Unfiltered Story #136401

, , | Unfiltered | January 14, 2019

(I work as an assistant at a small academic publisher. Part of my responsibilities includes covering for our receptionist each day while she takes her lunch break. Usually my job doesn’t require taking a lot of phone calls, but sometimes when someone has a general question, they’ll call our main line.)

Me: “Hello, [Company Name].”

Customer: “Hi, I left a message a week ago for you and I haven’t heard back.”

Me: “Okay, what was the message regarding?”

Customer: “You mean you didn’t get it? I’m trying to get a desk copy of one of your books! Who am I speaking to?”

Me: “[My Name]. Our receptionist might have gotten your message but she’s on her break at the moment.”

Customer: *impatient sigh* “So who are you?”

Me: “…I’m [My Name]. I’m an assistant here.”

Customer: “You’re a what??”

Me: “Um…an assistant.” *I have a more specific title, but I don’t see how telling this guy that is going to help him, since I have nothing to do with orders on our website* “I would suggest you—”

Customer: *interrupting* “I don’t know what that MEANS! Can you just connect me to someone who can help me? DON’T put me through to a voicemail!”

Me: “Okay, sir, please hold.”

(I briefly wonder how this guy got through life not knowing what an assistant is and reluctantly call one of my colleagues who usually handles desk copy requests. Thankfully he’s at his desk and he tells me to tell the customer to call our customer service, which is a totally different number.)

Me: “Sir? My colleague has instructed me to tell you to call our customer service line, which is—”

Customer: *interrupting again* “NO! I’m getting pretty close to pissed off here!”

(Here I think to myself: Seems like you’re already past that!)

Customer: “Give me somebody to talk to!”

Me: *deeply unamused at this point* “Please hold.”

(I call my colleague again and apologetically ask him if he could please take the call. He’s more senior than I am and deals with more customer issues, so at the very least he’s more qualified to tell this rude man to just call our customer service already, which he finally did. I held my breath till the receptionist came back, hoping against hope he wouldn’t call back and yell at me more. He didn’t.)

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