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    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*

    Out Of Control (Alt) Delete

    | Kansas City, MO, USA | Crazy Requests, Family & Kids, Technology

    Me: “Thank you for calling Tech Support. This is [My Name]. How can I help you?”

    Elderly Woman: “I need you to delete a website!”

    Me: *thinking she means she wants to cancel her account with us* “Okay, ma’am, I can help you with that. Can I have the name of your website so I can look up the account?”

    Elderly Woman: “I don’t know the name! It’s got that Satanic Marilyn Manson on it! HE HAS SEX WITH SHEEP!”

    Me: *stunned* “Umm, is this a website you own?”

    Elderly Woman: “No, he has sex with sheep! I need you to hit the button and delete him from the Internet!”

    Me: “If this is a website that’s not on our servers, there’s no way I can delete it.”

    Elderly Woman: “Just hit the button!”

    Me: “I don’t know what to tell you.”

    (Someone else picks up the phone, a much younger sounding man, presumably the woman’s son or adult grandson.)

    Younger Man: “Can you just hit the button and delete the website so she won’t have to worry about it?”

    Me: *guessing that I have to play along* “Umm, sure, I’ll see what I can do.”

    (The man hands the phone back to the elderly woman.)

    Elderly Woman: “He has SEX WITH SHEEP!”

    Me: “Okay, ma’am, I’ll hit the button and delete it from the Internet.”

    Elderly Woman: “Oh, thank you! He’s the Devil! *hangs up*

    Christmas Complaints Have Hit The Roof

    | Kent, England, UK | Holidays, Theme Of The Month

    (The call centre takes calls from tenants of housing associations who need to report repairs. It is Christmas Eve and the night before there had been some extremely high winds and a lot of rainfall resulting in a massive amount of calls regarding roof leaks. Half of the engineers are on holiday, some of the call centre staff have called in sick, and call waiting times are over 45 minutes.)

    Me: “Good morning, [Company]. Sorry for the wait. How may I help you today?”

    Tenant: “I’ve been on hold for ages! I went outside this morning and found lots of broken roof tiles on the ground. My living room is flooding and my fence has fallen over.”

    Me: “Ma’am, is there any room above your living room, another floor, or a loftspace?”

    Tenant: “No, just the roof.”

    Me: “Ma’am is the water coming through the ceiling or down a wall?”

    Tenant: “It’s coming through the roof! So will you have someone out in the next couple of hours? I need to get my Christmas shopping done.”

    Me: “Unfortunately due to the extremely high winds I have been advised that we cannot allow our roofing engineers to go up on roofs as it is too dangerous and they are at risk of falling. I can, however, get someone to you on 27th to resolve the roofing issue. However, your fence will not be repaired until January.”

    Tenant: “WHAT? How dare you say you can’t get anyone to me today! This is ridiculous. My flat is flooding!”

    Me: “Ma’am, there is no way I can get a roofer to come out and repair your roof today. There are 70 mph winds.”

    Tenant: “That is no excuse! I have water coming into my living room and it is going to spoil CHRISTMAS!”

    Me: “The only thing I can advise is to put a large bowl, bucket, or pot under where the leak is coming from until the 27th. There is not much more rain forecast so the leak should stop. I know it is a few days away but we just cannot allow someone up on a roof today.”

    Tenant: “I can’t hold Christmas with a pot in my living room. This is not good enough! I WANT SOMEONE HERE TODAY!”

    Me: “Ma’am, please stop shouting at me. I am trying to help you.”

    Tenant: “SOMEONE. HERE. TODAY.”

    Me: *getting a little exasperated* “Ma’am, I don’t know what else to say. It is just too dangerous for our roofers to go out today. Would you be happy to climb a ladder today?”

    Tenant: “Of course not. It’s windy. Now go type on that little computer of yours and book someone to COME TODAY.”

    Me: “Just a moment, ma’am, and I’ll speak with one of the engineer’s supervisors.”

    (I put the tenant on hold, and explain the situation to a supervisor.)

    Me: “Is there anything we can do?”

    Supervisor: “What does she want us to do? Become omnipotent and turn off the wind? You know what, I live nearby and I was just heading home. I’ll go out and see if there is anything we can do from inside.”

    Me: “Oh, thank you!”

    (Resumes call.)

    Me: “Sorry about keeping you on hold.”

    (I hear the tenant shouting in the background.)

    Tenant: “No, don’t you wipe up that water. Let them do it. It’s what they are paid for! Those little f***s never come out when we need them!”

    Me: “Ma’am, are you there?”

    Tenant: “That was so disrespectful and rude! I can’t believe you put me on hold!

    Me: *trying to hold my tongue* “Ma’am, one of the engineer’s supervisors will be with you today.”

    Tenant: “Well, see what happens when you kick up a fuss?”

    Me: “Have a wonderful Christmas.”

    Tenant: “Yeah, whatever. You should be fired.” *click*

    (Three hours later, the supervisor called in to say that her roof wasn’t leaking. She’d left a tap on in her en-suite bathroom (which, it turned out, was above the living room). Best thing about this? The tenant had to pay for the repair bills and the callout charge.)

    Unhappy Holidays, Part 2

    | Panama | Holidays, Theme Of The Month

    (We’ve been told not to say Merry Christmas to the customers at work and to say Happy Holidays instead, as someone might get offended. But sometimes, once or twice a day, a Merry Christmas will slip out, and this happens one of those times.)

    Me: “Is there anything else I can help you with today?”

    Customer: “No, that will be all. Thank you!”

    Me: “Thanks to you for calling. Have a nice day and a Merry Christmas.”

    Customer: “What did you just say?”

    Me: “Thanks to you for calling—”

    Customer: “Don’t you dare! You said Merry Christmas! I don’t celebrate Christmas! I’m an atheist! Do you know how offended I am?”

    Me: “I’m really sorry, sir. I didn’t mean to offend you. ”

    Customer: “I want to speak with your supervisor immediately!”

    (I go get a supervisor and I explain him what happen, and as it is something normal to happen, she goes to the phone to apologize to the customer.)

    Supervisor: “Thank you for holding, sir. The agent explained to me what happened and I’m really sorry about this occurrence, and I can assure you it won’t happen again.”

    Customer: “What kind of sick people are y’all hiring? I’m an Atheist, why will you wish me a Merry Christmas?”

    Supervisor: “Again, sir, I’m really sorry about that. But as it happens I don’t celebrate Christmas either and I’m not creating a fuss about people telling me Merry Christmas! So suck it up, get a life, and stop calling for this!”

    (Later on, she explained to me that this guy had been calling several times during the day for the same thing, waiting for someone to wish him a Merry Christmas.)

    Related:

    Unhappy Holidays

    Putting The Grin In Grinch

    | WI, USA | Holidays, Theme Of The Month

    (I do chat support for a major mobile device manufacturer. A customer comes in to chat all upset:)

    Customer: “Christmas is ruined! I spent $180 on a cell phone and it isn’t going to be delivered in time.”

    Me: “That is unfortunate, sir. I see we shipped it on time, and it is in the shipping company’s possession. But for some reason the tracking shows that the package had been diverted, causing a delay in delivery. I apologize.”

    (I try to explain that it is not something I have any control over, but he isn’t having any of it. Finally, there is a pause, and then he tells me:)

    Customer: “Okay, I just called my son over to the computer. He is here now. Go on… explain it to him. Tell my 12-year-old why you ruined his Christmas.”

    (I was stunned. There were a few false starts where I started typing a reply, then deleted it and tried to gather my thoughts. I was SO glad this was a chat and not a call, or things would have probably gone downhill very fast.)

    Me: “I am very, very sorry that the package did not arrive on time. I promise you, it is on its way and you will receive it soon. In the meantime, I want to ask you to please be patient, and to be grateful that you have a dad that would buy a cool phone like this for you, because there are a lot of children who have to make do with much less. I want to wish you a very Merry Christmas, and a good night.”

    (The chat suddenly terminated a few minutes later, when he disconnected without a word.)

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