A colleague of mine went on strike today.
“Grace, 12 noon sharp, we go out for lunch. Leave quickly because I don’t want anyone to follow us.”
Grace obeyed and when we went into the lift, she started pouring out her stories to me.
“Grace, I cannot tahan already, you know? I feel like crying already. All these people, they are asking me the same questions all over and over again. They don’t write it down, they don’t remember. They ask me every single time they face the same thing again. How lah?”
This colleague of mine has the strongest heart. She can take just anything from crappy customers but today was just too much for her. So when she said she felt like crying, it is indeed something.
Grace shared her part of stories too.
“Grace, can I tell the boss I want to go home now?”
“Grace, I don’t want to attend the meeting later. Can we go home or not?”
“You can try asking Ms.Boss, say you’ve got some urgent matters to attend to.”
Ms.Boss allowed her to leave after working hours, which meant I can go home too because it was my colleague’s turn to drive me home today.
As usual, I’ve got my share of distress and painful customers but the last call was the killer.
It was 5 minutes to the end of working hours. I was all ready to go home. I stopped answering calls. It was then that a new colleague looked so stressed up, called to me and said, “Grace, this guy doesn’t trust what I’m telling him and he wants to talk to you.”
Seriously, I’m so tired myself, I just want to go home. I don’t really care anymore but then when I saw the look of my colleague’s face, so pitiful and all, I just couldn’t leave her to the mercy of this customer.
“Okay, pass it to me.”
Not knowing what the issue is, I had to grab every little pieces of small information I get, did a quick search of all the emails from him, speed-read them, checked all relevant systems.
“Do you know how long I’ve been holding on the line for you? bla bla bla”
Oh man! Just cut the crap lor.
He explained his problem to me, which is a request he is making at a very last minute. His very own responsibility but he’s trying to put the blame on us and I was trying very best to defend my stand.
I put him on hold after that because I needed to cool my head and seek Mr.Boss’s advice.
I then retrieved the line and told him I would need to check further and call him back.
“Are you sure you’re going to call me back?”
“Yes, I am very sure.”
“Do you have my number?”
“No, what’s your number?”
“Can you repeat the number to me? I want to make sure you got the correct one.”
I repeated it to him.
“Are you sure you’re going to call me? Cause you’re going home already.”
Tahu pun! I’m going home but how could I if he doesn’t release me?
“Yes, I will call you, okay?”
Mr.Boss is so understanding, he made a call straightaway to another manager to seek clarification while I was still talking to this customer from Singapore.
If I were to call that other manager directly, it just wouldn’t be the same because he’s so fierce, he despise those front liners, like me, which happens to be a speck of dust in the organization. So when Mr.Boss made the call, it was just different. Boss talking to Boss.
I called the customer back and he called out my name once he answered the call. He’s really desperate.
I explained to him of what he should do and I ensure him that it’s going to be all smooth if he would listen to what I say. He still didn’t trust me. So I tried another way to get the message across, up to the extend in which I assure and promise that it’s going to be perfectly fine.
He then insisted I give him someone’s mobile number so that he can check on it. I just can’t possibly can’t give out mobile numbers like that. He kept pressing me for an answer until I had to put him on hold again and asked Mr.Boss if he can take the call.
Mr.Boss handled it from there and he told what I told the customer. The same thing all over and over again. He still pressed him for a mobile number. Just to satisfy him, Mr.Boss gave it to him but warned that he shouldn’t simply call unless there really is a problem.
Before I left, I thanked Mr.Boss.
Then, I walked out of the office without even looking back. The others were already having a meeting without me and my colleague has been waiting to drive me home for half an hour already. I felt bad there for a moment, to have her waiting for me.
I couldn’t believe I talked to him for half an hour.
I came back home, munching on chips. I just so wanted to bite on something. I couldn’t stop munching until I felt I was sane again.
Went to have dinner with Iris and then I saw this bag. I just had to buy it. I felt better because I thought I should reward myself for being one year older and after surviving this stressful and extremely challenging week.