Inspired by the doctor's office thread (and the looooooooong week I had at work), I thought I'd add this one.
In today's age it is not unusual to conduct transactions over the phone or via the internet. When making a purchase over the internet, feel free to be as unorganized as you wish as the only person's time your are wasting is your own. However, when you are calling to order something over the phone, say tickets to an extremely popular musical the day the box office opens, I have a couple of tips for you.
1. Have your calendar ready. Ideally you would have picked a date already, but I realize that the advertising was not 100% clear about days and times. In that case, have a couple of potential days pre-selected so that the sale can move along smoothly. And with three people at the window and three calls on hold I cannot check each one of thirteen shows to see which one has the best seats. Also, I do not care about your social calendar. I want to know what date you can come on, not which day Susie has dance class or which evening your and Mr. Patron play bridge.
2. If you've never been to our venue, please either look at our seating layout on-line or come in person to purchase your tickets. As stated above, with so many other people, I cannot explain the seating to you in great detail, especially since it is very confusing to do so verbally to someone who has never visited us before.
3. Know how many seats you need. Seriously, it wastes everyone's time when you call up and I ask how many seats you need and you have to run through all of the names of the people who are coming at least twice. When I ask, "How many seats do you need?" The answer is, "Four (or two or eighteen)".
4. Have your credit card ready. Again, we are extremely busy and it is very rude for you to ask me to wait while you take several minutes to run out to your car and get your credit card. If I were allowed to hang up on you, I probably would.
5. For the love of all that is good and holy, please read your credit card in groups of four cardinal numbers. 5424 1212 3434 5656 should not be read "fifty-four, twenty-four" or "five, four, two....four, one, two..." The number should be read "five, four, two, four...three, four, three, four...etc"
6. Please don't interrupt my "spiel" to ask a question. Nine times out of ten I will give you the information that you need. If you would have waited until I finished my sentence, I would have answered your question.
7. Please listen to all of the information that I give you. The information is important and I'm certainly not saying it for my benefit. (See below)
8. All sales are final. I told you that before we completed the order. Do not call back five minutes later and ask to cancel the sale because you didn't realize the tickets were so expensive. I told you both the individual price and the total for all of the tickets. When I once again inform you that all sales are final don't be a brat and declare that you'll just dispute the charges. Be an adult and take the consequences for your lack of listening skills. If you had done that and asked nicely, I probably would have just voided the sale without any hassle. We're all human and I don't mind making exceptions for polite adults.
9. After you've thrown a temper tantrum the day before, don't call back and try to order the same tickets. I may have taken 200 orders yesterday, but I remember you. You are special. Very, very special. Yes, we did actually void your sale, so no, the excellent tickets I had available yesterday are no longer available.
10. Don't yell at me, lie to me, or blame me for your mistakes. Doing this does not endear you to the staff in the office. We may not have an actual list, but our memories are long. The next time you need a favor because you accidently ordered tickets on the wrong night, we really won't be able to help you.
11. In general be polite and don't waste my time. We have hundreds of patrons who manage to do this. They call prepared with a date, number of tickets, and their credit cards. They don't gripe about the seating availability. They place their orders and move on with their days. But it is you, the few who this list is aimed, who make my day very, very long.