Friday, April 4, 2008

Criminal Profiling Topic of the Day: Maybe Naomi Campbell isn't All the Bad

I have to admit it: I, actually, sort of, can't blame Naomi for her tirade at Heathrow Aiport that got her arrested. Apparently, there was some issue over a lost luggage item and Naomi went ballistic on the airline personnel. Now, I know she has had issues with temper before and threw a phone at a woman's head, but let's assume for a moment she isn't just narcissistic and feels she is entitled to get everything she wants and treats people badly. Let's consider, before we totally jump to charge her guilty, if she had some reason for her anger.

I will look to my own past dealing with people in some sort of service position. Now, before I get hate comments or emails, I want to say that some of the people I have dealt with care about their customers and clients and do a good job. But, there are many others that just send you over the edge.

1. Today - The manager at Andre Chreky Salon in Washington DC who refused to refund my money even though the hair stylist admitted to making a mistake (until I acted like Naomi and they wanted to get rid of me)

2. Last month - I stood outside of the DoubleTree in NYC waiting for the limo that was to take me to Penn Station. I was there 10 minutes before pick-up time. When the car was 10 minutes late, I called the company who told me he has been circling the block for ten minutes because I was not there. What a liar! Then, he told me the car would be there in five minutes. It was not. I called again. I was told it was down the block. This went on for 45 minutes until the driver finally showed up. I missed the train. I acted like Naomi.

3. Six months ago - Gold's Gym charged me $1500 for a contract I never signed. It took me acting like Naomi and threats of bad press to get my money back.

4. Two years ago - Cingular attempted to defraud me out of $3000. They sent the collection agency after me but I refused to cave in to their extortion plot. I acted like Naomi and then I bought two websites, and I finally one that battle.

5. Two and a half years ago - I was flying home from overseas when the NWA flight attendent gave me a turkey sandwich. I called her back and explained to her I am a vegetarian and I had ordered vegetarian food for the flight. She said, "Oh, go ahead and eat it. There is hardly enough turkey on there to notice it." I was shocked! As I was leaving the plane I ask to speak to the head steward who told me the woman did nothing wrong and when I got upset that they didn't care about this appalling treatment of a passenger, they told me to get lost. I acted like Naomi.

Okay, if Naomi threw stuff at folks and allegedly spit on the cop at Heathrow, I wasn't quite that bad. But, I have been quite loud on occasion because I hate being ripped off, lied to, and treated like dirt when I am either spending money in an establishment or hiring someone to work for me. I never treated anyone that way when I worked in a job providing services and I don't understand this kind of unacceptable behavior by employees of companies.

American customer service is at an all-time low, and, if they don't improve, I won't be the only one in the country "doing a Naomi."

Criminal Profiler Pat Brown


Inspector Winship said... You. Are. Awesome.

Pat Brown said...

Sad to say, there is so little accountability in this country for monopolies that there is little the average citizen can do to fight being ripped off. The stuff we are told to do doesn't work very often - Better Business Bureau, Attorney General's Office, etc. I fought back in two ways: refusing to paying and allowing my credit to be ruined, and fighting back with threats of major bad publicity )which only worked bacause of my name and extreme tacts like getting I never received one speck of useful help from any government agency. Meanwhile, while I doggedly fought on, I encountered employee after employee with that same nasty condescending attitude, cold, rude, illogical, insulting and deceptive. I don't know how companies find so many people with this level of inhumanity but there are droves of them.

Furthermore, America doesn't teach people how to be respectful and polite in service work. I just went on a cruise in January and I was absolutely amazed at the staff on board. What a difference from what we see in the United States. Of course, not an American among them: they came from the Philliphines, India, Mexcio, etc. They were polite and friendly. It was awesome. The service was equivelent to a five-star hotel or restaurant. Unfortunately, most of America runs on a one star attitude.

I remember when I worked as a sign language interpreter for ten years doing emergency room work at all hours of the day, I was called "Pollyanna" by the staff. Now, anyone who knows me or has seen me on television would think this would hardly be a label someone would give me. But the reason the hospital did is because I never showed up to work late, never without a smile, I never complained no matter how many hours (or days straight) I worked, and I never caught an attitude. I was there to facilitate communications between two people and do my job well and I took that to mean I don't show up late, act surly and negative, and refuse to be helpful. When I worked in the food industry I did the same. When I worked in retail I did the same. It is called a work ethic. America has lost much of it.

Preraphazon said...

I don't feel so alone now. Thanks, Pat. I remember when people at least acted like they liked their bosses, too. I know it isn't right, but I have to say I laughed when Zsa-Zsa bitchslapped the policeman. Of course I also laughed when they arrested her for it.

Naomi admits she's a hothead and goes too far, so that's comforting. But you know, I've worked with male supervisors who were worse than her, and no one questioned it. Then I've been a female supervisor who was expected to act maternal towards her staff rather than direct and authoratative, even though, as I pointed out, I'd learned everything I knew from the men. It all goes back to the double standard.

Most men don't HAVE to throw teacups to get a refund. It's rare anyone ever stands up to them. But women have to fight for EVERYTHING because they don't automatically get respect and certain factions of both sexes are determined not to give it to them. We have to take down success the hard way, by force, be it a squabble at the cleaners to a promotion on the job, like a lion taking down an antelope -- and not even a lame antelope. That's what it feels like.

And it's always something. Last year I opened a new credit card, and before I did, I asked to make sure I could choose the due date. They said yes. Then I spent the next 5 months getting them to change the due date. I went up their ladder, and then I filed an official complaint with their governing agency, and suddenly I had a polite young man on the phone who had only to press a button to change my due date. Unbelievable!

Barbara Walters once said "Don't fight the small wars," and I try to remember that. It is draining. And I think it's best to avoid airports altogether these days for our ilk. They're even kicking women off for short skirts these days, so there's not much hope they'll play fair with the ones who use their brains. It is now officially a federal offence. I miss the seventies.

Pat Brown said...

I feel your pain! I think it is true women have to fight harder to get respect and their rights honored. Barbara Walters may have a point about not fighting for small things as far as energy goes, but, wrong is wrong. I don't care if you are trying to rip me off of ten dollars or ten thousand dollars, it is stealing. I think most people just don't like confrontation and they get upset when other people dare to do what they don't have the balls to do. I admire people who stand up as long as what they are standing up for is for honesty and fairness.

Ronni said...

I will usually put up with quite a bit, but the worst I ever remember going off on somebody was when I received appalling attitude from a Hospice volunteer when the hospital called them to help with my MIL during her last illness. The Hospice lady showed up at the hospital and asked me pages of questions, until she got to "How long since the patient last ate?" I told her about the nurse and I grinding up MIL's meds into some Jello and almost forcing her to eat it, and the woman said, "Oh, she could hang on for a month or more if she's still eating. This program is for two weeks. I'm afraid she won't qualify."

I lost it.


"Don't worry about us," I said. "I've looked after her by myself for the past four months, and her son, too. And I will continue to do so, no matter how long! And, I'll tell you what--you don't know my MIL! When she puts her mind to something, it gets done, and she told the nurse this morning that she wanted to die. If she's still here in a month, I'll donate $500 to your Hospice!"

That was on Saturday morning. MIL died at dawn on Monday.

This was five years ago but I am still angry about it.

And then, they kept sending us surveys by email and snail mail, wanting us to evaluate their service. I called them and did so, in spades.

Pat Brown said...

Yes, it is that cold indifference that often makes me nuts. "Ma'am, we are trying to help you..." but with a voice as flat as the line on a dead person's heart monitor. Grrr....

I remember the police chief asking why I was so concerned about the woman who was raped and murdered in my town. He said, "She wasn't anyone YOU knew."

Gee, well, that makes it all right, doesn't it.

Funny how those memories still remain years later. Probably because they are so infuriating...

Ronni said...

InSessions (court TV Message Boards, at the time) had a lot of posters who couldn't understand why many of us were so passionate about Laci Peterson and Lori Hacking, and many other homicides of young women. They said the same thing: "Boy! Anyone would think this person was your best friend, not a total stranger!"

What affects one of us affects us all.

Eyes said...

I agree customer service doesn't exist anymore with 98% of companies. My experiences mirror yours, and like you, I stand up and make a fuss. If I pay for a service and it is not rendered fairly, I will speak and speak loudly. I will not go away until I get fair treatment.

Government agencies haven't helped me either.

Just sadly, too many people tell me their stories, and how they accept bad service and pay for it to boot. As long as people do this, things won't improve any time soon.

One amazing thing I experience in the past few months, however, IS worth a mention. I bought glass bowls at Kmart. They chipped. I exchanged them, and they chipped again. This time Kmart told me to call the manufacturer so I did.

The manufacturer sent me free bowls (I had purchased 24) without any questions and upon my agreement (we figured local stock might be defective), and they told me if they chipped again, they will refund me at once. The woman gave me her name and her direct line.

I was called by no less than three customer service reps within the week, and they were all polite and asked if I was pleased with their service.

Mikasa is the company behind the bowls. I was blown away!! Outstanding job!! But what an absolute exception this was.

Preraphazon said...

I just hate the piddly stuff. I had a certain pair of shoes I bought at Bass, and they fit so good I went and bought another pair in the same color. Once I wore them for a few minutes, I realized they were too short. This place was 30 miles from where I live, and I drive an old van. So next time I had a rental car and had to be out that way, I took them back. I didn't have the receipt, because I assumed they'd fit, being the same shoe. I argued with that little teenage nit for an hour to no avail. Then I came home and wrote Bass a series of e-mails and a couple of months later, I finally got my refund, although they forgot to pay the postage, as promised. I mean, what if we only get one life? But you know, I just can't blow off $50.

Gina Bullard said...

OMG~LMAO!!!!!! Ohhhh Pat,I love it!!!!

Pat Brown said...

Is Gina but a Naomi in disguise?

Gina Bullard said...

I have thrown a fit or two! I blame it on my inner child~she is a mean little brat!!!!!!