How Very Provincial

, , , , | Right | May 25, 2018

(A few months ago, I was in a car accident where I had to write off my car, and I ended up getting severe whiplash. I took a month and a half off of work to recuperate. This is my first day back at a call centre where I work taking calls for members who need roadside assistance within the province of Alberta. Everything seems to be going well until I get this call.)

Me: “Thank you for calling [Company]. My name is [My Name]; how can I help you today?”

Member: “Hi, my card number is [number], and I need fuel to be delivered for my vehicle.”

Me: “Absolutely, what kind of car is it?”

Member: “Where are you located? Are you in Grande Prairie?”

Me: “I’m based in Edmonton, actually.”

Member: “So, you’re not in Edmonton, then? Are you in Grande Prairie?”

Me: “I’m based in Edmonton. The call centre is in Edmonton.”

Member: “But you’re not in Edmonton, though.”

Me: “No, I’m in Edmonton.”

Member: “I think you’re lying.”

Me: “Okay… I live in Edmonton; do you want me to name some landmarks or something? Are you familiar with the landmarks in Edmonton?”

Member: “No… but I still think you’re lying.”

Me: “Okay… Well, I just need the year, make, and model of the vehicle for the tow driver.”

Member: “It should be on file there.”

Me: “Well, we have a car on your past history, but we don’t keep cars on file since the membership follows members, not vehicles. We don’t know if you’re travelling with your friend, or if you’ve bought a new vehicle, so we always ask just to make sure.”

Member: “You guys are always reading off of scripts. Do you have a big script in front of you?”

Me: “We have prompts to remind us what we need to ask for, but we don’t have scripts. We also have a program where everything needs to be filled out or else we can’t submit the calls for the tow drivers. Can I have the year, make, and model of the car, please?”

Member: “It should be on file.”

(I go through the past history and I randomly guess it’s the same car from her last call on her history.)

Me: “Is it this 1999 LeSabre?”

(I over pronounce “LeSabre” since I was raised to read thing phonetically and it’s stuck with me my entire life, and LeSabres aren’t very common.)

Member: *corrects my pronunciation* “How can you work at [Company] and not pronounce ‘LeSabre’ properly?”

Me: “I was raised on phonics and sometimes butcher pronunciations. Okay, so, you need fuel, right? I’m assuming you need gas, not diesel, right?”

Member: “No, I need fuel.”

Me: “Gas or diesel?”

Member: “No, my car needs fuel.”

Me: “Okay, is gas okay for fuel? Do you need regular or premium?”

Member: “Premium. Normally, I use regular, but since it’s all covered under my membership, I want premium.”

Me: “No problem. We’ll be sending out [local contracted Towing Company that provides all the services our company advertises] within 60 minutes.”

Member: “I don’t need a tow truck. Don’t send those guys.”

Me: “That’s our contractor for the area. We send him out regardless of what service is being provided.”

Member: “Fine, but send him out when it gets dark.”

Me: “Okay… No problem. I can send him out later. What time should I set the appointment for?”

Member: “Never mind.” *sigh* “Just send him out now.”

Me: “Absolutely. Everything is good to go; you’ll just have to show your membership card and picture ID to the driver. Have a goo—”

Member: “Fine.” *click*

Me: “—d day?”

(I’m not sure why she was so distrusting of me, considering none of the information members give us is useful besides for getting roadside assistance. I also have no foreign accent, as I was born and raised in Edmonton, and even if the call centre was based somewhere else, even internationally, it wouldn’t have made a difference in the service being provided. Regardless, it really made going back to work just that much more frustrating.)

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