If a company sells a million widgets and 1 percent of them break, that’s ten thousand unhappy customers. As the man in this story is about to learn, service contracts tend to favor the ones who wrote them and thus, I give you this tale of customer dissatisfaction that I call: “Loaner.”
Welcome to Super-Short Storytime, literature listeners and audio aficionados! I am Eduardo Soliz, the creator and narrator of the wonderfully weird story that you are about to hear.
This story was influenced by my time spent working in customer service. As much as I’d like to ‘get over it’ and move on, the general public have provided me with WAY too much story material in order for me to do so. I call this cursory client conversation: “Future Service”
“Your call is very important to us, sir, and a technical support representative will be on the line with you shortly.” a female voice said over the communicator.
“Yeah, really important, that’s why I’ve been on hold for fifteen minutes…” the caller muttered as he paced back and forth.
“I apologize, sir. Is there anything I can do for you while we wait? Is there anything you would like to talk about?” asked the voice on the phone.
“No, that’s fine.” The caller said. He stopped his pacing as he came to an unpleasant realization. “Wait, have you been on the line all this time?” he asked.
“Yes, sir, it is our policy to never transfer customers to an automated system.” The rep replied with an air of pride. “We have learned that interacting with a live representative prior to speaking with a technical support specialist improves the overall customer experience.”
“So your job is to just sit there and talk to me?” The dumbfounded caller asked.
“Yes sir.” The woman replied.
“And you can’t do anything at all to get my problem fixed?” The caller said, his voice beginning to waver slightly.
The woman took on a condescending tone when she answered: “I’m afraid not, sir. I am here to keep you company and ease your frustrations until a qualified technical support specialist becomes available, in about…” She paused as she checked her screen. “Twenty minutes. This new system has improved our efficiency and greatly improved customer satisfaction. Are you still there, sir?”
“Yes. So whenever I call this number, I will always get a person?”
“That is correct,” the woman cheerfully replied.
The android finally reached his breaking point. He slammed a metal fist onto his dining room table and yelled into the communicator: “SO WHAT DO I HAVE TO DO TO GET A MACHINE AROUND HERE?!”
Like the old saying goes, you can’t make everybody happy. Perhaps one day some company somewhere will perfect customer service over the phone. Until then, we’ll have to “hold” on as best we can.
This has been Super-Short Storytime! Visit eduardo soliz dot com for more stories and free e-book downloads, and remember, listeners: Your call may be recorded for quality assurance, but that doesn’t mean it’ll be listened to!
A while back I mulled over the worlds that my short stories take place in and came up with three distinct ‘universes’ or ‘worlds’ that most of them would probably fit into:
- Earth-F, which is inhabited by talking animals and is where most of my funny stories take place
- Earth-H-Minus, where humans ‘blew it all up’ and the furries inherited the Earth…not quite so funny.
- Earth-M, where magic and furries exist, though outside of the Enchanted Forest stories, I haven’t done much there
Of course, there’s also boring old “Earth Prime,” which is our reality, such as it is. Most of my science-fiction would likely go here, since I try to make those stories at least somewhat plausible.
And then there are my Christmas stories. I thought it would be cool to tie them together, so in “The X-Mas File,” I had a character make a passing reference to what happened in “Christmas Wishes,” my first Christmas story. In 2017, I decided ‘why the heck not, let’s tie EVERYTHING together,’ so “Evidence,” my 2017 Christmas story, takes place at the fictional mega-corporation ‘Gooplezonsoft.’ Indeed, the events from “As Designed,” the first story to feature Gooplezonsoft, are alluded to there.
Thus, in the world of Gooplezonsoft: Santa Claus is real. He also doesn’t live at the North Pole, either, though you’ll have to read The X-Mas File to find out where he’s hiding. 😉
I’m not completely sure what to call that world, though. “Earth-S,” for Santa, perhaps? Either way, it’s a fun place to be and I already have an idea in mind for next year’s Christmas story, after I post a more upbeat one to make up for “Confession,” tomorrow.
A mysterious alien box appears in the desert. What will be revealed once the scientists of Earth decipher its “Message?”
Welcome to the first episode of “Super-Short Storytime!” Today’s tale is about bumping into old classmates. Enjoy “Betty’s Baby,” a selection from “Ten Tiny Tales.”
In celebration of Furry Fiesta: Mad Science taking place this weekend, here are a few of my favorite science fiction stories!
I don’t know if there is such a thing as “geek cred” but if there is, I’ve certainly lost quite a bit of it. I have just not kept up with all the cool sci-fi and fantasy stuff that’s been out these last few years. As a youngster, I had a voracious appetite for science fiction and fantasy both written and on TV. I would stay up to watch reruns of the original Star Trek on Sunday nights, had to watch Doctor Who just before bedtime, and read The Hobbit and the Lord of the Rings in high school for fun.
These days, TV just doesn’t interest me any more, I don’t have cable, and I find other things to do with my free time, like play games, watch DVDs, and write, of course.
Thus, I did not watch the Battlestar Galactica or the Doctor Who reboots, nor have I read any of the Harry Potter books or even seen any of the movies all the way through. I feel a little vindicated now that Battlestar Galactica and Doctor Who are cool now, or at least as cool as sci-fi can get.
As I write this, I keep thinking of more things I missed out on…Heroes, Smallville, and the only thing I know about Twilight is that it has something to do with vampires…didn’t we go through this awhile back with the whole “Interview with the Vampire” business? I guess everything boomerangs sooner or later.
The sci-fi geek I used to be slowly has morphed into a gamer geek over the years, and that’s fine…but if they ever reboot Buck Rogers in the 25th Century, I am SO there!