Thursday, October 15, 2015

There's An Art to Complaining

Written on 10/5/15...

I'm sitting at a place called Upton Tire Pro.  They do different automotive services from tire replacements to oil changes.  I'm using their waiting room computer right now.  I like to write when I'm here because I can usually get up to an hour of uninterrupted writing.

I come here regularly, but I have had my run-ins with the company.  They haven't always called me when my vehicle was ready and they've completely forgotten my car being parked out front on two occasions. However, they do good work and they're convenient to my home, so I continue to go (for now).

Today there is a man who has come to the counter on three separate occasions to complain about something.  He's a mid-50's white guy with frizzy hair and what appears to be a nasty cold.

He first complained about how the company's website timed out on him while trying to book an appointment for an oil change.  In fact, I heard that story three times as he repeated it to the people in the waiting room.

He then complained about how he wasn't feeling well, but decided to come up here anyway.  He figured that he could get an oil change and tire rotation on a Monday because Mondays "aren't busy."  What exactly he's basing that on I have no idea.  Every business is busy on a Monday these days.

As this guy is complaining, I'm sitting over here typing and hoping that he doesn't look over my shoulder to see this.  His whiny and pathetic sounding voice is funny and sad at the same time.  I don't know whether to fall out of my chair laughing or give him a hug and some chicken noodle soup.  Either way, I can tell that the employees are sick of him.

30 minutes pass and Mr. Sniffles approaches the front desk once again and says, "what's the purpose of getting an appointment if you're not going to work on the car?  My car hasn't moved."

I actually agree with his point, but still, there aren't too many places that are on-time for appointments aside from movie theaters.  He asks for his keys because he's "sick and didn't want to come in the first place."

The employee doesn't say a word and hands him his keys.  The man repeats his story from Chapter 1 about the appointment system not working, the fact that he's sick, and how appointments mean nothing at Upton Tire Pro to the employee who is looking down at her computer and ignoring him.  Afterwards, he turns and leaves as the room quietly watches.

I have nothing against complaining, but there's an art to it.  Some people are really good at it while others suck.  This guy fits into the "suck" category.  You can't effectively complain if you're annoying.  And the consensus in the waiting room based on the convo that occurred after dude left was that he was annoying.

In my opinion, complaining only works if you can get the other person to respond to what you're saying.  Asking questions that force them to show their incompetence by answering usually does the trick!  You have to establish guilt in order to have something done about it.  Making them hate you isn't going to amount to anything being done to resolve your issue.  Well, that's unless the employee actually cares.  And where can you find an employee like that outside of Chick-Fil-A?

At least he helped me pass the time.  They're just getting to my 2:00 PM appointment at 2:39 PM.  Oh, well.  I kinda know that goes with the territory with most garages.  All you can do is grin and bear it or start changing your own oil.

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