01 November 2007

Social engineering ~ Greek style

I'm sure the Greeks have no word for 'social engineering', it being a skill embedded in their DNA and worked every day.

But I have just pulled off a minor feat worthy of an Amazon rep of the old days

  • Aug 13: My flirtatious handsome bro' buys our mother a Sony CMT-EH10 stereo system to replace the 1963 Dansette record spinner
  • He comments how helpful (and hot) the sales lady was who guided him thru the models and help choose the exact right for maman.
  • Yours truly files receipt in tray where it sits until October 25 when he holds a major clean-up and chucks useless document in the bin.
  • Oct 26: Sony stereo announces 'No Disc' when it is v clear that there *is* one there.
  • Searches city dump for easily identifiable black sack containing assorted grunge incl receipt
  • Doom and gloom at prospect of not getting the machine repaired. Decide to throw self at mercy of staff at 'Expert' store.
  • Enter store and explain mega problem: via credit card, brother bought Sony for mother mid-Aug. Mother lost receipt (fib fib) and now it has broken down.
  • Roll of Greek eyes and twirl of Greek fingers in unmistakeable gesture of "Fat chancopoulou, dude"
  • I spot efficient lady hovering, raise voice: "My brother bought it here with a credit card and he was *much* helped by a lady colleague. She gave him very good advice on which model to buy for our mother."
  • Efficient lady takes the bait and approaches. Can she help? Is some problem?
  • I repeat: my brother bought a new stereo for our mother
  • Roll of Greek eyes, twirly Greek gesture: Ah! Such a good son. Surely there must be some Greek in him?
  • He was very much helped by a woman staff member who spent much time demonstrating models and asking precise questions about user and usage.
  • Loipon! Surely that is myself (asks efficient lady)? Who else has such customer service skills?
  • Alas - mother has lost the receipt
  • All parties roll eyes and twirl fingers: Mothers! They work their fingers to the bone - how can they be expected to think of trivia like receipts?
  • And so? The problem?
  • The man rolls his eyes and twirls: no receipt, no can do
  • The woman flashes Greek eyes and tells him to look up the date of purchase. The mere man bends to the keyboard and finds my bro's name and details.

    "But what can we do with this?"

    Look of contempt from the lady, who picks up a phone and issues instructiona to some Iron Mountain filing clerk in distant Perithia.

  • "I want a copy of the receipt in this office by Friday. Ah bah! What is this story about cannot send receipt? What policy allows a mother to be without her musiki only 2 months after her son has bought her a machina from 'Expert'? What message do we send to mothers and dutiful sons, that we cannot be trusted to fulfil our bargain? Bah!

    Is there a supervisor there with love for family who can see past 'policy'? Loipon, that is better.

  • Replaces phone and unsmilingly tells me that the receipt will be for collection at that desk on Monday.
  • "And I can use that to get the repair?" She gives me a withering look: Of course.
  • She starts to write her name and phone number - 'If you have problem, I give you my ...' - but her male colleague waves it aside as if to say, 'No need. Like *really* no need ... it'll be more than my peace of mind is worth for that receipt not to be here.'
  • I simper my thanks and she glares me down.
  • As I start to walk out she says - and she is smiling like a schoolgirl - "I remember your brother. He lives Italy. He drives big car - Mercedes"
  • I nod, That's Pete.

5 comments :

Sibadd said...

I am not doing iChat yet and anyway I prefer email. Thought this might amuse though
http://democracystreet.blogspot.com/
The serendipity that brought me to your blog was your annoyance at the treatment of George Psailas at the British Cemetery combined with a note from someone in Scotland about the Corfu Incident. I've linked to Confucius because you write without sounding like a 'writer' e.g make it look easy.
Simon Baddeley s.j.baddeley@bham.ac.uk

Busker said...

Most kind.

Er ... it's coRfucius, actually. Excruciating pun, i know, but there it is.

Busker said...

addendum: actually, SJB - and i know this sounds churlish and killjoy - but i wonder if i could ask you not to link to my blog.
I'm flattered by your kind words but, truth to tell, i write to write, *not* to be read and it makes me nervous to think of even a single link to my scribblings.
yes, there are well-meaning varlets out there whose own sites mention my own, but if you look closely you'll see that they are of extreme unreadabilitiness and obscurity, clearly attracting no more than 40 or so hits par semaine, and of those half will be MIS-hits from the likes of my maiden aunt in search of pukka recipes for damson jam or some racy new pattern for this christmas's gift of lacy doilies.

No danger there of anyone of substance accidentally clicking on those losah URLs.

Your site on the other hand is clearly bound for glory and just the sort of thing to attract the readership i am lying so low from.

thanks so much for understanding, and best wishes for every success with rue d'emocracy.

Sibadd said...

Not churlish at all. Amid Narcissism someone not chasing a reflection. Link removed. Best wishes Simon

Busker said...

A gentleman. Rare breed. Most grateful.