November Theme Of The Month: Black Friday!

Man Up And Let A Woman Fix It, Part 2

| FL, USA | Bigotry

(I am tech support for a major manufacturer, in one of the higher tier, specialized queues for technical issues. We do hardware and software support. I am also one of the very few females in the division.)

Me: “Thank you for calling [manufacturer], special tier support. My name is [name]. How can I help you today?”

Customer: “F***ing b******t, another f***ing call director! Look, honey, I need special tier support.” *he puts emphasis on this, as though I am stupid*

Me: “Yes, sir, you have reached that support. How can I assist you?”

Customer: “Ugh, fine, I’ll tell you, you won’t know how to fix this, and then I’ll get stuck on hold or transferred again.”

(He proceeds to outline a very basic problem, involving a quick reset of his memory to solve the issue, and have him back up and running on the spot without further incident.)

Me: “Well, I am very glad to have gotten you up and running again, especially without any delays! So, is there anything else with which I can assist you today?”

Customer: “No, and you didn’t assist me, you got some real tech, some guy standing behind you, telling you what to do, I just know it. Just let me talk to them so I can tell them what a great job they did.”

(All this is said loudly enough that, though I am on a headset, my supervisor, who sits about 10 feet from me, hears it. They have wandered over, asking to talk to the customer.)

Me: “Well, sir. I didn’t have anyone helping me, but if you wish, I can hand you over to my supervisor for your feedback.”

(The customer agrees, and I hand him over to my supervisor, who greets him, then listens in shock as the customer loudly and repeatedly berates both me and him. He calls us both liars when told I helped him unassisted, and starts cursing and using obscenities enough to finally ruffle me. A break finally comes in this long enough for my supervisor to get in his own input…)

Supervisor: “Well, sir. Now that you have that all out of your system, I do feel the need to tell you this; not only did she help you unassisted, and I can assure you of that, as can every other tech here, I frequently go to her, and refer other employees to her, as she is one of the most knowledgeable techs we have, as well as one of the best with people.”

Customer: “Okay, whatever! I know you guys are going to just keep lying to me anyway. We all know girls can’t do anything but cook and whatever!” *hangs up*

(Thankfully, I got an extra 15-minute break that day because of that call and keeping my cool despite the verbal abuse throughout!)

Man Up And Let A Woman Fix It

Up And Down Is Not Right

| Thornton, CO, USA | Extra Stupid, Technology

(I do tech support for a satellite TV company. Often, troubleshooting requires that we walk customers through various menus to reset or fix certain settings. All of these are navigated by the remote, and the agents would walk the customer through each and every screen with detailed directions. I have been on the phone with a caller for an hour and a half.)

Me: “…and so, sir, I need you to push the left arrow on your remote until the dial all the way on the left of your screen is highlighted.”

Caller: “It’s not working.”

Me: “Well, that’s strange. Let’s back out one step and try it again. Go ahead and select the third option on the list. Now, once you’re in this next screen, press the left arrow button four times.”

(This continues for some time, with the customer telling me various and strange results that he should not have gotten following the directions.)

Me: “Okay, sir. Now, select the third option. Push the left arrow button once. What do you see highlighted in yellow?”

Caller: “It says ‘satellite feed’.”

Me: “That’s the button above the default. Sir, which button are you pushing? We need to go to the left of the screen.”

Caller: “Wait, did you mean left as in ‘left and right’, or left as in ‘up and down’?”

Me: *pause* “Left as in ‘left and right’, sir.”

Not Remotely Intelligent, Part 7

| KY, USA | Technology

(I am taking tech support calls for a satellite TV company.)

Me: “Thank you, sir. How can I help you today?”

Customer: “My remote isn’t working.”

Me: “I apologize for that trouble, but I am happy to help. Lets reprogram the remote, okay?”

Customer: “Okay, how do I do that?”

Me: *I proceed to explain the steps to program the remote* “Now, use the number buttons on the remote to put in the code 02258.”

(The next thing I hear are loud tones coming from the buttons on the phone in my ear. I can hear the customer is not talking into the phone, which leads me to believe he is talking into the remote.)

Customer: “Okay, I did that.”

(He asks if I am there a few times, before realizing he isn’t talking into the phone.)

Customer: *into the phone this time* “Okay, I did that.”

Me: “Thank you, sir. That was good practice. Now let’s do that again, but this time with the remote control…”

Not Remotely Intelligent, Part 6
Not Remotely Intelligent, Part 5
Not Remotely Intelligent, Part 4
Not Remotely Intelligent, Part 3

A Birthday Fit For A King

| Belgium | Language & Words, Top

(This call takes place during pre-Internet times, back when I was a student working a holiday job at a call center for a national telecom operator. My job was to look up international phone and fax numbers for our customers.)

Me: “International inquiries, how can I help you?”

Elderly Male Caller: “Hello? I need the number of The King of Morocco’s direct line.”

Me: “I’m sorry, sir, but that type of information would be classified. I can give you the number of our embassy in Morocco if you like. Maybe someone over there can further assist you? ”

Elderly Male Caller: “No, no, that won’t do. Your colleague already told me to dial [embassy’s number], but that’s no good. I want the direct line of The King. He lives in Casablanca.”

Me: “I’m sorry, sir, but I’m afraid we cannot help you.”

Elderly Male Caller: “Are you quite sure? It’s The King I’m looking for, he lives in Casablanca, which is in Morocco, and I’m quite sure there is only one of them in the whole country. Surely you can look up his number?”

Me: “I’m afraid I can’t, sir, as I’ve explained before—”

Elderly Male Caller: *sadly* “I used to have his number, you know, but I’ve lost the notebook it was in. Oh well, I’ll just have to wait for him to call me then. Goodbye…”

(The caller hangs up. However, over the next hour, several of my coworkers get the same call, with the elderly man sounding more desperate, and repeating over and over he needs to speak to The King in Casablanca. Eventually, I get him on my line again.)

Me: “Sir, I’m really sorry, but there’s nothing more me or my colleagues can do for you. The King’s direct number is private. We simply cannot access that kind of information.”

Elderly Male Caller: “But it’s his 68th birthday! I ALWAYS call him on his birthday! Ever since he moved to Casablanca, over 25 years ago! My brother, The King!”

(At this point, it finally dawned on me that “The King” he was trying to call was simply the elderly caller’s brother, Mr. De Koning (“The King”, literally), who had indeed moved to Casablanca, and who indeed turned out to be the only “De Koning”/”The King” in the Casablanca telephone directory. When I finally gave our customer the number of “The King” of Casablanca, he was extremely grateful!)

For Bitter Or Worse, Part 2

| Sweden | Bizarre, Spouses & Partners

Me: “Welcome to [Directory Enquiries Company]. You’re speaking to [my name]. How can I help you?”

Caller: “Yes, I’m looking for the number to a man named [name]. I don’t remember where he lives, but I hope he shouldn’t be too hard to find.”

Me: “That’s a pretty uncommon name, so he wasn’t hard to find at all. If you’d like to, I can send you an SMS to your cellphone with his information. Or, would you rather write it down yourself?”

Caller: “Oh, I’ve never understood these cellphones, so I’d rather write it down myself, please. Just give me a moment to fetch a pen.”

(Up until now, the caller has been very polite and calmer than a tibetan monk on Valium. Suddenly…)


Me: “Excuse me?”

Caller: “Oh, not you dear, I’m just talking to a good-for-nothing slob over here.” *to someone in the background* “NO, NOT THE FLYSWATTER! WHAT THE F*** AM I SUPPOSED TO DO WITH THAT?! A PEN! A F***ING PEN, YOU IDIOT!”

(The cussing and hollering goes on for about a minute before the caller gets back to the phone.)

Caller: “Alright, I have a pen now. What was the number, dear?”

Me: *reads the number to the caller*

Caller: “Thank you, dear. You have been most helpful! Have a lovely day!” *hangs up*

For Bitter Or Worse