Do Things Different So Faro From Home, Part 2

, , , , | Right | April 19, 2021

I’m working at an emergency call centre line that deals with car insurance regarding accidents, flat tyres, cars not starting, etc.

In Portugal, we speak Portuguese. Many of my colleagues don’t speak or understand English, let alone speak it fluently. I, however, have a British accent, so whenever a difficult English-speaking customer rings, they usually transfer the call to me.

Summer is our busiest time of the year and we have about twenty calls on hold. My caller is a furious American woman.

Caller: “It is unacceptable that you people don’t have an English-speaking option! It takes forever to find someone who can speak English!”

Me: “Right, sorry about your wait. What is your emergency?”

Caller: *Calmer* “Oh, nothing, it’s just that I’m an old lady that lives and drives alone, especially at night time during winter when it’s raining, and I just switched insurance companies, so I wanted to know how long it would take for you to answer my call.”

Me: “I’m sorry, ma’am. You’re not in need of any sort of help or danger, and you just called at our busiest time of the year and held up our lines just for a test run?”

Caller: “Yes! And it took you too d*** long to find someone to speak to me in English!”

Me: *In my best customer voice* “Okay, ma’am, I assure you that should you run into any sort of car trouble during wintertime and ring us up, we’ll have someone to answer your call immediately. So, at this particular time, if that will be all, I’m going to ask you to hang the phone, seeing as this is our busiest time of the year and I have real emergencies to attend to.”

Caller: “I sure hope you do. I’ve been living in Portugal for five years alone and can’t be left stranded by myself in case I have car problems in the middle of the road.”

Me: “So, you’re saying you’ve been living here for five years and haven’t bothered to learn the native language? And you expect that everyone you come into contact with knows how to speak English? I should warn you right now that the tow truck drivers we send in cases of emergency speak only Portuguese, and it will be with them directly that you’ll have to deal with.”

Caller: “Then you should report it to your supervisor.”

Me: “Right. If that will be all, goodbye.”

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Do Things Different So Faro From Home

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