vendredi, mars 16, 2012

Cultural Differences - Volume 23587

There are many things you have to adapt to when you move to France as an American, and one of the biggest changes to get used to is a very different kind of customer service.

I try to adjust my expectations of what I can reasonably ask for and I always, always remain polite. I have gotten angry, of course, and I don't tend to let myself get taken advantage of, but I do try to approach things from outside the American point of view. Which often means taking a deep breath and remembering that three weeks is an acceptable amount of time to wait for something.

But today, on a day when the worldwide airline reservation system futzed out, making it impossible for me (or anyone else) to reserve a simple Paris - NY round trip on Air France (what is up with all these worldwide outages, people? Facebook? Outlook? Amadeus? 2012, you are freaking me out) I had to adjust to the fact that I cannot perform a simple task for my boss. (He doesn't know yet. He will not be happy.) It isn't a customer service issue necessarily, but it is annoying nonetheless.

OK, I thought, to distract myself, I will just check on this order I made for some birthday flowers to be delivered to a friend.

I went to the website, put in my codes, and I got a message saying, "Your delivery date is too close to your request", which made absolutely no sense to me, so I called the customer service number. I got a recording that said - no lie :

"If you are calling to check on whether an order has been delivered, please be notified that confirmation is only possible the day after delivery has occurred."

That is truly fucked up, people.

I mean, really? A nationwide florist can't tell me my order has been delivered on the day it was delivered? A florist. You know, the kind of place where people like to surprise other people with gifts on specific days for specific occasions?

I give up. For today, I give up.

I think I'll go to a café terrace, soak up the shyly emerging spring sunshine and get terrible service from a surly Parisian waiter instead.

That should cheer me up!

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