Sunday, November 19, 2006

I Still Have My Day Job





Remember my awesome day job? I still like it. It's become a little more stressful, as I take on more responsibility. But, overally it's pretty cool.

I work for the Peace Resource Project... "We want to help you raise funds and awareness!" We sell a bunch of stuff with peaceful-type themes to shops, non-profits and individuals. Mostly buttons and stickers, but also now a considerable amount of DVDs and misc other stuff like patches, jewelry, postcards and flags. My job is customer service. I man the phones, take orders, fill orders, invoice and package orders to the peaceful masses.

I meet some interesting folks from all over the country, and sometimes other countries. There are some folks that own hippy stores or have a table of buttons and stickers on the street. Some very business like, some not so much. One guy, (I think he's in southern california with a street table someplace) is very nice but doesn't know any of our stock numbers. We have almost 500 stickers and over 800 buttons. He's good for an hour long order session that goes something like this:

"oh, hey Babe, how's things up north?"
"Great."

"you know I need more of that sticker with john lennon on it... um I only have 3 left (shuffle shuffle), yeah well I have 5 left so give me uh 6 of those."
"ok, which one? We have at least half a dozen lennon stickers..."

"Yeah, it has his face on it? Oh and give me that one that says peace, you know...(shuffle shuffle)"
"Wait, which one with lennon's face? Can you be more specific? And which peace one do you mean?"

"You know you really need more vegan stickers, like 'Meat is Murder' you know?"
"yeah, I told the boss that last time we spoke (he says this every time he calls). Did you figure out which lennon sticker you need?"

"Yeah because 'go vegan' is ok, but we really need that 'Meat is Murder', you have it in a button right? I would really like a sticker that says that, Babe, you know?
"Sigh..."

And on like that. Me with a cordless phone and a clipboard running around the stacks of stickers. After an hour of this, my ear is sweating and nerves are frayed... and he starts asking what I look like, how tall etc. Hahaha. Good times.

And of course with our DVDs we got some interesting calls as well. They cover lots of topics like media reform, voting reform, racism, world politics and such. The bulk of them, however, relate to Bush and 9/11 and the "war on terror". I think people are so glad to speak with someone who agrees on most of these issues, they babble sometimes. Some of them spend a lot of time on their research and maybe assume that we do too. Our boss does. But we in the office - while we care and try to watch as many of the 135 videos as we can manage - just sell the stuff.

Ok, I'm leading up to a funny story here... bear with me.

Oh, one more bit of info - we have lots of business names and web sites. Peace Resource Project is the main deal... but there's also the Pro Choice Resource Project, the Recycling Resource Project, 911 Share the Truth, 911 Truth, and Progressive DVDs. There's a phone line for every one of them, but they get mixed up and sometimes it gets confusing trying to figure out who they think we are at the moment.

So, one day I get a call from an upset customer. He sent us a check for some DVDs over a month ago and where the hell are they? A month is a long time. I start looking in the data base. Nothing. I dig through a file for orders waiting for checks. Nope. All the while he is bitching in my ear. I put him on hold and ask my coworkers if anyone has heard of him or might know anything about his order. Nope. I get back on the phone and get the correct spelling of his name, get bitched at more. By this time, the whole office is running around digging through files, discussing what might have happened to this guy's order. I start asking him more specific questions, to determine where his order might be...

"So, you ordered some DVDs. Who exactly did you order them from? Peace Project? 911 Share the Truth? Progressive DVDs?"
"Yeah, Progressive DVDs. I sent a check over a month ago and you have no record of my order??" (he's really pissed now)

"Well, we're looking for it, I'm not sure what happened. Let me get your phone number and call you back when we've figured it out. And you ordered it from our web site?"
(he gives me his number) "No, there was an ad in a magazine for a deal on 3, so I sent a check witha the ad."

"Hm, really? Are you sure you ordered from us? Because to my knowledge, we don't advertise in magazines. What exactly did you order, maybe that will help. "
"Yeah, Progressive DVDs in Los Angeles, right?"

"Oh, well we are Progressive DVDs but we are in northern California. Which videos did you order again?"
"Well... um... you do sell uh ... pornographic videos, right?"

"Nooo. Most of our DVDs relate to 9/11 and the war."
"Oh."

"Sorry about - " CLICK!

He hangs up on me and after I recount the converstaion, the entire office laughes really hard for about 10 minutes. Good times...