I’ve had a lot of customer service jobs in my life. At its best, I’ve gotten to meet a lot of nice people who are genuinely excited about whatever experience/product I’m selling/helping them with. At its worst, I had to tell people in their 80s that they don’t get a refund on the Ground Zero tickets they bought even though they thought they were buying through the Memorial because that’s what the company made them think (don’t ask, but also don’t buy from Tour Guide companies in NYC). It wasn’t always the company’s fault that calls were bad. Sometimes customers are just terrible, and I’ve always wanted to, during one of these jobs, just mess with them.
Cue Stephen Colbert!
In his most recent show, Colbert provided more Thanksgiving-related goodness. This time, it was a look back on his trip to the Butterball headquarters to work on their Butterball hotline. People with turkey questions got to call Stephen Colbert and he did not help them in the slightest. First, he plays up his ignorance. Eventually, he transitions into full-on harassment. Maybe it was a burning sense of jealousy, but that aspect cracked me up.
There’s a certain helplessness in customer service jobs. You can help others, sure, but unless you work for some magical company where the owners/managers give a s*** about anything but the bottom line, no one has your back. I feel like it goes back to one of the worst phrases in human history, “the customer is always right.” It has emboldened generations of jerks to treat service workers like garbage. So, I take a sick kind of pleasure in Colbert threatening to report a confused woman to homeland security.
Happy Thanksgiving! Don’t buy tours from tour companies in NYC! And don’t get turkey advice from Stephen Colbert!