Monday, December 5, 2011

My life in Buzz Words: Calling Comcast

I have always wanted to spend an entire day or week or month speaking only in buzz words. If you listen during meetings, especially when consultants are involved, the absurdity of the sentences strung together can be quite entertaining. In fact, when it looks like I’m scrupulously taking notes, a lot times I’m just jotting down quotes to share with my sister at a later time.

The language and jargon inherent to business life is so ridiculous to me, but to be successful you really do need to start using the words, or you stick out like a sore thumb. I'm good at blending in at work by using these words in meetings and written communications, but I’d like to start using my buzz words in my everyday life. The problem is I’m just not good at doing this live in non-business situations. So here, I’m going to re-imagine some of my every day interactions as business-pants interactions, meaning: all buzz words, all the time. Below is both how the conversation really went, and how it would go if I was wearing my business pants.

Today: Calling Comcast to change my service and save some skrilla.

Comcast Rep: Hi, thank you for calling Comcast, what can I help you with today?

Biscuit: Hi, I wanted to cancel a couple of channels and talk about my bill, it seems really high.

(Business Biscuit: Hello. My bill rate is exceeding forecast. I’d like to review my statement of service and potentially sunset some of my current options, because, at the end of the day, the total costs here aren’t sustainable.)

CR: Okay, let me pull that up for you. What did you want to change?

B: Well, I want to cancel my sports package, and HBO. How much are those costing me?

(BB: Well, just eyeballing my product assortment, my guess is that the sports package and HBO are driving higher costs. Can you provide me with a read-out of the costs for those two line items?)
CR: Well, HBO is $10 a month, and the sports package is $7.99

B: That’s not that much.

(BB: Interesting. That’s below expectation.)

CR: Yeah, well what’s really costing you is equipment. Do you mind me asking if you use your DVR often?

B: Oh god yes, I love my dvr. What’s the equipment cost?

(BB: My DVR is a critical success factor in the domain of work-life balance. How much is that adding to monthly costs?)

Well, your DVR is 15.99 a month. The second cable box is 8.00. And your modem rental is 7.00. Do you need the second cable box, or would you be interested in a digital converter? It’s basic cable and no guide or on-demand.

B: We do use the second cable box. Do we have to have a Comcast modem, or can we buy our own?

(BB: The second cable box is pretty critical. Are we required to source our modem exclusively from Comcast, or can we procure one through outside channels?)

CR: You can buy your own. I found one for about 55 bucks.

B: Okay, I’ll look into doing that. For now, can you cancel my sports package?

(BB: Alright. I’ve captured an action item to explore alternative procurement channels for my modem. For the time being, let’s go for the low hanging fruit and cancel the sports package.)

CR: Sure, do you also want to get rid of HBO?

B: Let me talk to my boyfriend about that, it’s not very expensive. I’ll just call back if we decide to cancel it.

(BB: Well, the cost on that is so low relative to the utility return (of Game of Thrones). Let me take that back to my team, and we’ll noodle on our options. I’ll just reach back out to you if we decide to bite the bullet and rationalize our costs there.)

CR: Okay, is there anything else I can help you with?

B: No thanks, I appreciate your help.

(BB: No, I think we’ve covered everything we needed to get to today. I appreciate you carving out this time for me.)

CR: Okay, thank you for calling Comcast.

B: Bye!

(BB: Regards)

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