I was recently discussing trends in customer service and technical support with Brendan Keegan, president and CEO of Worldwide TechServices. We got a little off topic as he regaled me with entertaining anecdotes from his field technicians. I told him that my readers at the Gripe Line would enjoy hearing some of these stories. After reaching out to his technicians for recent stories from the field, he unearthed the following gems.
Time to hit the shower -- over and over again
Michael, a field tech, was sent on a service call in Oklahoma. He was told he was going to a customer's home. Nearing the remote, rural address given to him, Michael was on the lookout for a farm.
[ Also on InfoWorld: For more dirty IT jobs, see "The 7 dirtiest jobs in IT" and "The dirt locker: Dirty duty on the front lines of IT" | Frustrated by tech support? Get answers in InfoWorld's Gripe Line newsletter. ]
"As it turns out, the call was from a facility that nurses baby pigs," Michael says. He pulled into the mud parking lot and followed his nose to the facility. "I didn't need my GPS for the last half mile of the drive," he says. "The smell of pigs was overwhelming."
He was greeted pleasantly by the customer and followed the man to a waiting area. There he was told he could go no further until he had taken a shower. Michael was a little stunned by this unusual request. How could he smell any worse than those pigs? He gave the client a puzzled look.
"Pig farmers bring baby piglets here to nurse," the customer explained. "If anyone brings a disease into the clean area, it could kill all the piglets and ruin my business."
The request wasn't specific to Michael; no one was allowed into the clean piglet area till they had showered.
"So I stripped down, showered with their special soap, put on a bulk-laundered set of clothes, slipped on boots with covers and entered the clean area," reports Michael. Of course, he soon discovered that the problem required that he go in and out of the clean area several times. The modem was in the clean area, but the antenna was up on the roof.