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Haha, (not) funny.

Readers who have been reading Service Untitled since at least June 13 know that I don’t appreciate humor. Actually, that’s hardly the case. I like humor, comedians, and all of that, but don’t appreciate sarcastic or “realistic” humor during customer service interactions.

Like from my experience at the Marriott:

The front desk clerk joked about something related to my reservation. He said something along the lines of “You have a parking lot view, correct?” when I specifically asked for a mountain view. He was kidding, but I don’t usually appreciate that kind of humor.

That isn’t humor that I appreciate. In fact, it’s quite annoying and extremely unprofessional.

I saw something similar when I was at an Apple store about two weeks ago (pre-iPhone). A teenager came into the store with his mom and said he wanted to buy a 30 GB iPod. The sales representative (er, Mac Genius) said that he had to order the iPod online. According to the sales rep, they were no longer available in the store and had to be ordered online. The teenager couldn’t believe it. The rep had me going for a minute or so too. After a minute or two, the rep said he was kidding and went to get the shopper his iPod.

A friend of mine who applied to work at the Apple Store saw a similar joke from a manager who pretended that he had forgotten my friend had an interview. My friend, who was nervous enough to begin with, didn’t really appreciate the humor, but told me it wasn’t that dragged out.

I’m not that old and understand that Apple is trying to be hip and all of that. I doubt the same manager would play a joke on the customer. If so, I doubt Apple’s head of retail or Steve Jobs would approve of it. If they do, it definitely isn’t good customer service.  The company has a sense of humor, which is great, but it should be limited to internal communications, not communications with customers as well.

My opinion is that these sort of jokes are unacceptable during customer service interactions. They are on the same level as calling someone dude or bro. Not the end of the world, but not professional.

What do you think? Am I just too uptight or do you agree that these sort of things are unprofessional?

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