GUEST POST from Don: Too Much?


How much is TOO much?  

How many “too muches” is too many?  

(Pardon me for repeating myself.)

When I’m calling customer service at a US based company (which I’ve written about before) and, after working through a long menu of choices and entering my customer data, I am left on hold … and informed that the wait time is estimated at 36 minutes because of “higher than expected call volume” … I think that is unreasonable.  Hire more people.

Also, why do these companies think it is a good idea to hire service reps from Outer Mongolia?  I quit an insurance company that thought that was a good idea.  It is unreasonable to foist that upon your loyal paying customers.  Hire local.

A local utility (regulated and licensed by the state in which I lived) once made a HUGE mistake on my gas usage.  I sent an estimated payment based on my actual meter reading along with a note about the wrong billing.  Then I started receiving threatening calls from the utility that if I “did not pay in full my gas would be turned off,” but the person calling had no authority to respond to my side of the story.  I tried calling customer service.  The wait time was over an hour, there were no other options.  In the end they agreed to send someone to re-read my meter, but did not apologize for the hours I spent trying to deal with their mistake.  I think that abuse is unreasonable.

I’ve been reading about hiring nightmares.  A person submits an application for a posted job.  Their resume is liked well enough to grant an interview.  They wait two weeks (think crickets).  Then they’re  invited to a second interview.  They wait weeks again.  Then another interview.  In the real world where you and I live a person cannot wait over two months to know if it is worth another interview to get a job.  They are burning through personal resources quickly.  These companies are neither considerate of the applicant’s time nor transparent about the process.  How many interviews?  How many weeks?  The applicant should know at the front end.  I didn’t mention that the same thing once happened to me and I was about to tell them “forget it” when I got a call to come to the office to sign paperwork.  Fortunately for them, too, they needed me far more than I needed the job.  Be reasonable.  

Speaking of “TOO MUCH” I am amazed how many texts and emails I get from my doctor’s office for a single appointment.  There has to be a point of diminishing returns, right?  I appreciate ONE reminder.  I can check it against my calendar.  I’m glad to be fairly healthy or my full time job would be checking texts from medical providers.  Infinite reminders are a “THEM” problem.  Save your extra reminders for those who failed to show last time!  

Ratings.  (I’ve mentioned this before, too.)  It is unreasonable to expect me to “rate” my experience EVERY time I have my teeth lubed.  That should not be a thing, really.  Also, I bought some specialty rubber bands online recently.  Yup, I was asked to “rate” the dollar store priced product.  This stupidity should just stop.  If it isn’t a good product or service then they should not sell it (Seller beware).

Cell Phones in public meetings.  Week after week last fall phones went off (pings, rings, tones, and voices) during events.  (I refuse to take my cell phone into a store or church.  When younger we didn’t have them and did just fine.)  SILENCE YOUR DEVICES when at a wedding, funeral, worship service, school play, or bingo.  I don’t think I am being overly critical.  The devices have a built in silence feature and owners who get Valium level separation anxiety when not with their phones should learn to use it.  Learn some consideration.

Tipping.  When I was a kid it was 10%.  Then 12%.  Next it was 15%.  Now it is 18% or more.  Soon it will be everything in your bank account just because someone hands you a receipt.  Let’s be clear, servers should be paid.  Second, the service is neither faster nor better than when we tipped 10%.  Third, menu prices have not maintained $3.99 for a meal.  It has kept pace with inflation.  So, the price the tip is based upon has increased, which means a 10% tip has increased similarly.  So, third, the question is, since the value of the meal continues to match inflation, why does the tip percentage have to increase?  A 20% tip is NICE, but hardly required.  When the restaurant is not so busy, I tend to tip more because those servers have a hard time making a buck.  Did you know that Federal Wage Law requires restaurants to make sure servers receive at least minimum wage (when tips are included) and must make up the difference if the tips don’t get them there?  

Tipping #2.  The whole tipping thing should be banned anyway.  You won’t find it many places other than North America.  It has some roots in the post-slavery era; it was a means of keeping wages lower for former slaves.  Before that its roots were in serfdom.  Maybe it is time to get rid of the bad habit???

“Plus tax.”  Do you know there are whole countries in the world where the tax is included in the price of everything.  You buy a shovel.  Price is $18.  You plunk down $18 and walk out with a shovel.  Here, every state has a different sales tax code.  Additionally, can we get a list of the cost of all fees when buying a car?  The price of the car should include them washing it if it is dirty, right?  Don’t advertise a car for $30,000 if it really costs $37,500 out the door.  Tack-on fees and taxes are unreasonable.  I want full disclosure honesty.  Tell me the TOTAL cost, not just your portion.  “Can I just pay you for the car without all those fees and drive it off the lot?  I’ll wash it myself.”

In many situations, I have found that the world has become more unreasonable.  Think.  Is this too much?  The answer is definitely YES!!!

I’m learning to speak up kindly.  “Please don’t do this again,” I say, “it is irritating and unnecessary.”  Let’s take back our lives.  

[PLEASE NOTE that Don is always open to discussing the thoughts and opinions he shares here and welcomes comments as shared in the comment section. He doesn’t use other social media platforms and won’t see whatever you’d like to share with him if you post it elsewhere.
ALSO, Don is always open to offer his thoughts on various topics. If you have a specific request, you can let him know in a comment; he reads – and replies to – them all. ~ Sherry]

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4 thoughts on “GUEST POST from Don: Too Much?

  1. I meet at a restaurant with a group of guys. We bellyache for 90 minutes. That server deserves a 20% tip for all the trips to refill our coffees. All of us top off our tips.

    1. A large group of Pete’s “hamster” friends meet at a small restaurant after their monthly meetings, taking up most of the space…it’s a great time and I always hope that the waitresses (usually just one, for all of them, ordering full meals!) are well compensated!

  2. Excellent points. And, here is a little tip that most people do not know….

    When the healthcare system sends you a survey via mail, the survey is never “anonymous” as they claim. Press Gainey, and the other survey companies who send the surveys, actually have every page and every return envelope encrypted with an individual bar code. Sometimes you can identify the bar code and other times you cannot.

    I know this because I worked in the admin of a major hospital and accompanying healthcare system a few years ago. When individuals would send in complaints on their “anonymous” surveys, we would look up the bar code and find out who mailed them. If the survey was especially hateful, we would make a note in the patient’s chart that the patient was “non compliant” and “difficult “.

    (The notes that doctors and administrators put in patient charts are applied in areas of the chart that patients never have access to. )

    So, if a person wonders why they are waiting too long in a medical office waiting room, while everyone was seen before them….. it could be that a vindictive doctor, nurse, or administrator wrote a note in the patient’s chart that the patient is “difficult” and now the staff is passive-aggressively punishing the patient.

    …..when you look at your chart online, or when you ask for a copy of your medical records you will never see the portion where the doctor/ nurse/ administration makes these notes.

  3. Good info, E.

    I follow one important piece of advice I received decades ago: “NEVER put a negative opinion in writing.” If you are upset, talk to the person (after you have settled down), but don’t text, post, write, or email anything negative. It WILL be used against you.

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