Fresh from the wastepaper basket of Mr. John Hendrix, I present an interesting little spot from Field and Stream. Before I get complaints about how some of you might find the subject limiting, keep in mind that the ability to take an article on anything and be able to design an image in such a way that you can invest yourself in it is important. No matter what an article is about, you can probably have fun with it. So, take the relative absurdity of this article and run with it, because it could be a lot of fun.
Size 6" by 4"
"Due" date: Monday, July 3rd.
The following, as they say on those Onstar ads, is an actual conversation with a Remington consumer service representative and a Remington customer:
Caller: “My 1100 keeps jamming.”
CSR: “Do you clean it?”
Caller: “Every time I shoot it I clean it just like my daddy taught me. I use a bronze brush and solvent and scrub out the fouling, then run cloth patches through the barrel until they come out clean.”
CSR: “Do you take the forearm off and clean the gas system?”
Caller: “The forearm comes off?”
If you have a problem with your Remington; want to learn the history of an older gun; need to talk about a repair or order spare parts; or you want information on new models, dial 800-243-9700. You won’t be alone. Even in July -- typically a slow month – Remington Consumer Service fields 3,000-4,000 calls a week. From mid-August through Thanksgiving that volume doubles. Consumer service also receives around 4,000 e-mails during busy months, a steady stream of faxes – mostly part orders – and a trickle of old fashioned snail mail.
A misguided few want a cleaning brush for a Remington shaver (it’s not the same Remington). Some have called thinking “WRA” stamped on a gun barrel somehow meant “Remington” not “Winchester Repeating Arms,” but the vast majority have valid questions. Sixteen consumer service representatives (CSRs) answer the phones every day at Remington corporate headquarters in Madison, N.C.
“We have a mix of shooters and non-shooters among our CSRs,” says Consumer Service manager John Locsin. Sometimes it’s easier to train someone who hasn’t shot before but shooting and hunting backgrounds are a definite plus. Lately I’ve been hiring shooters.”
David Sykes, 50, of Greensboro, N.C. is one of Locsin’s relatively new hires; a hunter and shooter for 45 years, he worked in consumer service at the IRS and American Express before coming to Remington three years ago. He knew he had entered a different corporate culture during his initial interview: “I mentioned sometimes my own 11-87 flummoxed me, and they got one out and we took it apart and did a walk-through right there on the desk.”
Like all new consumer service reps, Sykes received extensive training. He spent four weeks in the classroom learning company history and product lines before he ever touched a telephone. He visited the call center to listen to representatives handling calls, then spent a week on the phone with a CSR next to him before he “soloed. After a couple weeks on the phones Sykes went back for three weeks of technical training to learn about about parts and repairs.
In three years on the job, Sykes has taken all kinds of calls. “One man who called me about a repair was out crow hunting. He kept saying “Hang on,” and I’d hear “BAM, BAM” then we would continue our conversation.” He says the most common answer to “My 1100-11/87 doesn’t cycle” is that the customer forgot to put the barrel seal back on the gun after taking it apart for cleaning. In August, people ask Sykes about shot size for dove hunting. “I tell them to use 8 shot in the first week of the season, then 7 1/ 2 later as the birds get wild,” he says. Every day, though, there are surprises: “People lose stuff. I mean, I get absent minded sometimes, but people call who have lost bolts from their rifles while they were out hunting How do you lose a rifle bolt? I try not to think too much about how it happened, I just concentrate on getting them back into the field.”