Tag Archives: customer_service

Valentine’s Day, I love you

For those of you who have been reading this blog for over a year, you know that last Valentine’s Day I was in rough shape. I was extremely anxious about my customer service job at a flower company and came up with a slew of coping mechanisms to deal with my anxiety. From almost buying an albino chinchilla to writing letters to ex-boyfriends, I was a trainwreck. The only productive things I accomplished during the entire month of February were saving a drunk girl and watching at least four seasons of How I Met Your Mother.

If you click the links above, you will get to all of last year’s posts about Valentine’s Day. In case you didn’t figure that out yet… You clever thing, you. 

The day after Valentine’s Day, I stood in my bedroom staring out my window at the dreary February grossness and tried to come up with any excuse to not go to work.

“Hi, work? Yes, I got hit by a cab delivering flowers last night. I’m uh, dead. Yeah… I’m calling from hell. No, it’s actually not that bad. There are margaritas here.”
“Dear work, I am writing you this email because I lost my voice in a screaming karaoke rap battle with a drag queen last night. I know late-night drinking is irresponsible, especially on a Tuesday, but it happened. I will be taking a personal day, thank you very much.”

When I realized that my most believable excuse would be claiming I’d had a complete emotional breakdown, I decided I had to get to work because I was already late and that the only thing I could do at that point was make myself one promise: Next year, you will not be spending your Valentine’s Day customer servicing angry flower orderers and recipients. I don’t know what you’ll be doing, but whatever it is you will remember this moment and you will forever love Valentine’s Day and everything about it for the rest of your life because you won’t be doing this. 

So I’m making good on my promise to myself AND to all of you. Valentine’s Day is universally hated by single people, couples, waiters, cab drivers, liquor store attendants, and the list goes on. As possibly the only person who now loves Valentine’s Day, consider me your benevolent host. This week, I will be posting every day with tips, tricks and drinking games (duh) for everyone out there who’s having a rough week.

If you’ve got a date this holiday, give them an extra tight squeeze. If you’re single, give your friends (or that wine bottle) an extra tight squeeze. If you’re in customer service for any business involved in Valentine’s Day, I tip my fucking hat to you, you are a god among men. No matter where you are, come back every day to check out the action.

Peace, love and candy hearts, 

BWCE

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New Chapters

To achieve a great goal, one must begin with a small achievement. -Columbia Cottage fortune cookie

Above is a picture of the fortune I got the night before I interviewed for my job at the Flower Company. That night Austin and I went to the Chinese restaurant in Morningside Heights that gives its patrons free wine. I went over my interview spiel for Austin; I’d never applied for a grown-up person job before so I was terrified, but then I got that fortune and I knew I was going to get the job.

I don’t take fortune cookie wisdom lightly – I keep fortunes that I think mean something in my wallet so that I’m reminded of where I am in my life. In a way, they feel like titles to each chapter of my life.

I realized about six months ago that my current job was a dead end. If I were to stay at the Flower Company, I would forever remain the smiley, happy, patient, customer service representative who was secretly dying on the inside. I absolutely hated my life for those six months because there’s nothing fun about trying to explain how to use a website to an 80-year-old woman if you know that’s it’s not a stepping stone to some greater job. Customer Service has a high burnout rate, but I’m actually surprised it doesn’t have a high suicide rate, because oh my fucking god it can be so awful.

So I found a new job. One that I’m really excited about. This was my first time job searching for reals, and I couldn’t believe how confusing and overwhelming the process of interviewing, considering and deciding on offers is. But, I did it! I promised myself on New Year’s that I would no longer be a customer service person by the summer and I actually accomplished the goal. It’s a great feeling.

Ok, so not all fortunes are worth keeping… I got this one last Thanksgiving, right around the time I was deciding to leave my job.

I say all this stuff as a preface to talking about what my first year and a half in New York was like… I ran away from Georgia, and all my problems with my two best friends in hopes of finding stability. I wanted a quiet, simple life up here. That’s not why people move to New York. People move here to be The Best, or to find adventures, or at least to enjoy their 20s.

My first year and a half here was like getting bitch slapped over and over again with an AM New York. It was so hard, and I doubted myself and every decision I’ve ever made constantly. I had my heart broken twice during that time; first by my boyfriend and second by my job. Living in New York makes you wish you were thinner, hotter, richer, more successful and every other thing you hope you’ll be but are ok with not being when you live basically anywhere else. I didn’t look at the NYC skyline and think “I made it,” I looked at it and thought about all the ways I failed.

The other day I took a cab from Kennedy to my apartment after visiting my family in Mexico and quitting my shitty customer service job. I felt so excited to see the skyline and know that I live here. I’m entering this new chapter of my life, and all I feel is lucky. It might be terrifying, disappointing, or awful… but I’ve realized in the past few months a benefit to life in New York: There’s always a new chapter to start, always a new beginning if you choose to grab it.

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Valentine’s Day: Plan of Action

To start – this isn’t a post about being single on Valentine’s Day. This is a post about my job.

When I’m not on the internet writing about dating and sandwiches, I’m still on the internet, but I’m working as the only customer service representative for a fast-growing flower start-up. Oh yeah, I said flower start-up… have fun figuring that one out. When most people hear that I work in customer service, they either show me pity or expect me to start ranting about all the crazy things people say to me. When they hear I’m the only customer service person for my whole company, they all have the same reaction: “So… how does THAT work?”

Well, I’M A BOSS. No, that’s not really why. I don’t really know why or how it works, but somehow I manage to keep my ‘department’ from going up in flames, mainly by apologizing about 20 times a day and then giving people free flowers. I’m awesome at giving people free flowers.

You can probably imagine that working in customer service for a flower company on Valentine’s Day isn’t ideal. Particularly if you are single (ok, I went there). While I”m sure you can sort of imagine it, I want to give it some context: I’ve never liked Valentine’s Day, at least not since it went from being about eating a lot of chocolate to it being about whether or not some boy was going to give me flowers. See, I really, really liked the Valentine’s Day that involved chocolate, and so by the time it became about the flowers, I was pretty fat.

After years of life as a fat adolescent, I started to emerge from my awkward stage only to be dumped by my first boyfriend a month before Valentine’s Day. Unfortunately, I went to a really small high school and I ended up spending Valentine’s Day on my senior year of high school at a party with the same ex-boyfriend. I cried. A lot.

Then there was the Valentine’s Day where the object of my affection made out with another girl in front of me at the school dance. The explanation for his behavior was possibly more insulting than watching the make out… he told my roommate he made out with the other girl to show me what he was like. When I saw him in the hallway after, he greeted me by saying, “Happy Valentine’s Day… are you upset?”

Then there were the two years in a row that I did spend Vday with my significant other. The first one involved him talking to his mom on the phone, in front of me, fighting with her about why I wasn’t worth his buying flowers/candy/dinner for. The second year involved us driving to a Jason Mraz concert while he yelled at me the whole car ride there. Both years I cried. A lot.

After all these experiences, I was pretty sure I could handle anything February 14-related… and then came my job. I will spend Valentine’s Day knowing I’m not going to receive any flowers, taking orders for flowers, calming men who are angsty about the estimated time of arrival of their flowers. I’ve never been able to decide what’s harder about my job – dealing with angry men, or taking orders for men who are head-over-heels in love. I’m pretty sure it’s the latter. There’s something really strange about dealing with these sweet, sweet men who are so appreciative of my help, that brings me right back to being that fat adolescent helping all my friend’s boyfriends get them the perfect Valentine’s Day gift.

——–

Valentine’s day is 12 days away and I’m already starting to crumble. I’ve cried at work twice this week. Today I realized someone in the office ate my carrots and I briefly thought about laying on the floor in the middle of the office and throwing a temper tantrum. BUT, I cannot afford to crumble. No literally, I can’t. My net worth is somewhere around $2, and if I have a ginormous existential meltdown on the second largest flower holiday of the year, I will have to move back to Georgia very soon. So in the same way that my flower company forms a Valentine’s Day Plan of Action, I am forming my very own Tiffany-Can’t-Start-Crying-On-The-Phone-With-Customers plan of action.

Here’s what I’m using so far to keep myself sane:

#1- Diet: Along with the fact that I’m already vegan and gluten-free (I’ll get to that in a future post), I’ve devised Tuesday/Thursday diet plans, where I try a new crash diet each week. This week I ate only raw foods. Next week it’s juice. This works for me in two ways. First, I don’t go back to fat Tiffany. I really don’t want to revert to fat Tiffany through stress eating. Second, I get to control ONE aspect of the next few weeks. An additional benefit is that crash diets are kind of fun because you can spend hours wondering whether or not hummus is raw. Is it raw? Does anyone know?

#2- Alcohol: Tonight I purchased the expensive vodka AND my favorite juice. I feel pampered.

I feel like a baller. Is Skyy vodka raw? I’m gonna say yes.

#3- This picture of a chinchilla at the pet store near me:

LOOK AT HOW HE’S HOLDING THAT PIECE OF FOOD. Chinchillas have thumbs. DID YOU KNOW THAT? I made this picture my phone background so I’m calmed every time I look at my phone. I’m pretty sure the guy who sits next to me at work thinks I’m crazy because of how often I look at this picture.

#4- Planning to break my diet: On February 14, I will break all of my diets. I’ll be sitting at my desk, answering the phone, and, in between frantic calls, stuffing my face with every single type of food I love. Oh yes, I will eat lots and lots of Laut’s drunken noodles.

#5- Focusing on the good things: Sure, I have cried at work twice this week AND someone took my fucking carrots (why, why did you take my carrots, unknown coworker?!) but I’ve also had some good things happen. Today I went to the liquor store with the bright pink sign, the 1 train got to the station 30 seconds after I swiped in and I saw some little kids fighting each other with really big sticks while their moms were getting their hair done at an awesome barber shop.

——-

I’m interested to know if any of you have any Valentine’s Day anecdotes. As Angela always says, “You have a fucked up story? I want to hear your fucked up story!” So, please, tell me your fucked up story about the most romantic day of the year. OR, possibly better, if you have a piece of advice for getting through, a job you think is more stressful, or a type of food I should eat (or diet I should try) let me know.

Also, if you know who ate my carrots… I’m taking names. If you see something, say something.

Best of luck to all who are trying to avoid cupid.

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