesday and last Sunday…during peak mall hours…and yet, once again, there’s no white, polo-shirted rep to be found.

Sigh. . .

To you I’m just account # 23456789, waiting beside this lone island, scanning the Cinnabon line for anyone who looks like they might give a healthy crap, working up a temper that I really don’t want to let out. All account # 23456789 would like is to check its minutes without its cell shutting down like an alcoholic at an intervention.  If you were here, Kathy, you’d quickly see this account is a good little customer; never made a late payment in 13 years, never ties up customer service with outrageous demands, no illicit texting issues, curls its 3’s and crosses its 7’s.  But instead you’re off again, haunting the Nordstrom’s mark down manager.

A-23456789 is foolishly (3 times! Shame on me!) standing in the middle of the mall wondering if she is really T-Mobile’s 23,456,789th customer. If this is the case, who cares if you fail to serve a few 100, 000 accounts.  While I contemplate scrawling this letter across your spotless glass case with a Sharpie, the T-Mobile “higher-ups” are clustered together in a Bellevue, Washington skyscraper discussing the business they can afford to “turnover” this quarter. It’s all about the numbers: profit margins, accounts gained, accounts lost, accounts past due.  If I consider the spreadsheets and bar graphs of 23,456,789 customers, I can see how that justifies your company’s total lack of concern for me; the Account who is currently tying the security cords of your 7 display phones into an impressive boy scout knot.

I’m chump change!

ARRR. . .

A number. I’m nothing but a number to you.  I may not have it tattooed down my forearm but I might as well, Kathy.  Because if you were here, instead of flirting with the salesman at the hair extension kiosk, I know you wouldn’t SEE me until A-23456789 was pulled up on your computer.  Do you even remember the color of your last customer’s hair?  Do you remember their name? No. But I bet you remember their monthly payment.

You want to talk numbers Kathy? Fine.

I’ve got a few numbers for you:

$12,342.42 – the money I’ve spent as an adult on phone service

1,259 – the number of email accounts I have in my address book

289 – all my delightful, attentive Facebook friends

2,200 – the monthly average of unique visitors who visit my website, Femmetales.com

3 – the number of websites I regularly blog for: (Oh Shit!)

6,500 – number of unique visitors to FemCentral.com per month

Ad infinitum – number of unique visitors to OwningPink.com per month

16,488,463 – number of members in the Care2.com community

So Kathy, little A-23456789, who you left stranded in the middle of the mall, is not only reliable BUT also happens to kind of be. . . well like. . . seriously connected. . . like this Account could go on a freakin’ blogger rampage. Here’s a tidbit of data for you: this is the information age. When are you, and T-Mobile, going to understand that the MAJORITY of your Accounts are seriously connected?

Maybe you should like, red tag A-23456789, quadruple gold star me, email this Account straight to the friggin’ top floor of that cozy Bellevue office to that mysterious T-Mobile “manager” you’re always referring to before I get my angry little fingers on a keyboard… before I go BLOGGISTIC… before like, a billion (Oh yes…we’re getting into the red numbers now, girlfriend!) other angry Accounts resonate with my pathetic situation and the whole f*cking thing goes. . . dare I say it . . . that dirty little V word – viral!!!

OR

. . . or you could be here. . . like you promised. . . doing your job. You could notice the adorable way I tease my children, that I have a kind smile, how remarkably calm I am for a woman who hasn’t been able to use her phone for a week. You’d ask if we have anything fun planned today, tell me how Nordstrom’s is having a rockin’ shoe sale so my son can groan in agony. Then I’d have to ask if that’s where you got those fantastic wedges. We could like, chat. . . face to face. . . human to human. . . like the social creatures we’re meant to be.

I’m more than a number Kathy, as are you. That bit of info you’ve got stored in your database is nothing compared to the stuff I’ve got going on inside.  I don’t treat you like a service robot. Why, I didn’t even bring up the fact that this is my third hour long trip to this kiosk. How did we get to this point? When did human decency become a marketing strategy? Why does customer service have to be in the business plan?

I’m sick of being looked upon as a number. Can we both just agree here and now, that if the Universe (Yes, let’s bring the Big G into this) wanted to digitize humans we would be a lot harder around the edges. This really goes beyond telecom; the banks, big business, politicians, the census, Chuck E.Cheese - the whole world wants to stamp their number on me. I’M AN INDIVIDUAL, a spirit, a unique bundle of energy who could make (as we contemplate why my phone is on the blitz) a connection with you on this random Tuesday.  If only you had been here to serve…Kathy, with a K.

Sincerely,

Account #23456789

Better Known as

Monica Wilcox

What about you? Who would you like to send this letter to?  Who sees you as nothing more than a number? Is that how you’re see others?

Monica Wilcox

www.femmetales.com

 

Read more: Conscious Consumer, Family, Smart Shopping, Spirit, , , , , , , , , ,

have you shared this story yet?

go ahead, give it a little love

50 comments

+ add your own
4:11PM PDT on Oct 13, 2011

Thanks

11:36PM PDT on Sep 29, 2011

Whoa! This article piss anyone off much? I actually agree with Monica. I used to be in customer service and I was ill-trained, underpaid and thrown to the sharks.

I did well for myself and I tried to treat my customers like I wanted to be treated. I was being paid to help you to the best of my ability. I could have gotten a job at fast food joint but I chose customer service.

I was also smart enough to realize that my upset customers were not mad at me directly, but at the situation and not to take it personally. That goes both ways.

11:30PM PDT on Sep 29, 2011

Whoa! This article piss anyone off much? I actually agree with Monica. I used to be in customer service and I was ill-trained, underpaid and thrown to the sharks.

I did well for myself and I tried to treat my customers like I wanted to be treated. I was being paid to help you to the best of my ability. I could have gotten a job at fast food joint but I chose customer service.

I was also smart enough to realize that my upset customers were not mad at me directly, but at the situation and not to take it personally. That goes both ways.

10:29AM PDT on Sep 28, 2011

unfortunately, customer service positions seem to be filled by unskilled labor force.
they need to be trained in people skills
they need to be trained in communication skills
and so on
and so on...

9:25AM PDT on Sep 28, 2011

Ironic that you want to be seen as an individual person by the same corporate entity that unjustly believes that the 'corporation' itself is a individual.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Corporate_personhood

They do this to avoid taxes and other legal pitfalls.
Capitalism, isn't it grand?

9:22AM PDT on Sep 28, 2011

Ironic that you want to be seen as a person by the same corporation that sees itself in legal terms, as an individual person itself.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Corporate_personhood

That's how they avoid taxes so damn well among other things.

4:42AM PDT on Sep 28, 2011

the customer service department in every company is the most crucial part of a company's image and existence but unfortunately a lot of big league companies tend to forget the value of public relations. i was and am still in this line of work and know too of the frustrations of expecting reliable and courteous service of these front-line representatives. it is unfortunate that some companies fail to equip and train these individuals to comprehend who ultimately pay for their salaries.

3:50AM PDT on Sep 28, 2011

Every time I deal with people who I am just a number to, I make an extra effort to be extra kind and polite to them, even if they've been less than helpful, and I am frustrated. It helps:) It helps MY serenity, and maybe even brings a smile to them too :) It's gotta be a hard job, with people getting mad at you all day. I wouldn't do it, that's for sure. Kudos to them!

7:48PM PDT on Sep 27, 2011

Interesting that some people interpret this as wanting service reps to be 'dehumanized machines,' since the article quite clearly describes a desire to 'make a connection,' since 'I'm more than a number, and so are you.' She's also quite specific about not treating customer service employees as 'service robots,' and is merely asking for the same respect in return: honesty about when she will be able to obtain the service she pays for. If the article made you angry, try rereading it carefully, sit and think about what the author's intentions truly were. If you still disagree, fine, but I hope we can all see that she has made an effort to be positive and compassionate.

6:41PM PDT on Sep 27, 2011

OMFG, this is AWESOME! There are too many companies I'd LOVE to send this to! But I am going to post it to my FB page so large, insincere companies hopefully get it as a WARNING to change [their] practices!

Oh, and I used the threat of public humiliation (social networking) on FB & Youtube to HELP persuede my building manager to put in automatic doors in my building that I was told, before moving in, was disabled accessible.

It was taking months and nothing was happening. After the threat, it took 2 weeks and the doors were in!!! I love technology & social networking (most of the time lol!)

add your comment



Disclaimer: The views expressed above are solely those of the author and may not reflect those of
Care2, Inc., its employees or advertisers.

people are talking

Internet dating is precarious, as there are a lot of con-merchants out there who pretend to be what …

Apologies the diabetes thing was already mentioned in the article!

I agree to Anne M., but nevertheless, it does not hurt to take a look at oneself and one's attitude

Amazing findings and just hink that some countries want to ban breeds like Pit bulls, Rottweilers. S…

Story idea? Want to blog? Contact the editors!



Select names from your address book   |   Help
   

We hate spam. We do not sell or share the email addresses you provide.