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    Category: Awesome Workers

    Security Disservice

    , | Sydney, NSW, Australia | Awesome Workers, Top

    (In telephone banking service, one of the most frustrating experiences are people who fail the security questions. They want security, but they also want to be able to access their accounts if they can’t remember things like recent transactions, or the phone number from six houses ago that they didn’t bother to update with us. I am on my train home, and I happen to sit down in front of a man on his phone, obviously answering and then failing security for a bank.)

    Caller: “Well, that’s my address NOW! I don’t care what you have there. Look! My name is [Name], I was born on [date]! My mother’s maiden name is [Other Name]! Now, please help me!”

    (Silence, presumably a reply from the service rep.)

    Caller: “But you need to come up with something to help people when they can’t answer these questions!”

    (Some silence.)

    Caller: “Well why can’t you sort something out for me?! LOOK! Just send me a new d*** credit card at [address repeated loudly, slowly, and clearly]! Now send it because it expires this month! Send it or I’ll call the Ombudsman!”

    (Realising he’s hung up, I spin around.)

    Me: “Hi! I work as a banking call centre rep and I often come across this situation. Tell me, what solution do you have in mind?”

    Caller: “Uh… what? Solution?”

    Me: “You just said that there should be something in place to help people access their accounts when they can’t answer the security questions. Well, now’s your chance. I work as a service agent and I’m also part of the decision making and testing process for new procedures. You want something set up to enable people who can’t answer security questions to be able to access accounts. Now, keeping both fraud compliance and the legal obligation to safeguard people’s information and money, what do you have in mind?”

    Caller: “Well, there should be another system…”

    Me: “You are absolutely correct. Can you describe it?”

    Caller: “I…”

    Me: “Where I am, we have some procedures. We can send a One Time PIN to your mobile phone. Does the bank have your current phone number? I gathered they can’t verify your address.”

    Caller: “No, I haven’t given out this phone numb—”

    Me: “I see. So if I gather correctly, you haven’t updated your address and phone numbers with them in some time. What else did they ask?”

    Caller: “My date of birth, and a recent transaction.”

    Me: “Okay, did you remember a recent transaction?”

    Caller: “No! Why should I be expected to remember that?”

    Me: “Why indeed? Tell me, did you give them an account number?”

    Caller: “NO! I don’t have any statements from them because I haven’t gotten mail in years!”

    Me: “Okay, so let me recap. You’ve called up to ask for a replacement credit card to be sent out to your new address. You weren’t able to provide an account number, the agent found you by name and date of birth. You were unable to provide the address they have on their system, they were unable to confirm your return mobile number because you haven’t given it to them. Moving on, you were unable to name any recent activity on the card that only you have access to. Do you not see how this would trip some red flags for a person who has to remain vigilant for fraud?”

    Caller: “Well, yeah… but—”

    Me: “But yes, your solution – which is?”

    Caller: “What?”

    Me: “You said there needs to be another way. So after we’ve recapped your specific situation, what would you suggest?”

    (At this point, his eyes narrow and he gives me a filthy look.)

    Caller: “Now you listen here, you smart a—”

    Me: “Has it occurred to you that the person making your life difficult is you? Have you not realised in that exchange and in this conversation, you are admitting all the areas where you let yourself down and placed all the blame on the person doing their job instead of where it all belongs, with you?”

    Caller: “Now just hold on a min—”

    Me: “No, you hold on. Maybe take the time to take your card out of your pocket, think about the last time you used it and maybe have a think about your last known address, call back, and be polite instead of a whining jerk.”

    (Another intense stink eye, I notice my stop coming up.)

    Me: “Catch this train often. I had a great time telling you off. It melted all the day’s stress away! Bye now!”

    (I alighted from the train, waving back as I got the most awful glare.)

    Your Friendly Neighborhood Customer Service

    | NJ, USA | Awesome Workers, Family & Kids, Geeks Rule

    (I work in the video games department of a large toy store. We are doing a promotion for one of the Spider-Man movies. They hire an actor who dresses up as Spider-Man and gives out autographs. I snuck an autograph from him in during my lunch break and the actor goes home in the afternoon. After ringing up the last customer, a young boy comes up to the register with his dad. He has a Spider-Man jacket and a t-shirt.)

    Dad: “Hey, we’re here to see Spider-Man. Do you know where he is?”

    Me: “Oh! I’m sorry but he left an hour ago.”

    (Immediately the boy looks sad and the dad smiles apologetically to his son.)

    Dad: “I’m so sorry, [Son] Maybe we’ll see him next time?”

    (By now, the son is about to cry. I see the autograph under my register and quickly come up with a story.)

    Me: “Oh, [Son], right? Spider-Man told me all about you! He had a lot of crime to fight today but he told me to give this to you. He’s very proud of you and he wished he could have met his biggest fan in person! I’m really glad I found you!”

    (I gave him the autograph and his eyes lit up. They thanked me repeatedly while I rung up their purchase and I watched the boy leave with an extra skip in his step. I never liked working in retail but this was one of my favorites. I was more than happy to brighten his day!)

    This Is How Musicals Are Born

    | IL, USA | Awesome Customers, Awesome Workers, Bizarre

    (My dad and I go to a hardware store needing eight bags for a gardening project.)

    Employee #1: “Hi, can I help you?”

    Dad: “Yeah, we need eight bags of mulch.”

    Employee #1: “How many?”

    Dad: “Eight bags.”

    Employee #1: “Eight bags of mulch?”

    Dad: “Eight bags of mulch.”

    Employee #1 *shouting to Employee #2* “Eight bags of mulch!”

    Employee #2: “Eight bags of mulch!”

    Me: “Eight bags of mulch!”

    Customer Behind Me: “Eight bags of mulch!”

    (I laugh pretty hard at that. Later on, I’m putting the eighth bag into the trunk.)

    Dad: “Wait, why are you putting that bag in there?”

    Me: “…Don’t we need eight bags?”

    Dad: “Oh, right! Eight bags of mulch!”

    Me: “Eight bags of mulch!”

    A Sharp Surprise

    | Winston-Salem, NC, USA | Awesome Workers, Health & Body

    (I’m 18, and still go to the pediatrician since I’ve gone to them most of my life. My little sister and I are there for vaccinations, and the staff are very obviously used to little kids.)

    Nurse: “Okay, kiddo, I need to give you a shot. Do you want me to count to three, or just go ahead and do it?”

    Me: “Surprise me.”

    Nurse: “All righty! One, two…” *gives me the shot* “…and three!”

    Gave Them A Rude Awakening

    | USA | Awesome Workers, Crazy Requests

    (I work in the parts department of a tractor dealership. The wife of a local greenhouse owner (who I am unaware has a reputation as a real b****) comes in to pick up some small parts that are in will-call. The transaction goes smoothly; the parts are already pulled and on the shelf waiting for her. I give her the parts, she pays, and leaves. On Monday morning, the lady calls on the phone and demands to talk to the owner.)

    Owner: “Good morning! How can I help you?”

    Customer: “I want to complain about how I was treated when I came in on Saturday to get my parts! [My Name] was rude to me!”

    (The owner knows I had worked the previous Saturday, and I have a reputation for being courteous and polite. He puts the customer on hold, and calls me into his office to ask me about the encounter. I describe the smooth transaction that had occurred. He asks me to wait and went back to the call.)

    Owner: “[My Name] was rude to you? I have trouble believing that.”

    Customer: “Yes, he was discourteous and rude.”

    Owner: “I’ll tell you what, Mrs. [Customer]. There are two other dealers in town that you can buy your parts from in the future. Frankly, the $300 in parts we sell you yearly isn’t worth all the grief you give me. In the future, please take your business elsewhere.” *hangs up, turns to me and says* “That’s how we deal with that.”

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