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    Making You Feel Very Small (Talk)

    | NM, USA | At The Checkout, Language & Words

    (This was a few years ago when I was a receptionist at a bank. Sometimes people would come in and ignore friendly conversation. After a while, this gets on my nerves. I had a few ways of dealing with people like this.)

    Me: “Good morning, sir! How are you doing today?”

    Customer: “Karen.”

    Me: “I’m sorry?”

    Customer: “Karen.”

    Me: “Are you dropping something off for Karen? Picking something up from Karen? Does Karen have paperwork for you to sign? Do you have paperwork for Karen to sign? Does Karen need to notarize something for you? Is Karen opening an account for you? Do you need Karen to do a Signature Guarantee for you? Is Karen closing an account for you? Do you have a meeting with Karen? Would you like to speak with Karen?”

    Customer: “Uh… meeting.”

    Me: *with a sigh* “Okay.”

    Lack Of Touching Sentiment

    | Kansas City, MO, USA | Bizarre, Extra Stupid, Health & Body

    (I am working on the teller line when a customer comes into the lobby. He smells like he hasn’t bathed all week, and his hands are filthy. Also, our bank requires customers who don’t have an account with us to put a thumbprint on the front of any checks they cash. This is a fairly common procedure at many banks.)

    Customer: “I’d like to cash this check.”

    Me: “Okay, if I could just get your thumbprint on the check…” *holds out ink pad*

    Customer: *raising his hands and backing away* “I am NOT touching THAT. I don’t know where it’s been. It could have Ebola. I gotta protect myself.”

    Me: “You do realize the cash you are getting has been more places than this ink pad has right?”

    Customer: “Well, yeah, but I don’t have any idea who’s been touching that pad. They could’ve picked their nose and then touched it for all I know.”

    (I count out his cash, and right before he leaves he grabs a pen off the counter, that EVERY SINGLE other customer has touched, and says:)

    Customer: “Is it okay if I take this?”

    I Don’t Speak Racist

    , | USA | Awesome Workers, Bad Behavior, Bigotry

    (One of my teammates is calling me to transfer a customer’s call. I’m born and raised in California. She is of Asian descent, and although her English is quite good it’s not her first language and she has her native accent.)

    Teammate: “My customer says he wants to talk to an ‘American.’ He won’t talk to me at all.”

    Me: “Seriously? It still amazes me how bigoted some people can be. I’m sorry; I’ll be GLAD to take the call.”

    Teammate: *trying to stifle the tears brought on by the customer’s abusive comments towards her* “Thank you; I’ll bring him on.” *pause* “Sir? I have my banker [My Name] on the line. He will be taking your call from here.”

    Me: *with a very slight Eastern Indian accent* “Hello, thank you for calling [Bank]. How may I help you today?”

    Customer: What the f***! I said I wanted to talk to a god-d**** American! I DEMAND that you get me a blue-blooded American on the phone, RIGHT NOW, or you are going to be in a WORLD of hurt. NOW!”

    Me: “I’m sorry you feel that way. The person that transferred your call to me was BY FAR one of the most qualified bankers we have, and—”

    Customer: “YOU SHUT UP! GET ME AN AMERICAN NOW, or I swear to god, you’re NOT going to like what comes next!”

    Me: “I’m as American as they come. Born in the US, and lived here most of my life. Unfortunately, I don’t share your ridiculously myopic, bigoted views on other cultures, and find it unlikely that we’re going to be able to communicate.”

    Customer: “What?!”

    Me: “We just don’t speak the same language. I don’t feel—”

    Customer: “Hey! I talk English, just like you! I’m not gonna let one of those [racial slur] or [even worse racial slur] look at my—”

    Me: “—see, that’s just it. I don’t speak that language. Since we don’t offer language translation services for your particular language, I’m afraid I’ll have to disconnect at this point. Have a great day, and thank you for calling [Bank].”

    Customer: “Hey! Wait! I need—” *click*

    (One of the supervisors (that doesn’t like me much) listens in on the call, and afterwards immediately reports me to management. The next day, I get pulled into a closed-door meeting with the center’s head-manager.)

    Manager: “I’m sure you know why you’re here. This was completely inappropriate; you know very well that ALL customers are due the same level of service, no matter what their particular beliefs are, and what you did was so out-of-bounds, I’m not even sure where I would start in filling out the paperwork to let you go. So, since I don’t know where to start, I suppose it wouldn’t make much sense to even try. That being said, PLEASE keep yourself in check. We’re a professional organization, and our customers expect the utmost respect from us when they call, okay?”

    Me: “Yeah. I’m sorry. If it happens again, I’ll just get a supervisor.”

    Manager: “Sounds good. Glad we had this talk. Hey, on a more personal note – good job! Don’t EVER do it again, but good job. All the managers have listened to it, and we were all rolling with laughter – we couldn’t believe that you stood up to him like you did. Just… you know; don’t do it again.” *wink*

    There Are No Stupid Questions, Just Stupid Answers

    | NJ, USA | Extra Stupid, Technology

    (I work in a bank’s contact center, where we frequently assist online banking customers with various things, including their online security questions.)

    Customer: “I’m locked out again! The computer asked me for my oldest sibling’s middle name, so I put my son’s middle name in there, and it said it was wrong!”

    Should Keep Better Account Of His Account, Part 2

    | Seattle, WA, USA | Crazy Requests, Money, Technology

    Customer: “I need help. I’ve locked myself out of my Netflix account and I can’t remember my password.”

    Me: “Okay, well you should probably call Netflix and ask them for help.”

    Customer: “But how can I get them to stop charging my bank account?”

    Me: “Call them and cancel your service.”

    Customer: “How do I call them?”

    Me: “On a phone.”

    Customer: “How do I get their number?”

    Me: “Google.”

    Related:
    Should Keep Better Account Of His Account, Part 2
    Should Keep Better Account Of His Account

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