Dec 17
ChocolateLilac's picture

Customer service

Hearing footsteps approching the couch, Ember looked up from her laptop. Her sister April stood beside their ring-stained coffee table. She was wearing her workout clothes, a pair of  black shorts, a light pink T-shirt, with her brown hair tied back into a short ponytail to finish. “Whatcha doing?” April asked. 

“Finishing up my chemistry assignment.” Ember said, closing her laptop. “Are you off to the tennis court?”

“Yep! Do you wanna come with? It’s really sunny out.”

“Maybe later, I’m just gonna take a break.”  All the equations and formulas are still rattling around in her head, god she needed a break.

Instead of leaving, April seemed to be contemplating something. 

“If you aren’t going out for a while, can you do something for me?” April grabbed a magazine on the countertop and handed it to Ember. The bright red and yellow splotches are not helping Ember's headache. “Goodshop is having a sale on Ice cream this weekend, can you call them real quick and ask if there’s any more Chocolate Mint left?”

Ember frowned. “I don’t like calling people.” 

“It shouldn’t take too long.”

“Why can’t you do it?”

“The sale ends at 3, I won’t make it in time after tennis. Pretty please?” 

Ember sighed. “Fine, I’ll call them if I have time.”

“Thanks! Love ya sis.” April went off to put her runners on, tapping them against the floor. Ember heard a jingle of keys being grabbed. “I’ll be back at three! Got your lunch in the fridge!” She called out.

“Yeah yeah, now get out of here.” 

The front door closes, leaving Ember alone in the living room. ‘Might as well get it over with.’ She thought, and dialed the string of red numbers on the bottom of the magazine.

The line rang once, twice, three times and more. Just as Ember was about to hang up, a tired, British woman's voice came through. 

"Hello and thanks for calling GoodShop, my name is Martha, how may I help you today?" Her voice sounded so monotone, it took a while for Ember to realize that she was actually speaking to a real person.

"Um... Hi!" Ember hated how timid she sounds. "My name is Ember, and I was wondering if your ice cream is still on sale? If so, do you still have Chocolate mint?

A barely muffled sigh was heard over the phone, "Miss, this is the human resources department. You need to call your store’s location directly and ask them about any product inquiries."

“Oh.” 

“Where are you calling from miss?”

“Anchrope, Canada.”

Ember could hear the sound of flipping paper in the background. “Do you wish to apply for GoodShop, have any general inquiries about wages, or wish to resign from a current location?”

“No…?” 

“Then this isn’t your line to call. Thanks for calling Goodshop, have a good day.”

The line clicked off.

‘Well that was rude.’ Ember searched up and dialed the number for Goodshop, Anchrope. The phone barely rang once before a young man picked up on the other side. He sounded more awake than the British woman, time zones maybe?

“Thank you for calling Goodshop. My name is Jason, how may I be of service?”

“Hi, do you still have the sale on Ice cream? ” Ember asked.

“Ice cream?” He sounds confused, “I don’t think we have a sale on Ice cream this week. Is this the right location for you to call?

“Isn’t this Anchrope?”

“Yes, but this is the South Anchrope location miss, are you asking about our other location up North?”

“There’s two of you?” Ember groaned

“Please hold, I'll transfer the call to the other location for you.”

The phone rang for a few more seconds before another lady answered. Her voice was so shrill and over enthusiastic, she sounded like a reincarnated dog whistle. “Hi thank you for calling goodshop. My name is Lucy, how may I help you today?” 

“Do you have any Ice cream in store?” 

“Ohh sorry this is the cosmetics department, you’ll have to call Grocery for that.”

Ember was getting pissed.  “Can’t you just go over there and check?”

“Sorry miss but we aren't allowed to leave our stations unless it’s an emergency. Please hold while I transfer you.”

Cheery waiting lobby music came across the phone line. Ember has never hated Jazz more than she did now in her entire life. After a few minutes of stabbing freelance jazz musicians in her head, a young man’s voice picked up the phone.

“Thanks for calling Goodshop, my name is...”

Maybe it was something about the young man’s voice, or the ironic repetitiveness of the exact lines. But the last strings holding back Ember's fury snapped.

“Oh screw you you piece of ****!” Ember screamed into the receiver. “I don’t care what your name is, or which god forsaken department you are part of. All I wanted was to ask about some Ice cream man, just some Ice cream, Good customer service my ***.”

“Uh, Miss? Are you alright?”

“Must’ve been fun huh? All of you tossing me around like a potato baked in hell’s furnace. Do you know how hard it is for me to muster up the courage to ask you all for something? I’m sure you won’t understand, all of you extroverts in your little cubicles taking calls everyday.”

“Um, miss, sorry but I’m not understanding?”

“You know what? Screw this, I don’t even care anymore. You can keep your stupid Ice cream, don’t you dare think for one second that you can mess with my dignity!” Ember hung up on him. And damn if that didn’t make her feel good.

April came back a few hours later and found her older sister eating a chicken wrap on their couch. “You look happy, I take it they still have the sale?” 

“No idea, didn’t ask.” Ember took another bite, revelishing in the harmony of flavours.

“What? What have you been doing all morning?”

“Upholding my rights and bringing balance to the corrupt customer service system.”

 
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