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Today was my seventh trip to the Nokia repair outlet and I was not pleased to be there.

At least, when I entered there was no one waiting. I could skip the getting the ticket, waiting idiocy, and get down to business. Silly me.

"You need a ticket," the Drone said, as I approached him.

I looked round. Three Drones behind a counter, doing nothing. On the wall there was an Elvis movie in which Elvis was pretending to be Spanish (or the hero to Spaniards, I couldn't quite tell). I'd seen the same scene the day before, where his stunt double climbed up a cliff and then dived off it to win, or so it seemed, the respect and adoration of a girl. He prays at a little shrine before he jumps, and when I looked round, Elvis was praying. Pray for me, Elvis, I thought, as I hit the button for 'Repairs' and got a piece of paper with a number on it. The Drone brought up the number and I approached him.

"It's not reading the sim card," I said, after the polite hello. "I only got it back yesterday."

"Can I try the sim card?" He was young Asian, working part time, I figured, but there was something condescending in the way he asked for it. It kind of implied that maybe I didn't know how to put a sim card in.

Maybe I was a fucking moron?

"Sure," I said, popping the old phone open and pulling out the sim card. "Have a good time."

He tried it twice.

"Well, it's not reading the sim card."

I figured that was what I said before, but whatever. Don't make a scene. Just get fixed--

"We'll have to send this away for repairs," he said. "Can I get you to fill in this form?"

"I'm not filling in that form again," I said. "In fact, what I want you to do is replace the phone. This is my fourth time here. This is my seventh trip to the Nokia Repair Place, and while I haven't got anything against you personally, I'm tired of having to see you. Also, I'm tired of seeing Elvis pretend to be Spanish. Or maybe he's being Hawaiian. I can't tell. He's dressed like he's some kind of Spanish bullfighter though."

He looked at me, confused.

"Just replace the phone so I don't have to come here anymore."

"Our policy," he said, like a good drone, "is to repair phones. When we can't repair phones, then we replace them if they can't be fixed."

"This is the replacement phone already." I had taken that step into being an annoying customer. I was moving quickly onto irate. You know the magic words I was soon going to say, don't you? Start the count down clock until they come out! "The original problem couldn't be fixed. That was when the phone reset itself once or twice a day. The problem that is with the phone now is a new problem and I don't want to have to come back here an eighth time to pick up another phone you've repaired."

My tone implied what I thought about the claims to repaired, but the Drone was not moved. Like a good indoctrinated child, he said, "I understand that you're annoyed, but that's not our policy--"

"Look," I said, "I know you don't really give a shit. This is a shit job in a giant company. You don't care, I don't care. Truth here is that there is always a second option. Usually a third and forth. And I'm sure Nokia can swallow the cost of my phone just to give me a replacement."

"Our policy," continued the Drone, "is to repair before replacement. I understand that you're annoyed at having to come here so many times, but this is what we do."

"You got a manager?"

Those are the words. Do you have a manager, can I speak to your manager: whatever the sentence is, it has manager in it, and it clearly says that you are going over the head of the Drone and to someone who will authorise for you to be placated. I'm thirty-fucking-one and this is this first time I have ever said those words. I have a friend, L, who says the words all the time, because she can't stand Drone logic; and I have been in the situation where I am the Drone Who Doesn't Care and people have asked for the manager--indeed, in some of those situations, I suggested finding the manager, because I don't care. But this is the first time I have said to a Drone: Go get you manager, explain to him that I am an annoying, unpleasent customer, and have him authorise some kind of thing that will make me happy.

When the Drone returned, he said, "Well, I've spoken with my manager. He's authorised the technician to have a look at your phone right now and he'll either repair it or replace it on the spot. If you don't mind waiting ten, fifteen minutes?"

Now, three months after purchase, my Nokia 6300 seems to be working.



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(Deleted comment)
Jan. 18th, 2008 05:05 am (UTC)
ridiculous, innit?

i'm not the kinda guy who loses his temper. mostly i'm cool. i figure you keep cool you get what you want.
Jan. 18th, 2008 05:42 am (UTC)
Except when you demand to speak to the fucking manager.
Jan. 18th, 2008 07:41 am (UTC)
i didn't demand. i didn't even need to speak to him. i just sent drone boy off to do it. manager mentality is this: do whatever makes someone happy, avoid stress.

least, all the managers i've know.
Jan. 18th, 2008 10:33 am (UTC)
I've noticed that you need to scream and shout and bang on the counter to get what you want. Cool and reasonable = you get screwed over. Being noisy = drone wants to be rid of you and gives you what you want.
Jan. 18th, 2008 01:11 pm (UTC)
Did you ask if they could paint the cauliflower green?
Jan. 18th, 2008 05:08 am (UTC)
I find rolling around on the floor usually helps.
Jan. 18th, 2008 05:12 am (UTC)
i'm trying to be adult bout these things ;)
Jan. 18th, 2008 05:42 am (UTC)
But you being an adult or not will not make any impact against the Drone's indoctrinated logic.
Jan. 18th, 2008 07:41 am (UTC)
yeah, true. but i got the phone fixed in ten minutes and all seems fine right now, so...
Jan. 18th, 2008 05:41 am (UTC)
I always ask to speak to the manager. But I say it this way:

"I'd like to speak to the manager please. You don't get paid enough to listen to the noise I'm gonna make."

That seems to work for me.
Jan. 18th, 2008 07:41 am (UTC)
(Deleted comment)
Jan. 19th, 2008 12:44 am (UTC)
people bitched about the prices at mcdonalds?!
Jan. 19th, 2008 10:57 am (UTC)
Oh yeah.

"Last time I came here the bacon sandwhich was 99p. I refuse to pay any higher."
"I'm sorry, but the bacon sandwhich has been £1.39 for several years."
"No it hasn't."
"Well, I can't charge you any less than the set price."
" [grumble, swear word, grumble, several more swear words, finally he pays] "


"Why does my meal cost more?"
"You ordered a milkshake, sir. There's an extra 30p charge on top of the meal price when you order a shake. It's there on the price menu, although I'll admit it's in pretty small print."
"It's never been like that before."
"I'm afraid it's been like that for several years at least."
"No it hasn't. I refuse to pay extra. I want to see a manager right now."

The latter one involved the man threatening to take my manager outside. =D
Jan. 18th, 2008 01:10 pm (UTC)
See, success. That is why I regularly say the words "you got a manager?" It's not that I like it, it's that it's a game, and that's the winning combo...
Jan. 19th, 2008 12:44 am (UTC)
yeah, pretty much. you say that and you've just become a hassle they want to get rid of.
Jan. 19th, 2008 12:48 am (UTC)
What I didn't mention is that, y'know, I hate the fuckin' world because that's what works, and being nice isn't... and that it mirrors in everything, and that you Just Can't Be Nice anymore because you get fucked.

Just didn't want to sound like a dick...
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