I think if I were to quit my job and pursue a new career, it would have to be that of being a consultant. Actually, I’ve always wondered about that job title, ‘consultant’ — do you really just sit there all day till someone comes and asks you advice? And then how do they pay you? By the word? By the effectiveness of the advice? And what makes you an authority?

But all those answers are now crystal clear — I now know that I could whore myself out to a certain international card/flower/gift/tv channel/sappy movie company that is in dire need of some advice.

Because, y’all.

I am highly qualified to do this, by the way. No, I don’t have an MBA. I’m not a sitting CEO anywhere (well, maybe at home, but no one listens to me there). But my experience over the past 48 hours has just given me an unrivaled insight into what these people need to do. And since they are kinda busy and don’t seem to want to come to the phone, I’ll tell y’all. And if any of you know these people, you can send them this post.

Soooooooo. Big International Card/Flower/Gift/TV Channel/Sappy Movie company? Listen up. I got a list of suggestions right here that you need to copy and distribute.

  • First? Hire extra people. It’s the week before Mother’s Day and you sell cards and flowers and gifts to people who can’t think of another Mother’s Day gift because they have been doing this for, well, for their entire lives. You’re going to make a killing. Hire. More. People.
  • Please don’t patronize people with e-mails that say you are sorry we had trouble with your site, but please accept free shipping as an apology.
  • The free shipping was already in place.
  • We can read.
  • When you do hire people, don’t go out into the streets and do a casting call. Spend a few minutes actually training them.
  • Talk to your web people. Really talk to them. See what makes them tick. Make sure they have everything they need. Because when five trillion people click on your site this week, they are going to want it to actually work.
  • And they are going to want the pretty pictures of flowers to actually be available for delivery.
  • And they are not going to want to wait till the end of the freakin’ transaction to find out it’s NOT available.
  • If it actually is not available, stamp a ‘no longer available’ or ‘sold out’ graphic across the picture. We’ll like you more. I promise. Just a suggestion.
  • If, when certain folks are able to get through the mish-mash of prompts at your customer service hotline (funny word, ‘hotline,’ with its implication that you’ll actually get some immediate help…which is kinda cute) and have actually gotten a different automated voice, telling someone their anticipated wait time is kinda self-defeating.
  • Because “your anticipated wait time is forty-[insert pause here for dramatic effect]-one minutes” is only going to piss people off.
  • Furthermore, when the person chooses to hold for forty [pause] one minutes, please don’t remind them every thirty seconds that they can also obtain quality service by visiting your website.
  • That’s where we’ve been.
  • And that’s why we are here.
  • We are here because your website, while happily taking our information and credit card number and running with it, did not prompt us to actually type in a personal message for the card that would accompany our flowers (all wrapped beautifully in your signature box), and, interestingly enough, those of us that are trying to score points with the mother-in-law would actually have liked for OUR NAME TO GO SOMEWHERE ON THE EFFIN’ CARD!!!!
  • And when, finally, an actual human voice answers the line, don’t have them identify themselves with an American-sounding name. It doesn’t work for D*ll and it didn’t work here
  • There are no Bubbas in Pakistan.
  • We know this for a fact.
  • And, finally, when we get that human voice that says, in broken English, “thank you for calling Hellmark, thees ees BUH-BUH (again, hyphen here inserted for dramatic effect),” HE SHOULD KNOW HOW THE HELL TO PULL UP YOUR ORDER AND ADD A LOVELY SENTIMENT TO A STINKIN’ CARD.
  • That is also NOT the time to remind me that I should be happy because my flowers will be received on Friday or Saturday and that I did receive the benefit of free shipping. It’s not going to matter when they get there because SHE WON’T KNOW WHO THEY ARE FROM!!!!!
So what do you think? Think I’m cut out for the position?

You probably should say yes.

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