On Monday I was informed that in four days I was expected to prepare a half-hour presentation on Customer Service. That’s a half-hour I have to stretch “hey, try to treat people as though they are, and this may shock you, people, you know, like you’re PAID to do.” Oh, but that’s not all, I will be giving this presentation at the end of an all-day staff-retreat (aptly named because I do want to retreat) following an hour+ presentation on the wonders of Excel.
I, and my presentation, are all that separates bleary-eyed workers from their weekend, late in the afternoon with my scintillating talk about customer service. Then, to top it all off, I have to give that presentation with an aggressively non-self-aware receptionist who probably needs to attend a customer service seminar rather than lead a 30-minute presentation on the subject.
After trying to brainstorm a compelling presentation on my own, hoping that brainstorm would drop more snow than Rick James in 1982 at Studio 54, yet in reality having that storm amount to no more than a Puerto Rican Winter. I have decided instead to turn to you, the faceless, aloof internet, to help me with this.
At the very least, I am going to come out with sparklers or those confetti popper things, and completely ignore the existence of my “partner” high school project style, but from there, I am floundering.
I could go with the time-waster option: “I know that I am the barrier between you and a life-fulfilling weekend, but I know you’re going to waste that time so I am using a gluttony of words to describe that utter, embarrassing waste of time.” OR I could do the opposite: “I empathize that you want to go home, but please empathize that I don’t want to be up here pontificating either. Understand that this is uncomfortable for all of us.”
But I still have to fill 30 minutes with no hope of assistance. Here are my thoughts on possible themes:
- Customer service is like taking a crap, you don’t want to wipe your butt, yet, if you don’t, your clothes are going to get all crappy.
- Customer service is like being a horse ridden by a spastic spur enthusiast.
- Customer service is like being Jeff Foxworthy who just found out what his next “you might be a redneck” bit is and working it out on a blog seen by literally twos of people (sorry, I just had what addicts call a “moment of clarity”).
- Have you ever gone to a Halloween party dressed in an outlandish costume only to find out it’s not a costume party, in fact, it’s a black-tie formal party yet they still let you in and ask you to hand out food? Yeah, that’s customer service.
- Customer service is like having someone demand at gun point that you sing karaoke with the passion of Nicolas Cage being attacked by bees, and the optimist in you expects and hopes to provide some entertainment to your audience, who happens to be meth-addled personified farts trapped in a typhoon of misery.
- Stand up there quietly, look at everyone, and say, “have empathy, ya’ dummies,” then stare at everyone uncomfortably for the next 29 minutes.
Or maybe I’ll turn to my taciturn coworker meant to be my co-presenter and every time things start to get quiet like I’m supposed to talk, I just start nudging my coworker and say, “go…come on, talk…say something…go…do work…talk, dammit.”
Your suggestions are welcomed, but before you ask, no, I can’t afford to hire anyone, let alone fire-dancers or the Puppetry of the Penis guys.