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Thursday, October 6, 2011

Another "What The ----?" Phone Call

A couple of weeks ago, Arthur was out for work way past the usual time, and seeing as how I don't cook, I thought it would be a great time to "be lazy" and just call a food delivery service.

I got out our "menu" of delivery services: we place all the menus and flyers in a single clear folder, making all those leaflets into one "giant" menu. I got to thinking about the time (almost 9PM), and wailed at the fact that this seriously cut down on my options, since there aren't that many stores that deliver or are open 24 hours.

The ever reliable options I had were the Big 2: Jollibee and McDonald's. I decide to skip them in favor of a delivery service we barely use. (Side note: Whenever Arthur and I arrive from abroad, we have a long standing tradition of making pa-deliver from Jollibee, it seems to give us the stamp that "we're finally home!".)

After rounding down the list to either Wendy's, KFC and Sinangag Express, I made the final decision based on proximity of location, which would have to be KFC. If I was going to be lazy, I decided to go "all the way" - by the way, please don't give me lectures on how I need to "stop being lazy" or anything in that vein, there are days when you just want to do nothing and this was one of those.

(Photo courtesy of

Also, KFC had nostalgia appeal to me: as a youngster, whenever all of the maternal cousins would meet for either pool time or a beach outing, there always seemed to be a bucket of KFC with those gatherings - and the usual scramble for the drumstick.

I dialed their hotline.

"Good evening, Sir, thank you for calling can I help you?" says the male operator, who I think just underwent "American Twang" lessons at a call center.

"I'd like to order for delivery."

"Very good, Sir. May I have you name?"

I gave him my full name.

"Sir, let me check if you have an existing record with us..."

"I don't think so, I don't recall having ordered from you for delivery since you are very close to our place. We would normally just walk over there."

"I see, sir. OK, Sir Joey, may I have your complete address?"

I gave him my complete address.

Upon hearing my address, the operator goes, "Sir, do you have any outstanding landmarks for our rider's information? There are many buildings in the area with approximately the same name."

I gave him the pertinent landmarks so the driver wouldn't get lost.

"Sir, can I have your phone number for confirmation purposes?"

I also gave it to him.

"Sir, please make sure that this is a direct line and not a trunkline."

I told him that this was a residential number so he didn't have to worry about it.

"Sir, let me leave you for a moment while I enter this information in our files."

There was the usual "phone music" that played, the one that seemed to be connected to a demented music box from a bad horror flick. After almost a minute, the operator returned.

"Thank you for waiting, sir. May I now take your order?"

I told him what I wanted. He then said, "Sir, let me check for the availablity and so I can process the order already."

I waited for almost half a minute before he went back on the line.

"Thank you for waiting, Sir. I have processed your data for our files. (I hear some papers ruffling.) Sir, I regret to inform you that we no longer deliver at this time."

Silence. I am again dumbfounded.

"Wait, wait, asked me all of those questions...for nothing? I mean, you knew when I called that I wanted to have something delivered, right? Aren't you aware of your own delivery times?"

"Thank you for that, Sir. Sir, we have a strict protocol on what to do when taking calls or orders. (I hear the papers again. I'm guessing it's his "script".) We have to take in all the information first before we can begin processing orders."

"Kaya nga, hijo. We didn't have to do the entire bio-data thing, since you don't deliver anmore at this time. The moment I said I wanted something delivered, you should have advised me that the service was no longer available and that I should call the following day, right?"

"Uhm, sir...let me check..." (I hear those infernal papers once again.)

I hung up.

I then proceed to go down our building and got a nice, hot siopao (meat-filled bun) from the convenience store about 2 buildings away from us.

My Adventure With the Phone Calls from Zombie Operators continues.

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