The Finch Formerly Known As Gold

31 December 2005

Fatuous Flashback 14

Why customer-service people cry:

If you run a business, you presumably already know this: twenty percent of the clients generate eighty percent of the work. This wouldn't be such a big deal if they also produced 80 percent of the revenue, but seldom (if ever) does it work out that way. Some things, no matter how you rationalize them, are simply not worth the time and/or effort. This is a notion I have cherished for many years; until the late 90s, there was even a vestigial hint of it floating around 42nd and Treadmill.

No more. What passes itself off as "customer empowerment" these days is mostly an excuse for people to let their Inner Asshole grow and develop. When they say "Jump!" it's not enough to reply "How high?" anymore; you must come up with something like "So long as we're up here, feel free to beat us about the gonads with a sharp stick." God forbid anyone in a position to write a check should be treated with anything other than the most excruciating obsequiousness. Undoubtedly this contributes to my lowly status on various corporate ladders over the years, since I continue to believe that a schmuck is a schmuck is a schmuck, and I don't give a flying fish how many dollars he's prepared to spend to prove it.

(From this untitled entry, 28 December 2001.)

Posted at 8:43 AM to Greatest Hits


Companies should take a clue from Southwest Airlines. The customer simply isn't always right. Sometimes he/she is:
1.) Drunk
2.) Crazy
3.) Evil
4.) All of the above

Treat your customers right, but back up your employees.

Posted by: Dan at 8:51 AM on 31 December 2005

Dan ... might I suggest an additional one for General Asshole for the not quite evil, probably not crazy, and generally not drunk (although drinking DOES exacerbate the condition) above the "All the Above" category?

I found this to be approximately 10% of the population ....

Posted by: Ron at 1:52 PM on 1 January 2006