I may have mentioned that – broadly speaking – I am in the business of making people happy. Now while this does not mean that I roam the country administering pelvic massages, it does mean that I actually mean it when I say, “I’ll see what I can do”. It always makes me twitch when I’m placed in a situation where someone is determined to be disappointed and this extends beyond working hours, too.

I was recently catching up on some admin* at the studio when a listener phoned in with a query. When I explained that I would need to check the file first and get back to her, she gave a long-suffering sigh and muttered, “Oh, but you won’t. Nobody ever phones back”

This pissed me off in so many ways, I didn’t quite know what to do with myself. It felt a bit like those times when I’ve eaten Mexican food and tried to suppress a sneeze, because I was afraid it would come out in stereo. I consider reverse psychology to be beneath contempt, but on the other hand, I always phone back. Service in Cape Town generally ranges from mediocre to pathetic, so it is a matter of honour for me. However, when someone tells me that they’re specifically expecting me not to call back, I’m tempted to just that – since it seems that on some bizarre level, it will make them happy.

Damn, but these dilemmas sometimes have sharp horns.

* drinking coffee, reading the newspaper, getting in the way…


21 thoughts on “Bluebird

  1. “come out in stereo”?
    “at the studio”?
    “a listener phoned in”?
    “Winners will be sworn to secrecy as to my identity”?

    Oh Christ… You’re Nic Marais, aren’t you?

    “I am in the business of making people happy.”

    Oh. Sorry. I was (very) obviously (very) wrong.


  2. M: Are you flirting with me?

    TwoFlower: Me too, then I could skive off while the other me phones people back.

    Dolce: Is that the cackle of experience I hear?

    Flo: I’m Nic Marais? Noooooo!!!!! Oh wait, my colleague has just assured me that I’m someone else. Whooeee, what a relief! That was a close one, eh?

    anne: Good idea. Can’t go messing with personal belief systems, can I?

    the tart: Yup. Fun & games. As long as it makes you happy πŸ˜‰


  3. It’s amazing what expectations of a bad experience do to the service provider.

    My new police initiative exposes a case in point. Imagine being a good policeman or woman. And almost everyone you see is traumatised and then takes it out on you and tells you how useless the police are?

    You can imagine the scale of the police morale problem…


  4. “Hey Mr Bluebird on my shoulder…”

    Pity about those massages KN.

    Oh and I have been extremely busy with Admin* today too… which reminds me…uuhhh about that report The Boss was wanting….
    Nevermind – I have to go and return a call quickly…


  5. You can either take the telemarketer approach and phone her at the most inappropriate times and with annoying frequency…
    or start the pelvic massage plan.

    or ignore her and call her back next year on the anniversary of her inquiry.

    What business makes people happy?


  6. Ah, the telephone.

    Hate ’em. Always have. Always will.

    (The telephone is for the benefit of the caller, not the person being called- as a matter of convenience.)

    Most of the places I would call (if I were normal) I just visit in person. Life is better when you encounter people directly.


  7. Well, you MUST phone her back.

    You know it.

    You have a deep psychological drive to perform your job properly and when someone questions it, you can’t have that.

    You’ll phone her. I know I would. Even if I had to do it off-hours.


  8. IITQ: Frankly, I can’t imagine being a policeman. I think my mind would collapse.

    Spookie: What? You, too?

    homo escapeons: I am an Engineer. “Client satisfaction” is part of my company’s mission statement. Come to think of it that could very well include pelvic massage.

    angel: Excellent. As long as you’re happy, too.

    M: Well, you know how to get hold of me…

    Katt: Quite right. They cost the usual $20 application fee and a picture of yourself in the nude.

    Bryan: Perhaps I should introduce you to some of my colleagues.

    WW: Of course I phoned back. She was all snotty and ungracious about it when I did, which actually made me feel a bit better.

    Cherriepie: It’s irksome, though. Some people don’t deserve courtesy, but one can’t go drawing arbitrary lines.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s