Let's start with the idiotic woman who was apparently too stupid to think that JUST MAYBE she should know where the fuck she's going before she leaves her house, and who then calls me to get directions to a place I've never heard of:
Me: Thank you for calling Geek Squad; how can I help you?
Her: I need to get to the Geek Squad training center. I'm on the bus right now and I need to know where it is.
I tried to help her. Not knowing where she was or where she was going, I attempted to find out these things by asking her for more information.
A) I have never heard of the "Geek Squad training center", and couldn't find it even after searching.
B) She's calling a store in the south suburbs of Chicago to find out where a place is on the north side of Chicago. The Loop store would have been a better choice, at least because of geographic proximity, but I have never heard of any such place anyway.
C) She doesn't know where the fuck she's going and she's taking public transportation to get there.
D) She then has the gall to lecture me: "You should be able to do a search and find out! You should know! I'm on the bus!" OVER AND OVER AND OVER AGAIN. As if I was the one to tell her to take the bus to get there, and now she's stuck and can't because I'm withholding the vital final step of the journey or something.
My attempts to find out where she was intending to go, and to find out where she was, were futile, particularly because she was incapable of SHUTTING THE FUCK UP, LISTENING TO MY QUESTIONS, AND GIVING REASONABLE AND USEFUL ANSWERS. She didn't know where the place was that she was going--she couldn't even tell me what street it was on--and my attempts to clarify what, exactly, was her destination were dismissed: "You ought to be able to find out!" She told me that, and that she was on the bus, every time I tried to get enough information from her to answer her fucking question.
What did she want of me? Basically she wanted me to know where she was and where she wanted to go by magic--and then, no doubt, give her step-by-step instructions on how to proceed from there. Instead, I realized this is a monumental waste of my time and hung up on her.
I do not make a habit of hanging up on anyone, let alone customers, but this situation was so immensely asinine that it was warranted. I've got a line of people waiting, I'm busy as fuck, and I don't have time to deal with insane fucking ass goblins on top of that.
Before that--we have a new system for dealing with rapid exchanges. It's so stupid it can only have come from corporate, unless it was thought up by a highly paid consultant.
Client with an accidental damage or warranty claim comes into the store. We take the damaged device and order a new one, which is typically shipped the next day, and arrives in the store in 2-4 days. Client comes back and collects his device. Case closed.
Client with an accidental damage (ADH) or warranty (PSP) claim comes into the store. We begin processing the service order using one of two methods:
a) The client allows a hold on his credit card for some sum of money (dependent on what kind of device it is), in which case a replacement device is shipped the next day. Client then ships the broken device back in the box the replacement came in, and as long as the broken device is unlocked and not shredded the hold on the credit card is released. ORRegardless of which method the client picks, he takes his broken device home with him and waits for UPS.
b) A container is sent to the client; he boxes up his broken device and ships it to the service center. Once the service center gets the broken device, they ship the replacement.
To make things worse, this method is time-consuming. The software used for processing these exchanges is clunky, and there are several places where the Geek Squad agent must read the screen verbatim to the client. It takes about three times as long to process a claim this way as it does to do it the old way, especially because you have to explain everything. It's neither simple nor obvious how it works.
The theory behind this is that the clients will eventually process their own ADH or PSP claims from home, just by logging into a web site and going through the prompts, and handling their own shipping. It's not a bad theory, but in practice it's a fucking nightmare and it doesn't make any goddamned sense to do it this way in the store. People especially do not like it when you tell them that the quickest method requires a $200 authorization hold on their credit cards.
Taking a system that works fine and dumping it for one that does not is fucking stupid, but of course I'm not able to say that to the client standing in front of me who is upset because corporate changed how they handled this shit without actually telling any of their customers what they were doing.
So today this woman came in with an iPad which had died, and she was not happy when I went through all this process with her. I don't blame her, but getting mad at me isn't going to fix anything.
So after that, and after stupid bus-woman, then this guy comes in with a busted iPhone 5. I was relieved to see that I couldn't process it through the stupid fucking ass goblin system (SFAGS), and further I was relieved to see that his service contract predated the switch to requiring a $150 deductible for ADH claims on cell phones. I'd be able to get his phone replaced without having to explain either the deductible or the SFAGS, and I had the service order completed and printed in under five minutes.
His phone was on back order. I don't know why, nor do I know when that will change. I can't give you an estimate on when they'll have more replacement phones in stock. Everything I know, everything I can tell you, is on this screen, and I have no power to change it.
"So, you're breaking the contract, then?"
At this point it was 6:45 PM. I had been working since noon. I'd had about five minutes to sit down and eat a marshmallow crispie bar and a Slim Jim, which was all I'd eaten since 11:45 AM. I was not at my sharpest; if I had been I would have patiently explained to him that the service agreement includes provisions for cases where our service center is out of stock on replacement phones.
The third or fourth time he asked about breaking the contract, I simply said, "Okay, look: I am not a lawyer. All right? I didn't write the service contract. I don't know what it says." Then he saw the legalese on the service order and wanted to know what it meant. "I don't want to sign this," he said. "I don't want to sign away anything in my contract."
"Well, I can delete the service order, then," I said. "That's all I can do."
Finally he signed it, and I sent him over to Mobile to see if they could hook him up with a loaner, but then I got a call from them: "Yeah, we don't do loaners any more. It's been about three weeks since we stopped doing that."
IT'S AWFULLY FUCKIN' NICE THAT SOMEONE TOLD ME THIS IN SUCH A TIMELY MANNER, ISN'T IT???
On top of all this, the core software that all store employees use every day--the Employee Toolkit, or ETK--has been improved beyond utility. Half the functions that I need it for have been removed entirely. A quarter of those functions are there but no longer work; and of the ones that do work, if you open too many of them at once the computer locks up. There's no way to customize the screen so that the things you need are immediately available without any extraneous junk cluttering it up. The categories are almost sensical, but--again--half the shit doesn't work and the other half is so clunky it's a nightmare to use, and you can't do anything quickly any more.
Here's what I think: this new version works just splendidly in the offices of the executives, who have Core i7 machines with 32 GB of RAM in them and 24" screens, and which are connected to the router via individual drops; but the rest of us, who must access them from IBM POS terminals with Core 2 Duo processors and 8 GB of RAM using shared Ethernet drops and 14" monitors--which besides Windows and ETK are running the POS software, the cell phone application, and God knows what else--we spend an inordinate amount of time looking at "busy" mouse cursors and login screens because the software horked up a bucket of dicks FOR THE FIFTH TIME TODAY. So to the corporate people it looks gorgeous and spiffy, and it runs fast and efficiently, and they have plenty of room on their desktops to move their mouses around and click on stuff, and they don't have a long line of customers who are getting impatient because it's taking forever for the staff to get anything done.
Meanwhile, the people in the trenches? We have a four-inch-square area to mouse in, maybe, and the shit-tastic POS hardware (there I mean both Point-Of-Sale and PIECE-OF-SHIT) just gets clogged up wth ETK and dies, and can't run any monitor larger than 15", so everything is all crammed together when it does defy all logic and reason and actually manages to run long enough to do anything useful. And then it takes about five times as long to do whatever it is we're trying to accomplish, because everything is being "improved".
So, no, I'm really not a fan of the new software. If it improved anything my attitude would be different, but it just makes my job harder and more tedious...and my job is already hard and tedious enough, thank you very much.
There was this one guy--his TV stopped working, and it seemed to me as if it was an issue with the power supply. He had PSP on it, so the repair's not going to cost him anything, and I cheerfully set about making the service order.
Him: Do you have loaners?
Me: Heh heh heh, no.
...he wasn't joking. He was serious. My laughter pissed him off. He didn't say so, but it was obvious. *sigh*
I'm getting tired of people asking me for loaners. We do not loan out computers, televisions, cameras, or car stereos; and since--as stated above--I am told that we no longer loan phones, either, that means we do not loan out anything any longer.
(Every time someone asks me about a loaner computer I imagine what a nightmare that would be, and despair.)
After a day like today, I swear I'm mad enough to chew plutonium and spit mushroom clouds. Shit.