Thursday, January 19, 2012

Your New York State Tax Dollars at Work-Fun with The New York State Liquor Authority

Folks that live in NY State, I'd like to tell you about how some of your tax dollars are being spent.

Exhibit A-I give you Erica from The New York State Liquor Authority.

Let me give you a little background, earlier in the week I was working on renewing the liquor licences at the museum and contemplating adding and changing some of the current ones. This is no easy task. If you click that link above you can see the myriad of licencing options that you can choose from. None say "Licencing food establishments at museums." or "WHAT TO DO ABOUT licensing 750 acre pieces of land." Even renewing the same licence you already have is difficult because of couse, the forms have changed from last year. And as much as you feel yourself a literate individual, as soon as you start filling out one of those forms you scrunch up your nose and ask yourself, "What the heck does THAT mean." over one of the many many run on sentences on the form.

Which is why one might call the actual liquor authority to get some professional input.

The first time I called I got some guy who was completely exasperated at my utter ignorence on the subject of liquor licensing. He was ok excecpt for the fact that he couldn't keep his contempt for my stupidity out of his voice. His answers were short and if the answer to "Do I need this form?" was no, he never offered up what form it was that I needed. So then I'd ask. It was like tennis.  It was draining.... For both of us I imagine... This lead me to hang up without asking one last question.

So I called back. And after navigating layer upon layer upon layer of the phone system, I finally got a woman who said "NY State Liquor Authority." followed by absolute silence.

"hi, this is Christine from The museum, what's your name."
"Um, Erica."
"Ok, I have a few questions about xyz...."
"Awwright." You can't hear the completely bored and annoyed manner but trust me...
"Ok, Um Erica, can I speak with someone else."
"Whys that?" And now she's really pissed.
"Well because you aren't very nice."
 "I didn't know my job required me to be nice."
"Oh really? Ok then, Can I speak to your manager now?"

Seriously? You're a phone rep whose job it is to answer questions.... You don't think that your job requires you to be nice??? What the hell? What is wrong with you? Is it the government employee malaise we always hear about? Is this lack of training or upbringing?


You know, I admit I can be high maintence at times. I have high expectations. But having just waded through tedious legalease of the trying to sell beer I had one of those headaches borne only of government bureaucracy. I wasn't even in a fighting mood. I was defeated. I just wanted a nice friendly person to explain the information I needed to know. So when her manager got on the line I simply told her the story and asked her if she thought she could answer my questions in a friendly manner. 

Imagine that, I had to ask if there was someone there who thought they could be nice to me????? She was mildly miffed over the story of Erica and her job requirements but not so I thought that Erica might have a talk with her supervisor before lunch. It was more like "Oh...PAUSE....Ok".... And then she answered my question well enough to get me off the phone.

None of those people gave a damn. And their information was crucial to what I was trying to do, and it's not like I can go anywhere else for a liquor licence or for the information.

NY State Liquor Authority, basically, you suck.

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