Cocaine is Not the Answer

I believe I’ve mentioned this before, but just in case you’re unaware, one of my jobs is at a company that sells personalized water bottle labels (and wine and beer labels too.) Part of my job is to pick up the phone and approximate the responses of an intelligent and caring individual to questions about our products, services, and general competency.

At worst, this task is tedious. I’m not sure why this such a problem for some people, but if I have to explain what “self-adhesive” means one more time I may lose my faith in humanity once and for all.

At best, this is a opportunity for great mirth on my part. Hilarity doesn’t ensue often, but when it does I am ready for it.

For example: I answered the phone today and talked to a nice-enough guy who had some questions about ordering water bottles with customized labels on them. The more questions of his I answered, the more animated he became. Gradually, things developed from good to great, and from there it was a short leap to fantastic and awesome. By the end of the conversation, he was pumped about these labels and I was the coolest person since Maverick.

After we hung up I went back to work. I mean, the guy was a little hyper but not really entirely noteworthy, you know? Well, he called back, this time having decided he was going to place the order and also having realized that the deadline for the artwork was in seven minutes.

He speed-talked through his address and payment information (my poor fingers were practically bleeding from the exertion!) and then told me he had to hang up and go yell at some more people. However, when I told him that he could have unlimited colors on his label at no extra charge he said, “So I could do a rainbow and it would be the same price as black and white?” I said yes and he said, “Oh s***, rainbows?! You guys are the best, we’re gonna do all our water from you from now on.” After this, we hung up again and I went back to work.

Then I realized that I had quoted the shipping price wrong and was going to have to call him back with bad news. I was scared, because what goes up must come down and I knew that he was gonna crash, and hard.

Sure enough, I called him and he moped. Like a toddler deprived of his binky he sulked and told me he’d have to call me back. There was no more talk of me being awesome. Four phone calls later we had the situation straightened out and the order was placed. OK, cool.

No, not cool. We needed final approval on a proof and the guy wasn’t responding to our emails. So, I called him. I reached him on his cell and when I told him he needed to approve the proof he responded as such: “OhshitIlefttheofficeIalreadyshowedthistomybossandnowitwon’tgetdonejust tellthemIapprovedititlooksgreatitlooksgreatitlooksgreatitlooksgreat!”

I agreed to pass that along to the artist and hung up. And then I looked at my hands. They were shaking. This guy was so hopped up on adrenaline (or cocaine {really, at the end of the day is there any difference?}) that he gave me the shakes. Unconscionable.

All told, the transaction took up two hours of my day but the guy’s gonna have some pretty sweet customized water bottle labels. Oh, and also probably a heart attack in about 6 months if he doesn’t quit it with the booger sugar.

2 thoughts on “Cocaine is Not the Answer

  1. For inspiration about how to deal with quirky customers and their frequent foibles, check out . The few most recent posts aren’t as good, but digging into the archives is well worth the effort, and you can get some ideas on how to respond to the idiocy that seems to emerge when people are forced to use the little talkie thing with the buttons and the speakers.

    BTW, there are still people who don’t know that self-adhesive is a warning not to stick it to yourself because it won’t come off?

  2. Thanks for the tip, Dane! I’ll check it out and share my findings with my colleagues. Frankly, we can use all the help we can get…

    Yes, I suppose self-adhesive does combine some pretty big words so I’m not surprised that so many people have trouble with it. Think of all the accidents that could be prevented…

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