Oh, Margaret McHugh... I wonder whether your bad temper has finally destroyed your catering business...
I guess pretty much everyone everywhere must have seen Margaret's extremely tetchy email conversation with Hayley from Ray White Real Estate in Auckland. It went viral pretty much instantly - and was across the other side of the world by the end of the first day. By the end of day 2 it was in the papers and on the telly... Now everyone knows about Margaret's appalling customer service - and all because of the price of a chocolate-dipped strawberry...
Here's the full set of emails if you're the only person in NZ who hasn't received them yet...
But there's more! Seems that wasn't the only time Margaret's lost her cool in an email... this time with a hint of racism - and I've also read a couple of comments on the Herald's Blonde at the Bar blog: Clear Communication that indicate she's been known to lose her rag on the phone too.
It's interesting - I'm guessing she's pretty busy at this time of year (or at least, she was), and a couple of her comments make me think she harbours a major amount of resentment towards people she believes aren't working as hard as she is. Here's part of one email to Hayley:
Not having the fortitude to call by telephone tells me your incrusted in your sit down loads of spare time job.
And here's part of her diatribe against Lai Tong from Trust Investments Management Limited:
Please don’t use Gourmet Food Store again we are not used to part timers who have to much time on their hands, have no understanding, good manners and common sense in dealing with a complaint there and then.
(My italics, Margaret's horrible spelling, punctuation and grammar).
She also obviously hates using email, and seems to wish customers would communicate by phone:
I personally don't have the time or inclination to sit on the computer all day playing email ping pong. Please confirm your order by 9am this morning some 7 hrs before the function begins TELEPHONE XXXXXXX
If you wish to discuss this further I am on the numbers below please don’t send an email it is so time consuming and impersonal.
...in which case it's a bit stoopid for her to have a website and to put her email address on it, isn't it?
It seems as though she really doesn't understand that when you're booking catering (or anything else for that matter) for the boss, you have to have everything in writing to ensure that both parties know what's happening and when, and so that you have something to refer to if things go pear-shaped.
And finally she seems to fall back on the "I'm telling on you" trick of the schoolyard when things get really out of hand:
I will hopefully be calling your boss before Christmas re our not listing our property with Ray Whites I am sure they will be interested and could give you more to do.
Does your boss know you are wasting their time emailing petty nonsense.
Poor old Margaret! But really, there's not much sympathy heading in her direction, as pretty much everyone seems to agree that she's brought this on herself - and that it's ALWAYS a good idea to take a deep breath, count to 10 (or 100) and think about the consequences of your actions before you go ahead and hit the "send" button.
But my favourite comment on the whole silly affair comes from Ryan at Spare Room, who said:
1997 called - They want their website back.
Heh. Heh heh heh.
Technorati tags: Margaret McHugh, viral email, catering, Gourmet Food Store, chocolate strawberry, customer service, email, Hayley Johnstone, Ray White, Lai Tong, Spare Room, human behaviour, New Zealand, WebWeaver's World, webweaver.