Parenthetically Speaking

| Portland, OR, USA | Technology

Caller: “I wondered if I need to dial the parenthesis around the area code when I make a phone call?”

Me: *after paused mute to control my laughing* “Ma’am, if you can find those buttons on your phone go right ahead and push them!”

In The Wrong Holding Position

| Glasgow, Scotland, UK | Bizarre, Extra Stupid

Me: “Good evening. Thank you for calling [Company]. [My Name] speaking. How can I help you?

Caller: “Oh, wrong number.” *hangs up*

(To have gotten through to me the customer would have had to have waited on hold for 10 minutes, listening to repeated adverts FOR the company and also selected an option to speak with me. I still have no idea how she didn’t realise sooner.)

Finally Getting With The Program

, | FL, USA | Extra Stupid, Technology

(I work in a call center for a telephone company in their DSL technical support department. Apparently my “phone voice” is very close to the Interactive Voice Response (IVR) system’s. At least once a week, I get a call like this:)

Me: “Good afternoon. Thank you for calling [Company]. My name is [My Name]. How may I assist you today?

Caller: Are you human?

(At this point, I can usually hear some frustration in the customer’s voice, so I say something that they’re not expecting to break the ice.)

Me: “No, sir/ma’am. I am just a better programmed computer…”

‘V’ For Victory

| Portland, OR, USA | Bad Behavior, Health & Body, Language & Words

(I work in a call center that offers referrals for mental health clinicians. This lady has been chewing my ear off about how she can’t find anyone in her area, despite there being around 50 clinicians within 20 miles of her.)

Caller: “I have to see a psychologist or a psychiatrist. NO NURSE PRACTITIONERS!”

Me: “Okay.”

Caller: “I need to see someone who is an actual professional.”

Me: “Well, nurse practitioners are licensed professionals. They actually can prescribe medication, whereas a PhD can’t.”

Caller: “Well, I don’t want to deal with someone who couldn’t make it in medical school.”

Me: “No psychologist in your area went to medical school, either.”

(This goes on for a few minutes, until I find her a clinician that fits her picky standards.)

Me: “So the provider’s name is Tivoli. ‘T’ as in Tom, ‘I’ as in Idaho, ‘V’ as in Victor, ‘O’ as in—”

Caller: “Hold it, hold it! What the h*** do you mean ‘C’ as in Victor? Are you brain-dead or something? There’s no ‘C’ in Victor!”

Me: “Well, for one thing, there is. It’s the third letter. And for another, I said ‘V’ as in Victor.”

Caller: “Oh. I thought you said ‘C.'”

Me: “That’s why I gave you a phonetic word. To avoid that very confusion.”

Caller: “Still… *she had nothing to follow this*

Removed From Reality

| MN, USA | Crazy Requests, Extra Stupid

Me: “Thank you for calling [Company]. How can I help you?”

Customer: “Remove me from your mailing list.”

Me: “Okay, certainly. Nay I have your last name?”

Customer: *rattles off long unintelligible letters*

Me: “Er, I’m sorry. Could you repeat that a little slower?”

Customer: “Just remove me from the list!”

Me: “I’d be happy to, sir, but I need your name and the address you’d like to remove.”

Customer: “You know that already! You should be able to look me up by the last three letters of my last name right?!”

Me: “Uh, no. I can’t. May I have your name and address to remove?”

Customer: “NO. JUST TAKE ME OFF THE LIST. I KNOW YOU HAVE A LIST!” *disconnects*

Coworker: *who heard the whole thing and is laughing hysterically at my bewildered expression* “I hope he thinks we actually removed him and then gets a ton more in the mail!”

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