customer service

By: Sara Lundquist

We have all had people tell us, “all you need to do is ask.”  I find that an incredibly hard task.  I don’t know why I don’t want to bother people or to be a bother.  When I was a young girl I was in the hospital after surgery.  I was all by myself in the room.  I threw up and the last thing I wanted to do was bother a nurse.  I know now that is their job, but I was scared to death to ask for help.  The nurse ended up finding me changing my own bedding which then turned into getting yelled at by the crabby nurse.  It only reaffirmed in my young mind don’t ask and draw attention you will get yelled at.  As I grew older I know this is not correct and we need to ask for help and assistance in life and we must give help when we are asked or needed.

walmartThis brings me to my new cell phone.  I love buying and selling items.  New to me and my family is just fine for us.  A couple weeks ago I saw there was a used iPhone 5 for sale.  I had an old phone that was not cutting it.  It was freezing up and not operating correctly.  I snapped up the new phone.  Now the task of switching my number and service to this phone.  I hate making calls even more so to a call center with interference and accents.  It is stressful and seems to never go well.  I decided to go with Wal Mart’s phone service.  I went to buy a service card and decided to pay for it at the electronic counter.  I had a man help me with the purchase and he asked if I needed anything else.  I felt like I wanted to take a scary extra step.  I wanted to ask for help but do I dare?  I took the step and I asked if he could program my phone and do the transfer for me.  He said sure but I can call myself when I get home.  I felt myself take a big breath and told him that I was hard of hearing and even with hearing aids talking to an unfamiliar voice with a heavy accent is not an easy task.

deaf symbol

When I said that it was like his hands were flying.  He made a call and took my phone and off he went programming and porting the phone.  Every question he had for me he looked right at me.  Lip reading him in a chaotic store was very simple.  He also wrote down some of his questions on some scratch paper.  He handed me the phone and my number was there and my service.  I was so happy.  I was so pleased with this employee that he was so willing to help.  I was proud of myself for asking.  My husbands words were, “I tell you to ask all the time and you finally did it.”  I stepped outside that comfort zone and asked.  I was pleased, happy and determined I can do this again.

When I got home I went on to Wal Mart’s website.  I left a comment about the service I received at this store and the individual employee.

A week later I had forgot about the comment I had made.  Friday evening we got a phone call with an area code I had never seen.   I just knew it was outside of Minnesota.  I picked up and I heard a man’s voice.  Honestly I didn’t catch the man’s name and I didn’t ask for him to repeat himself.  I swear he said CEO of Wal-mart again could have been wrong but that is what I heard.  This man called because the comment I had made had worked it way through Walmart and landed on his desk.  He said he was happy to see a positive comment and glad an employee stepped up to help.  He said the comment made it to the store we went to in Minnesota and to the individual that helped me.  I guess he grinned from ear to ear knowing he made a difference.  I am glad he was recognized.  Now if it could just be common place to help anyone that needs something.

This experience has made me realize I need to take the first step.  I need to ask and great things can happen.  This can be for asking for captions, a repeated word or an ADA kit at a hotel when traveling.

I needed to make this first step and now I need to put the other foot in front and keep going and keep asking and helping when I can.  Help your fellow man makes the world goes round.