I took a phone call at work today that could have hurt my feelings but instead made for a twisted sort of amusement. We've been having a lot of problems with companies making ad changes that never get to print and we end up printing the wrong ad and subsequently comping the cost of the ad to make them happy that we fucked up. To offset this, the editor made a decision last week that all ad changes must be in writing from the customer. This isn't hard to do, since we gladly take a short email or fax with a short little change line in it from them. It shouldn't be a problem. Who doesn't have email?
Since this policy has been in place, I've come across two people who seem to think this rule is absolute nonsense and they don't care if it is policy, they want me to work around it and make their changes without putting any effort into it on their part besides the phone call. Who knew people would be so willing to actually pick up a phone to speak to a person when email is so much easier. I got to talk to one of these fools today.
He just wanted two little words added to his ad. Sure, no problem. We can do that. I just need a email or fax along with this to confirm that this change is authorized by you before I can submit that. I couldn't find his paperwork, but I did see the ad in the paper. He didn't have the paper, but was looking at his ad online. But once I asked for him to send in something to me, he lost his shit. He couldn't believe that I would be so stuck on policy to not give in to him and just make the change. He was all over the country, had ten guys out there working on houses, and he couldn't make it up to Globe to make the changes. I told him he didn't need to come to Globe, he could just send me an email. However, he's apparently computer illiterate. Never mind the fact that he was LOOKING AT HIS AD ONLINE. Oops. Of course, I wouldn't call him out on that. But it certainly strengthened my resolve not to allow him to bully me. I don't operate under the motto "the customer is always right" because I believe that being a decent human being trumps any money they are going to throw my way. Man on the phone continues to rant that he doesn't have time, and what do I want? His credit cards? Personal references? Driver's license? I'm pretty sur the straw that broke the camel's back was when I simply said "I just need an email stating your changes" because he screamed like a little girl and hung up on me. Booyah.
Turns out, he only paid for his ad to run two weeks. It didn't run this week. And unless he makes some pretty drastic attitude adjustment, he won't be running his ad via me again.
In reality, I'd like to thank my father for all those conversations where he'd get irrational and angry. Because without those, I'd never had learned how to stay calm in the face of emotional, unstable people. Because that's what they hate the most. I'll be damned before I allow someone to berate me into submission with angry words. Luckily, I have a boss who backed my decision.