Thursday, April 02, 2009

Telephone Terrorists: White Guys on A Mission

I am convinced that the next terrorist threat on the United States will most likely come from white guys seeking the last names of the people in charge at their places of business.

Most likely those fanatical white guy jihadists will strike only after knowing the exact time at which someone might be reached by phone.

That’s the only rational explanation I can come up with for the rash of insane responses to simple questions like, “who is your manager,” and “when would be a good time to call him back?”

I honestly don’t understand how some operations stay in business, because they seem to intentionally make it difficult to be reached. I called a major fast-food operation today and was shunted around no less than five times in the same call before an intelligent, enterprising receptionist in a regional outpost office recognized the frustration in my voice, and offered to call me back with the information I needed.

All I wanted was a chance to speak to a human being for two minutes—ironically, about an idea to increase their awareness, generate some new sales, and make them a little money. You’d think I wanted the plans to a nuclear missile, they way I was treated.

If you are in charge of the marketing of your company—you’re the decision-maker that savvy, sharp, idea-smiths need to be talking to—don’t you think it might be a good plan for everyone in your communication chain to know who you are and where you can be reached…like your direct extension, perhaps?

This same, major corporation did not know the whereabouts of one of its key marketing managers. Literally, they didn’t know the phone number or the office in which the person worked.

I asked for the name of a manager at a small business here in town…and they wouldn’t give out his last name. After spending ten minutes in intelligent conversation, during which time I revealed MY last name and phone number, I suddenly was treated like an enemy combatant when I asked for the last name of the store manager.

One saucy order taker at a fast-food joint refused to let me know when her manager would be back in, because she wasn’t allowed to give out schedule information. I just wanted to know when would be a convenient time to call back. She told me I could try back tomorrow, if I wanted.
I decided I didn’t.
And I won’t.

You may not want to hear what I’m selling, but that street runs both directions, brother--and after taking sass and lip from minimum-wage jerks with more attitude than brains, I may decide I don’t want you to have what I’m selling.

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