HELOISE: Have info ready when calling

Dear Heloise: Thank you to the reader who wrote about having all of your information ready when phoning a call center. I take calls all day long at a call center. I would imagine that most people who work at such places are timed, and their performance and pay are linked to the length of their calls.

I would like to re-emphasize to everyone that when you call someplace, be sure to have all of your information, along with a pen and paper, ready by the phone. And please do not spend time being angry, insulting and challenging why you are being asked certain questions.

If you have received extra-good service, please call back the same phone number and ask to speak to a supervisor, so you can compliment the service representative. This act of kindness helps that person in many ways.

A worker in Omaha, Neb.

Thanks for the reminders to make the transaction go as smoothly as possible. At the end of your call, you also can ask to be put through to a supervisor to give a compliment.


Dear Heloise: Yesterday, I, along with two family members, visited a buffet restaurant. We wondered, when it came time to tip, how much we should leave, since the only service by a waitperson was bringing us our drinks and clearing dishes off the table. The total bill was $50.10 before taxes. What would be the proper amount for a tip? We usually tip 20 percent, but thought this was too much for self-service. What do you think?

Sharon H., The Villages, Fla.

Sharon, we took a poll here in our office. Most agree that $1-$2 per person is a good tip for a buffet. What extra service did the wait staff provide? Tip more for extraordinary service.


Dear Heloise: I have a large wrist, and I prefer the stretchy watchbands. I have difficulty finding a band that doesn’t eventually chew the inside of my wrist raw. If I stretch the band in the area of the inner wrist and wind yarn between the links, it not only stretches the band, but it also provides a soft cushion for my inner wrist. Gold yarn for a gold band, and silver yarn for a silver band.

Christine M., Rogers, Ark.

This is one way to solve the problem, but you also might want to look at men’s wristbands. I have one on my Spider-Man watch (it has a large face) and love it.


Dear Heloise: Please remind people to have their spare tires checked when they buy new tires. I had a blowout on a rural highway. My spare was flat, but fortunately my cellphone was charged, and I was on my way home within an hour.

J. Allen in Mississippi

Send a money-saving or timesaving hint to Heloise, P.O. Box 795000, San Antonio, TX 78279-5000, fax it to 210-HELOISE or email it to Heloise@Heloise.com.

King Features Syndicate