The other day I was at work, when the phone rang. It was Melissa & Doug calling, which made me grumpy because I’d just gotten more boxes of stuff from them than I knew what to do with and I couldn’t believe they were calling me again! Bah!!
But lo and behold, as soon as I heard the voice on the other end, I was super excited because it was my old Rep ‘Ron’ calling, telling me he was back with the company! I asked him what in the heck was up, why he’d left in the first place, to which he replied “oh, I was on a Vision Quest.” Ha! Goofball. He immediately asked about my life, my kids, my former and much-loved employee Carrie, her kids, and so on.
Sadly, he’s not my Rep anymore and I have to keep working with the gal who is nice enough but not my favorite (I always end up with stuff I didn’t order and it makes…me…so…frustrated!). But knowing Ron is back with the company will make me just a teensy bit more amused when I talk to her from now on. Yay!
Please pay attention to the following warning. I resurrected this post from another blog on which I’m allowed to swear, because it’s about Customer Service and seemed so appropriate given Ron’s return, but seriously, don’t read further if you don’t want to read some swears.
**WARNING: This post contains language that may be offensive to almost anyone. If you are offended by offensive language, you might want to skip this one**
Have you heard of Melissa & Doug? Of course you have, everyone has. They’re a standard in every parent’s repertoire of kid-entertainment in one way or another. Since I own a great little kid’s store called Sprout, I have the good fortune of chatting with a sales rep from Melissa & Doug on a regular basis. We’ll call him “Ron.”
When I answer the phone and hear Ron’s familiar voice, I immediately feel sleepy. He has a lot of enthusiasm, loves to engage me in conversation, and will never get off the phone. When I say “oh, you know what? I have a customer, can I call you back?” he says “No problem! Just put the phone down, I’ll wait!” Which he does. For a long, long time. When I pick the phone back up, he’s right there, ready to resume our conversation where it left off.
I like to imagine Ron sitting in front of his computer while we talk, taking notes on a yellow legal pad. A list of these notes might look something like this, in chronological order:
used clothes/some new
2 kids, boy & girl (boy older)
employee – Carrie
Thanksgiving – Utah (driving)
bathroom remodel done by xmas? – Craftsman
needs longer payment terms
divorce – surprise (yikes!)
blog – google pair ranting
gets cold sores
star crush – Mark Ruffalo, look up You Can Count on Me
staying up too late, tired, grumpy
got insulting mean email
activity pads – not moving – send promotion poster
The reason I know Ron takes notes is because he references things I don’t even remember talking about with him. He’ll launch into a dialogue with “quick, name two movies Mark Ruffalo was in!” or “how are the kids doing with the divorce, are they doing okay?” or “hey, don’t get too run down, you’ll get another cold sore!” or “hey, boy, Carrie’s having kind of a rough time, huh? How’s she doin?” or, best yet, “hey! Whoa! I feel like I’m reading your blog right now, the language! Jeez!”
The other day when he called, he told me about a recent trip he’d taken to London, where he’d attended a soccer game. “Boy!” he exclaimed, “they just really don’t mind using certain words over there that are not okay to use here!” “Like ‘cunt’?” I asked. “Whoooa ho ho ho ho!!! Whoa ho!” he laughed, “yes, that one especially!” “I love that word,” I told him. “In fact, my friend just told me he wasn’t going to chat with me any more because I was being a miserable cunt. Ha! I thought that was hilarious! What a great word….” “Well, yeah, I mean…I don’t mind it! But a lot of people, they just really don’t like it….” he said. “Its best when used as a term of endearment, I find,” I offered. “Well…I…yeah, anyway!” and off he went on his sales pitch.
In the background I always hear people whistling or laughing uproariously. I can’t imagine that this is not an absolutely excellent place to work. I’m thinking about keeping a Ron notebook here at the shop, so that I can take notes of my own. This would be my list, so far:
Ron – M&D
sell! sell! sell!
make up excuse to get off phone!
refer to Carrie!
Ha! Reads blog!
gets cold sores – prefers Abreva
re: Mark Ruffalo, look up Shutter Island
took family to amusement park
didn’t help clean up after party
looks on bright side
Drama Queen- wtf?
optimism drives wife crazy
find excuse to call him a cunt!!
The next time Ron calls me I’m going to completely dodge his usual opening banter with some bullshit question like “hey buddy, you still in the dog house for not cleaning up after that party?” or “how drunk did your wife get over the weekend? Ooooooo-weee that’s gotta hurt!” or “god I’m so fucking miserable, life is just terrible and sucks all the time! Right Ron? Am I right?!”
I’m sure he’ll find a way to laugh it off. He’s a great rep, Ron is. The best.
This post was originally published over at Pair-Ranting on November 4th, 2011. Sadly, ‘Ron’ is no longer with this company and so I no longer get the joy of shocking him on a regular basis. I’m very sad about this! I’m sure he is, too.