I needed to return some items I purchased, and the online "print your own return label" thing wasn't working for me. The other option was to call the customer service number and ask for them to mail one to me. I could have paid for the shipping myself, but since I'm a cheapo, and the return shipping was going to be free on my end, there was no way I was going to do that.
I've written plenty of posts about my dislike of calling people or customer help lines or even Joe Schmo down the street whom I've known for 20 years. I just don't like talking on the phone. Unless I know you really well. Then you can't get me to shut up. I would much rather talk to someone in person or use the stupid online chat sessions or send irate emails that I can edit and re-edit and re-re-edit than pick up the phone and call someone. But sometimes, I just have to bite the bullet, suck it up, and make a phone call.
And that's how I ended up knowing so much about someone in 15 minutes. Because that's how long it took to get the store to e-mail me a return label. Because I was held hostage on the phone by the friendliest phone rep I've ever spoken to. These are the things I've learned about her or where she lives:
1. She's buying a house for 70K that used to be over 400K.
2. Her mortgage payments, including property tax, will be about $600.
3. Her Aunt, who lives in Sunnyvale, owns a house with restored hardwood floors and it cost her $1MM.
4. The American River is low.
5. There are trees at the bottom of the American River. Trees you can see now because the river is so low.
6. She has a son.
7. She has a boyfriend.
8. The boyfriend is not the son's father.
9. If she lost her job, she could still afford her 70K house because of unemployment.
10. She pays $30 bucks a month for a land line even though she has a cell phone, but only because she needs to let people into her apartment complex using her land line.
11. She, too, is frustrated with our strange weather.
12. She, too, prefers the rug over the fake wood or hardwood floors.
13. She doesn't get why people would move to Sacramento but still work in San Francisco.
I'm sure there were more tidbits that I'm just forgetting. At one point, I IM'd my co-worker asking her to help me. She was willing to come over and start talking to me as an indication to whoever was on the phone that I was a busy lady and couldn't sit on the phone all day. I declined because I don't know how to do those sorts of things without laughing my head off, which would just spark another 15 minute conversation with the customer service rep. I just let her go on and on until she finally asked me if I got the email with the return label, which I had and had already cut out and wanted to tape onto the box but my tape gun is loud and then I couldn't hear her blabbering on about her life.
Next time: e-mail. No more phone calls.