Mopping Up Service

The concept of service has had all of the life sucked from it.

This seems to be a ridiculous new low when it comes to corporate-based “Customer Service” and phone ‘bots and such like.

There was a water spill in the building where I work. It was in a break area. Lots of people walk into and out of that break area. I discovered it an early morning hour, before there were too many people. I found the source of the leak and stopped it. I found wads of paper towels and threw them on the floor. I found a marker, a piece of paper, and a handy trash can and penned “CAUTION WET FLOOR DO NOT SLIP” and taped the sign to the can and placed it in front of the wads of paper towels.

Then I went in search of custodial service.

I found a sign with a 1-888 number to call for custodial service in the place where there used to be a person. I used my personal cell phone to call the 1-888 number, and a person in a distant part of the world answered. His name might have been Rajeev. I related my issue. He asked for my phone number. I gave him my desk phone number, expecting that he would then ask for where the spill had occurred. You know. Part of the world, state, building code, area number, etc.?

Nope. He said, “Someone will get in touch with you” and he hung up.

I was on a teleconference using my desk phone. How, exactly, would someone get in touch with me? Why could he not have taken down the information and dispatched a person with a mop as soon as possible?

I went to the web site that the sign had also indicated, and saw that I could open a trouble ticket using the web. I filled in all the information, including the fact that I had just called someone and was not able to provide location information during the call. The web site cheerfully informed me the service call would be routed and my department would be billed $1000.

When my teleconference meeting ended, I got up and went to the break room. There were more sodden paper towels on the floor, and lots of wet footprints, but no sign of clean-up. No sign of a person with a mop. I tossed even more towels on the floor and went back to my desk.
I called the 1-888 number again. I ranted about how no one seemed to be mopping up the spill, someone might slip and sue the company and then the company would sue them for failing to provide contracted services. I ranted about how no one had taken the proper information down and how they were attempting to charge us $1000 for a mop-up. Pavarthy assured me that the $1000 was just an estimate and apologized and assured me, also, that she would have the work order routed very quickly.

Three hours later, a woman called me.

“Choo khav espill?”

“Yes, in the break room near me.”

“Where es espill?”

I gave her the location for the break room.

“Where thees pliss?”

I gave her directions to the break room.

“Hokay. I go mop espill.”

A few moments later, I saw a woman with a bucket and a mop. She picked up all the sodden paper towels, but there was nothing left to mop up.

“Espill all gone!”

I nodded.

“I choos get teeket for work. I be here fast, but they not give teeket until chess now.”

I nodded.

“Hokay.” She rolled her bucket out of the room. A few moments later she joined the now very large crowd of custodial persons who were taking their break in a different break room.