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It Was Just An Accident And Those Are The Fax

, , , , | Working | September 22, 2021

I work for a telephone service that occasionally takes overflow calls from a pest control company. There were wasps everywhere and our client is slammed with calls, so we have to take quite a lot of them. In fact, we have to take so many of them that we have to hire new temp staff and every corner of the office where there is space for a desk and a phone has a desk and a phone.

One of our new temp staffers was our boss’s eighteen-year-old nephew. He was great on the phone, completely unflappable, and very good with the customers. However, he had only had a few hours’ worth of training on the telephone system and wasn’t 100% comfortable with the button-pushing.

The policy when we got abusive customers on the line and couldn’t handle them on our own was to transfer them to our boss, and if he couldn’t handle them, he’d transfer them to the client and let them deal with them.

It was late in the day and we were all completely exhausted from taking non-stop calls. The boss’s nephew got a call from an irate customer who was screaming so loud that I could hear it from across the room.

The poor nephew asked the boss for help, and the boss told him to transfer the customer to his phone.

The nephew tried to do exactly that, but unfortunately pressed the wrong button and the abusive customer was transferred… directly to our fax machine.

Please bear in mind that we were all extremely exhausted at this point and just waiting for the moment when we would be allowed to close the switchboard, but we all had to excuse ourselves, mute our calls, and break down into hysterical laughter.

We never heard anything more about it from our client, but from that day on, whenever someone had an abusive customer, we just told them to “transfer them to the fax.”