atomic_fungus (atomic_fungus) wrote,

#4353: What do you expect from working retail?

See, we have a scheduling system. I complained about it before I was a Geek Squad agent; but that was because I didn't realize just how much work GS agents do during a typical day. Having found out, I am glad that we have it, even if it is inconvenient for everyone concerned, because otherwise it would be impossible to satisfy anyone. It's not perfect, but it's better than nothing and when implemented properly it helps the precinct avoid long lines of unhappy people.

Emphasis on "it's not perfect", because when STUPID PEOPLE get involved, chaos inevitably ensues.

Today I was scheduled for eight hours, and mirabile visu I even had a scheduled lunch break. This looked good to me, until I actually got to work this morning at 9:40 and realized, I am the only person here until 5:30.

I double-checked, and then triple-checked, the schedule, and then said (sotto voce) many bad words. Finally, I told the customer service people, "Okay, just so you know, the Geek Squad is closing from 2:45 to 3:15 so I can take a lunch break." I was not going to work an eight-hour day with no breaks by myself. No.

...and anyone who didn't like it was going to have to deal with it.

On the plus side, one of my coworkers came in at 11 and told me that last night she'd been put on the schedule for today, so the revolution was postponed. I was able to get my lunch break (earlier than scheduled) without closing the precinct, and my coworker left at 3:15-ish, which left me alone in the precinct for about another 2.5 hours until the end of my shift. The closing guy was supposed to get in at 5:30 and I'd leave at 5:45 as scheduled; no problem.

I had people lined up, waiting for their appointments. 4:00 was a cell phone pickup and she also wanted to drop one off. 4:15 was dropping off a computer, as was 4:30. Now, the 4:00 appointment should have been half an hour, not 15 minutes, but the planets were aligned just right and I was able to get the phone activated and functional within the 15 minutes. I didn't have to guide the client through a password reset, the phone activated the right way the first time, the data had already been backed up and it restored correctly--everything went right. When a cellphone activation does not go right it can take hours, and so it was a case of me having some good luck: the appointment wasn't scheduled right, but it all worked out.

...and that feeling lasted until I tried explaining to the woman that I'd have to have her wait until I helped some other clients.

"I was told I only needed one appointment! I was told I could pick up her phone and drop mine off! Now you're telling me I can't do that! Now you're saying I have to wait, when I was supposed to have an appointment!" Whenever I tried to explain to her that the person who had made her appointment had made a mistake, this screeching, entitled bitch simply yelled the same thing louder and louder, not letting me finish my statements. I tried three times, even asking her, "Are you going to let me speak now?" And she kept cutting me off and not letting me talk, and repeating the same entitled bullshit over and over and over again, so I simply told her I was done and walked away.

By now I had three other people waiting patiently for their appointments, including the woman whose time this stupid entitled bitch was now consuming with her temper tantrum. I had one of the customer service people call for a manager and then attempted to help my 4:15, but of course entitled screeching moron bitch was yelling at the manager about how she'd been told she only needed to make one appointment etcetera, so it was hard for me to concentrate on this issue.

There had better not be any bullshit from management coming down on me from this horseshit. If there is I am going to tell them where they can shove it. I am one person, and I can only do one thing at a time, and I am not going to tell people who have done nothing wrong that they all have to wait because some self-important entitled screeching moron is having a temper tantrum. I didn't schedule the appointments and I didn't promise this woman a damned thing; on top of it she was excessively rude to me. I was put into a situation where I could not win, regardless of what I did; either I made one client angry or I made several clients angry, and I chose the course that would piss off the fewest people. I had expected a certain level of graciousness and maturity from someone who resembled an adult, but what I got instead was a stunning level of entitled screaming, and I am not going to put up with that.

If they wanted that handled differently there are several things that should have been done:

1) Tell the customer service people the RIGHT WAY to schedule appointments. If a person is standing there and telling you she wants to pick up one cell phone and drop off another one, you schedule her for an hour--two cell phone appointments--not fifteen minutes. You also do not guarantee anything.

2) Schedule more fucking agents in the precinct. Having one person handle the whole department is bullshit. (And there should always be an advanced repair agent on duty. Always.)

3) It would also be helpful if appointments were scheduled loosely, so that if you have a 4:15 PC pickup the next appointment is scheduled at 4:45 rather than 4:30. That gives the CA time to handle whatever irregularities may crop up, and if needed the 15-minute interludes can be filled in with other appointments.

If anyone in management tells me that I should have continued to help that woman, I am going to say, "So what's the point of scheduling reservations if we're not going to stick to the schedule?" It's not my fault that I was overbooked; I didn't make the reservation and I sure as shit don't make the fucking work schedule.

Now, I can handle working the precinct for a few hours by myself as long as I'm not overbooked. I know my job and I do it as efficiently as possible, and I fill my downtime with taking care of other tasks like shipping, cleaning, filing, and other things that need to be done on a daily basis. One of the store managers observed today that I'm really productive, always doing something; well, I'm there to work and I have pretty high standards for myself. I don't feel good about leaving unless the precinct is clean and organized for the next person on, and if there's anything I hate doing it's leaving a mess for someone else to clean up. The work area is not very large and I can get it shipshape in perhaps fifteen to twenty minutes, usually; I never leave without completing my filing and if I leave any shipping behind to be done it's usually because we're out of boxes. And furthermore when I'm the only person there I must also answer the damned telephone as well. It's taken several months for me to get around all the different ramifications; it's a very complex job that I have and it requires a lot of different skills, some of which were very rusty and some which I had to develop--but I do believe I can handle my job quite well, thank you very much.

(Compare that to the people who spend their downtime in back, diddling their cellphones.)

But what I can not handle is having too many clients stacked up such that I need to be working on three machines at once. That's impossible; I can multitask but it means a lowered standard of service and it's usually only possible when I have two or three people who need software installed or something simple. I cannot diagnose a problem with a cellphone and diagnose a problem with USB ports on a laptop and diagnose a problem with a login going to a black screen. It's not possible, and I'm not going to try.

Furthermore, I shouldn't have to try. That kind of shit is foreign to the entire ethos of Geek Squad culture, and--again--the entire point behind the appointment system is so that consultation agents can give each client their undivided attention.

I don't feel as if I'm going to suffer any fallout from this, but I've been wrong about this kind of crap before, so nothing would surprise me. I only know that if there is I will refuse to take it laying down.

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