(Note: the first numbers indicate how many people who came in after me who were served before me. The numbers below are my position on their monitor which indicates who is next in line. I started writing a bit at a time and taking notes at about thirty-five minutes. This is a little exercise in poetic journalism. The following poem is true. The names have not been changed so as to show them as much respect as they showed me.)
The Sprint Store
by Mr. Shadow
Imagine a place where time stands still.
Where you only matter if you bring in bills.
Pretty girls get to jump to the front the line.
And if you’re there to BUY, you’ll do just fine.
But if you have a problem with your bill?
Who cares? They have your money still!
I watch an employee, she seems a little dizzy.
She wanders back and forth, pretending to be busy.
(this was Jenna who would eventually “serve” me)
And a phone call takes priority,
to those physically in their repository.
and while I waited the fury just seared…
come here shaved?
Leave with a beard.
Need a new Phone, they care about are sales,
Need help with your service, everyone bails.
Fourteen customers stand and wait,
while three Sprint staff procrastinate.
They’ll only move to sell a phone.
Cause that’s where all the spiffs are thrown.
(a spiff is the money they get from a sale, they get no money from being helpful.)
Finally,it’s my goddamned turn.
My fists are clenched;
my rage does burn.
Oh great, I get the girl wasting time,
(She’s attractive enough to jump the line.)
Jenna has such pretty eyes,
Flashes them while telling lies.
“We can’t cancel any service here.”
“In your OWN store?”
“It’s true, I fear.”
“But if you just call customer service-”
“What you’re about to say is making me nervous.”
See, I know how to interview,
caught her in lies; more than two.
When telling fibs, however slight,
She must look up, and to the right.
She doesn’t know that she has a tell,
so she doesn’t know to cover it well.
And because I’m here paying late,
I’m treated like a god-damned reprobate.
Both in her words and in her smears,
she reminds me I’m the scumbag here.
And because they must collect.
No courtesy should I expect.
“If you paid your bill when it was due-”
“You wouldn’t tell me things untrue?”
I asked about the eleven line swappers,
I’m told one of my favorite whoppers.
“If a customer was here with problem before,”
“You remember everyone who visit your store?”
I watch her eyes as they shift away,
thinking of some new tale to say.
“Well they say they were here before.”
“That’s what it takes to be served in your store?”
I feel bad for her, she’s a terrible liar.
And working here, that’s a terrible hire.
“So why did my name go from from second to fifth?”
That board of names, a complete myth.
The policies not outright lies,
for these, Sprint should apologize.
New service; your up now!
Got money for us? That we’ll allow!
It doesn’t matter if you hem and holler…
Unless it can make them a single dollar.
The employees at Sprint, the ones that they hire.
I doubt they’d piss on you if you were on fire.
So if you wish to waste your life away,
buy a phone from Sprint today!
(This poem was written while waiting for “service” and getting “served” at the Sprint Store at 72nd and Dodge in Omaha, Nebraska. Everything in this poem happened on Monday June 14th, 2010. The dialog in quotes was reworked for the poem, but is what I was told, typed into my memo pad on my wonderful Sprint telephone.)