God Of Customer Service

CaptureOne of the pleasures of moving to a new city is the always wonderful experience of dealing with the cable company. (Specifically Comcast, in case you were wondering. Or is it Xfinity now? I have no idea.)

Wanting to trim my budget in my new apartment, I made the decision to drop cable television and only purchase internet service.

After 6 months of getting by just fine with Apple TV and a digital antenna, I got a call from Comcast saying my promotional price on internet service was about to expire. If I did not update my plan, than my rate would more than double.

The customer service rep explained to me that basically it would be cheaper to upgrade my internet service and add on a basic cable package than it would be to remain at my current plan.

After going around in a circles with the sales rep on the phone I finally agreed. Of course once I received my new cable box in the mail it was not as easy to setup as the salesperson made it out to be.

So I was forced to do my least favorite thing in the world: contact customer service on the phone. Continue reading

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7 Things I Learned From 7 Months At Kohls

photo 2-7Seasonal. I was just supposed to be a seasonal employee.

In November of 2013, a few months after leaving my full-time position as a youth pastor, I began working at Kohls part time to help me earn some extra spending money for Christmas.

I thought I would work here for a few weeks.

Today, over seven months later, I’m clocking in at Kohls for the very last time.

Life has not panned out as I planned it in 2014. I didn’t find a full time job as soon as I thought I would.

But now, as I prepare for a new working opportunity, I’ve been wondering how to sum up my experience with Kohls.

Diving back into the world of retail after a 7 year absence has been one of the most challenging experiences of my life.

I’ve complained. I’ve cried. I’ve whined. I’ve moaned and groaned to my closest friends. I’ve screamed at God, wondering why He would let me flounder in a dead-end job without any hopeful prospects on the horizon.

I’ve struggled to figure out exactly what I’ve learned from this detour in life.

Maybe it is still too soon to tell what all my time at Kohls has taught. But I have come up with a few things that have surprised me along the way about myself as an employee, about consumer behavior, and about the retail world. Continue reading

Who Do You Work For?

photo-15I get asked one question almost everyday:

“Excuse me sir. Do you work here?”

Who me? The guy with the headset and walkie talkie on, the guy with the nametag and lanyard with the store name on it, the guy who’s putting all the shoes back on the shelf? Why yes, in fact I do work here!

I just don’t get it. To me, it should be obvious to customers that I’m an employee. I can’t quite figure out how some people can’t quite figure it out.

Apparently though, there’s something more I should be doing. My labor is not bearing fruit in their eyes.

Maybe there are other things I should be focusing on. I’m sure I could be talking to customers more, engaging with them instead of doing all the daily tasks of the shoe department. Maybe then people would recognize who I work for.

The whole thing makes me think of that age-old guilt producing Sunday School question: “If you were put on trial for being a Christian, would there be enough evidence to find you guilty?” Continue reading

The Retail Worker’s Prayer

photo-10The Folding. Don’t get me started on The Folding.

This holiday, after leaving my full-time job behind, I got a job at a major department store to earn a little extra spending money. I’ve mainly been running the register. But in between customers one of our main duties in the store is The Folding.

It’s incredible, really. You spend a few minutes folding a stack of shirts. Everything on the shelf looks in order. You turn around to check out one customer. You turn back around and a dozen shirts are back on the floor again.

As an employee I begin to wonder what the point is. I wonder why I bother picking up all these clothes off the floor just to see them knocked over and out of place just a few moments later.

But The Folding has to be done. We must go through the motions of The Folding and The Re-Folding day after day after day to keep the store in order. If we deny our duties just one day then the store would go into disarray. Continue reading