Every quarter or so, I get a call from Amanda, my Account Manager. She’s a proactive young woman, always wanting to know how she or her company can better meet my company’s needs.
Seems like a breath of fresh air, doesn’t it? You almost never see personalized customer service like that, except in stuff like It’s a Wonderful Life – and that movie is 65 years old.
But here’s the catch: Amanda works for Large Office Supply Company and my office is not large enough to need much supplying. Seriously. I go through printer ink like nobody’s business, but a case of paper can last me over a year. Throw in a couple dozen file folders and a pen or two and that’s pretty much it.
I used to feel sorry for Amanda when she called. I mean, I don’t know how many accounts she manages but if they’re all like mine, it must be a pretty boring job. But now I’m edging closer to “annoyed.” She’s good enough at her job to remember things I’ve told her in previous conversations, but sometimes I get the feeling she doesn’t believe me. Really? Paper and ink, that’s all you buy? It’s like when you hear about those Hollywood starlets who claim to subsist on nothing but celery and vodka.
Still, I talk with Amanda when she calls. And not just because if I don’t, she’ll call back. If Large Office Supply Company weren’t paying her to call me four times a year, maybe she wouldn’t have a job at all. Then again, if she were really good at her job, maybe I would have hired extra staff by now, and let Amanda outfit them with the latest in paperclips.