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Excuse Me! Can Somebody Help Me?

The economy is slow and there are less and less job opportunities out there. What type of skills does one need today to ride through this global crisis? Of course experience and a solid resume are a good start. But what are those key qualities every employer seeks? Quality work, dependability, strong written and verbal communication skills, honesty and integrity, to name a few. But what is that last line you always see in every job advertisement and frankly, should be in all personal ads as well?

"Wanted. Sexy, athletic man. Must be able to cook, clean and sing lullabies. Background in massage a plus. Must be comfortable driving a mini van and carrying a diaper bag. Strong customer service skills required to cater to high-level client. "

Why is it that we are nicer to everyone around us and rudest to our family members? It starts with our blood relatives. At home, as a child, I was a brat. As a teenager it never occurred to me that my caustic words hurt my mom's and dad's feelings. I didn't realize that the people who cared for me with unconditional love didn't feel rewarded when their daughter called them names, disrespected their rules and ignored their advice. To the members of my school and community, however, I was a great student who was smart, kind and respectful. I got good grades and participated in all of the important leadership groups. I would never have talked back to a teacher, always showed up to class on time and completed by homework. In short, I offered, as a student, what the teachers expected and, as a child,offered little to nothing to my parents.

This lack of respect for those close to us holds true in marriage. During that whole death do us part bit (I wrote our vows and omitted this part among many others) a line should be added, "I promise to love, honor and cherish you and to also provide you with excellent customer service." Meaning, I will offer you the same level of respect, thoughtful consideration, timeliness, quality product and general ass-kissing I would any of the people I serve at my place of employment.

You've already heard about Andy's obsession with his phone. Because he conducts business at any time and from any where, I get to hear him talking to his "clients" aka our tenants, as he trouble shoots and serves. Just the other day I listened to the following conversation regarding a person who fell last week, "Sounds good. And please, just let me know if there is anything I can do for you about the fall. Of course, again, feel free to call me at any time." To which I chimed in, "How in the hell are you going to help? She fell on her ass! What are you going to do, hold a donut pillow under her? Make her some chicken noodle soup and rub her tail bone?"

Or, another example, "Yes, I'm calling to let you know we have to turn your power off to make some upgrades. I think you'll be at work, but please call me at any time if this is going to be an issue for you." Why, Andy, are you going to call the electrician and tell him to come down at midnight to make the upgrades, as not to cramp your tenants' style? I won't even get into the time he wanted me to sit outside one of the buildings to let in the cable man because the tenant didn't have the time to wait through the 2-4 hour service window.

After several of these incidents I asked Andy how I could get on the list for some of my upgrades. After all, I'm still waiting for the new kitchen floor I was promised last July and I also need help setting up my Christmas ipod. As one can guess, in the spirit of family customer- servicelessness, I only received a grumble, no polite promises and the words any time and any reason were not used. I did hear, "yeah, yeah" and, "no time." Where's my, "Of course, Melissa, please just let me know what else I can do around the house for you. It would be my pleasure to do the laundry. Just let me know, at any time, even if it's during Sunday football, if I can do anything else for you"?

I'm thinking of developing a website, modeled after several customer service modules (csm) I've used. This is how it will work. I'll send an email to: and my request will be logged in to the system:
date: 2/11/09
client: Melissa
relationship: wife
request: please disconnect yourself from ebay, get off your ass and help me undress our toddler for her bath. Then, pick up her clothes and put them in the hamper and wash the dishes while you are at it."

If all goes my way, I should get two system messages within fifteen minutes of my request: 1) Thank you for contacting us. We value you and your issue will be addressed in a timely manner. 2) Issue resolved. Request closed.

After all, what's a girl gotta do to get a little service around home?


Phoebe said…
I had to use this tactic on behalf of Persephone. When Dad complained about her crying, I said "Just think of all the time and energy you spend on other (stupid, annoying) people, she (our beautiful baby) deserves all of that"
PS:I love your kitchen floor!

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