Please notice I said “can’t find the mustard.” He certainly can cut the mustard… if anyone actually still uses that phrase.
Anyway, here is my story of a Saturday morning spent with computer support that was actually fun! I’m quite serious. For those of you who are jealous or disbelieving, what follows is a true story, and perhaps if you, too, were a Mac, you might have the same happy Saturday morning…
I have been a Mac for just about two months now, and I love it, but I admit that I have not taken best advantage of having this amazing computer. I have been, as regular readers might know, been a tad busy what with job hunting and job finding and packing and freaking out about moving, not to mention trying to keep up with blogging and tweeting and, oh yeah, real life friends and family. As a result, a free trial period for Apple service that sounds really great but isn’t something I can take advantage of right now, has expired and I needed to stop the paid service before it kicks in next week.
Bless Apple, they sent me an email to confirm that they were going to start the paid service in a few days. Curse Apple, the log-on they supplied so that I could stop this from happening didn’t work. So, I got onto Support Chat and I met Paul.
NOTA BENE to all companies around the world with whom I do business, or might do business, please have on-line chat support services. Talking on the phone for support is a pain in the ass, what with call centres being (wo)manned by people who may or may not actually speak English and are definitely speaking via not-great-quality-VOIP-with-lousy-mics.
Anyway, Paul & I started chatting. And supporting. The first problem seemed to have been that I couldn’t remember my log-on. Which I don’t think is entirely my fault. When I think about how many different places to which I log on, the fact that I can remember any of them is quite remarkable, but for one that I signed up for and then didn’t use at all for two months… well, I just couldn’t remember. But Paul found me! Not quite right away, of course, which is where our little ‘support’ session veered off into something that was, well, a little more me and a little less tech support.
He tried to find me under the name I thought might be right, and said that choice didn’t look right to him, but he would see what he could suss out. Which, in itself, kind of gave me pause for a moment; with a single name & an email address, just how much about me was he going to learn? I mean, a girl wants to have a few secrets from a man she’s just met… even a happily married the8tre girl flirting on line with someone she’s known for four minutes. Still, those concerns gave way when Paul came back and said he’d found me! And he was sorry he didn’t see it right away because the info apparently had been there all along.
Which is when I really took the whole thing waaaay off track into some other world. I talked about my husband, mustard and snakes. For years, we have kept the mustard on the same shelf of the refrigerator. Whatever fridge, whatever city, however many mustards, it’s always right there. And Jeff can never, ever find it. If it was a snake, he’d have been poisoned a long, long time ago. And then Paul came back and said he did the same thing! And he lived alone!
And then that’s when I offered to try to fix him up with someone, having a pretty good track record as a yenta (batting a thousand, bubbala. Batting a thousand!). Only, Paul doesn’t think I should set him up with anyone I actually like. Oh, dear. I suggested that was crazy talk, that I thought he was pretty funny, which I meant in a good way, not in an avoid him in a bar way.
And then I asked him if he needed a silver tray. I have a lot of silver trays. I need to download a few silver trays. He kindly turned me down; apparently he doesn’t have the kind of friends who would be impressed by a silver tray. Well, really who does these days? Silver trays just don’t have the cache they once did. I did offer to send him some mustard, you know, for those times when he can’t find his in that lonely, solo-living, refrigerator. That seemed to be of a little more interest.
Just so you know, we did do all the support things that needed to be done, in and amongst this other conversation about silver trays and being single, and I won’t have to worry about being billed for a service I can’t use. And as we’re wrapping up business, Paul thanked me! Let me quote him:
“It is very rare that we get to have a pleasant chat here with some of the issues we have to deal with, so I also enjoyed assisting you, and am happy I was the one randomly chosen to handle your chat.”
Well, first of all, flirting is always fun. It isn’t always sexual, of course, but it is a great way to be pleasant, to put someone else in a good mood, and to enjoy what will likely otherwise be a very dull and possibly annoying interaction. So I always flirt with the people with whom I talk about business. And it gets me everywhere! Service people – tech support, wait staff, retail clerks, info desk people – don’t have necessarily exciting work lives, and they don’t always have pleasant people with whom to interact (see Paul’s observation above). Why would you want to make it more difficult for this service person to do a good job for you by making their job more difficult to do?? Did your mother never tell you that you catch more flies with honey than vinegar? Not that I’m comparing service providers to flies! I’m comparing you and your attitude: honey? vinegar? honey? vinegar?
Always go with the honey.
Second, I like smart people. Paul’s quick wit came across to me right away. And his willingness to be helpful, not obstructionist, was immediately apparent. Working with him – not having him work for me, or my being asked to do all the work (which happens sometimes with service providers, and let’s just say again, if I could do the work, I wouldn’t need the service help!) – was easy because of his attitude. And also, I suspect, because Paul got great training and receives excellent on-going support within his company. So, good on yer, Apple!
Anyway, that’s my happy Saturday morning experience with Apple tech support and Paul. Who prefers horseradish mustard to Dijon. He says if I address it to Numbers Dyslexic Paul Who Can’t Find the Mustard and Who Lives Alone, Sadly, it will get to him. We can only hope….