Doing Dell Differently

Note: This post is an excerpt from the ongoing chronicles of my year of trying something new every single day. To see the full list so far, check out 365 Days of Different | Ranker – A World of Lists.

Okay, I know. I work in the tech industry. I’ve done my fair share of IT fixes around the office. I’ve worked in sales. I’ve even waitressed. If anyone should be patient and respectful towards those poor souls on the other end of the Dell help line, it’s me.

After all, I know they’re probably just as annoyed by the language barrier between us as I am. And it’s not their fault that their automated voice recognition system only seems to recognize numbers that don’t exist in my impossibly long service code. And I’m sure there’s a perfectly good explanation for them putting me on hold for 20 minutes in the middle of our conversation. Maybe they just wanted to share the joys of their hold music with me. You know, to soothe me during my busy day or something.

Yet no matter how much I justify their sheer and utter ineptitude at providing any help that even comes close to being supportive, I still manage to lose my cool pretty much every time I talk to them. I can’t help it. They bring out the worst in me. The nagging, aggressive, unsatisfiable customer that comes from the darkest depths of my Long Island roots.

So today, as my something different, I decided to try doing the unfathomable. I made a conscious effort to be understanding, engaging and even — dare I say — patient when dealing with Dell’s ‘customer service’ representative.

I kindly kept my cool throughout all six retellings of the fact that I simply needed to reschedule a visit from their on-site technician. I recounted the fact that my boss’s computer has been beeping eerily every few minutes for the past few months, without ever once reminding the support technician that the many interns who had dealt with this particular service order before me had already given her that information. I even managed to stay patient when I gave her my email address (my first name), and she asked me to spell it — right after I had just spelled my name for her report two seconds prior.

I managed to make it all the way up to the last few minutes of the call. And then I snapped. A few very snippy seconds later, she managed to figure out all the information she needed, magically find the answer for me and send me on my merry way. Long story short, it appears that sometimes you just have to be a bit of a bitch. At least if you want to get something done with Dell support.

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