Saturday, August 9, 2008

Euphemize this!

You know what chaps my ass? Well, I’ll tell you, of course. I’m sick and tired of the little euphemisms people in the service industry use. When I walk into a Wendy’s and the girl at the counter is ready to take my order, I really don’t want to hear her say, “Can I please help the next guest?”

Guest? Seriously? I’m a guest at Wendy’s? No. I don’t think so. I’m a guest at a friend’s barbeque. I’m a guest at a wedding. I’m a guest when I stay with a family member when I’m out of town, but I am not a damn guest in Wendy’s when I want a hamburger!

The day before, I was on hold listening to a menu (because we all know they just can’t have an actual person answering the phones anymore, right?) and instead of listing an option for customer service, they had a customer response technician.

Now I’m not sure what makes a customer response technician different from a customer service agent, but other than the fancy title, can it really be all that much?

Used cars are now Pre-owned vehicles. Really? This used car was pre-owned? Well that does make sense now doesn’t it?

The really funny part about all of this is that someone actually gets paid to think of this kind of stuff. Somewhere out there is a person who’s job it is to think of alternative ways to say things like this. They conduct surveys and studies and find that customers at Wendy’s prefer it when they are called guests. They find that a customer feels that a response technician is much more likely to be able to help them than a customer service agent would be. They decide that people who cannot afford new cars are much more likely to feel better about driving a pre-owned vehicle than they do about buying a used car.

But I’m not, and never will be a guest at Wendy’s. I’m some poor schlub, not unlike every other poor schlub who walks through that door and just hopes to hell I don’t find a booger or a pubic hair in my burger. I have no such worries when I’m an actual guest, I can assure you of that.

I know that a customer response technician is just an undercover customer service agent and I’m aware that a customer care provider is no different. I don’t feel more assured in the hands of a technician than I do an agent and I don’t make the mistake of thinking that any of them really care.

I know that pre-owned and used are the same thing. I don’t feel that a pre-owned car is superior to a used one in any way and when I’ve purchased used cars in the past I was never embarrassed by having to all it used because that’s exactly what it was, thank you very much.

I won’t even get into political euphemisms because there’s just no reason why I should risk my face getting red and my head popping off, but suffice it to say that euphemisms in politics are the absolute worst.

What ever happened to calling a spade a spade? What ever happened to calling it like we saw it? Are we really so naïve that we buy into this crap? Oops, I mean are we really so naïve that we buy into this reprocessed food product?

I actually felt sorry for the girl at Wendy’s today. Some corporate assknob who’s never spent a day of their lives behind a counter pushing burgers decided that she had to call people guests, so, for her minimum wage she does just that.

She knows it’s bullshit. I know it’s bullshit. We all know it’s bullshit, but God forbid the corporate euphemiser be put out of work. Studies have shown that we like to be guests. It makes us feel welcome. So, we are guests.

Ah, the power of words!


Lamb said...

Indeed. Or is it the power of influence that is complimented by words?

Anonymous said...

My least favourite is "African American". For all the obvious reasons.