Needs Attitude Readjustment 101

, , , , | Learning | July 30, 2018

(I work as an operator in the contact centre for a large college. I answer calls from students, parents, and whoever else needs something, and then transfer them on to the correct member of staff to deal with the issue. This call is from someone who has completed the first year of an engineering degree and wants to transfer to my college to complete the second year because he is unhappy at his current school. He already called yesterday, and we determined that he needed to speak to [Colleague], who is the administrator for the subject that he wishes to continue doing, but unfortunately she is on annual leave for the whole week. So, we took down his telephone number and told him that she’d call him back when she returned. That was Wednesday; it is now Thursday. The college closed for the summer holidays last week, so there’s just the support staff available for the next six weeks.)

Me: “Good morning. [College]. Can I help?”

Caller: “I want to talk to [Colleague].”

Me: “Sorry, but she’s not here today. She’s on holiday and won’t be back until Monday.”

Caller: “I called yesterday for her, and you said tomorrow!”

Me: “I don’t know why I would have said that. She’s off for the whole week; we all know about it. She’s definitely not back until Monday.”

Caller:You said tomorrow!

Me: “All right, if you say so. Either way, she’s still not here now, and won’t be until Monday.”

Caller: “I want to talk to her about my course!”

Me: “She isn’t here. She has your message and will call you back when she returns.”

Caller: “Put me through to someone.”

Me: “Who would you like to speak to?”

Caller: “Someone who can deal with my course!”

Me: “That would be [Colleague], and she isn’t here.”

Caller: “Put me through to someone else!”

Me: “Who?”

Caller: “Someone else! Put me through to [Colleague]’s assistant!”

Me: “[Colleague] is the admin for that course; she doesn’t have an assistant. It’s just her, and she’s not here.”

Caller: “What do you mean, she doesn’t have an assistant?! Put me through!”

Me: “I’m sorry, but it really is just her. There’s no one there until Monday.”

Caller: “No one? What about Student Services?”

Me: “She is Student Services, for your course.”

Caller: “Put me through to Student Services!”

Me: “For what?”

Caller: “I want to talk to someone about my course! Put me through to Student Services!”

Me: “The only other Student Services we have are for other subjects; they can’t help you with your course.”

Caller: “Okay, put me through.”

Me: “They can’t help you.”

Caller: “Put me through!”

Me: “Seriously, they will just tell you that they can’t help you, and then transfer you back to me.”

Caller: “That’s fine. Put me through!”

Me: “I’m not putting you through to someone who I know can’t help you.”

Caller: “Put me through!”

Me: “No.”

Caller: “I want to talk to them about my course!”

Me: “They. Can’t. Help. You. [Colleague] is the only admin for that course; no one else has access to her records.”

Caller: “What? They can’t just go to her desk and look?!”

(We have paperless offices, all records are sealed by computer passwords.)

Me: “No.”

Caller: “Just put me through and tell them to go look!”

Me: “The other admins don’t have access to [Colleague]’s records. They’re all on different campus. They’re not even in the same post-code, let alone the same office.”

Caller: “So, there’s no one you can put me through to?!”

Me: “Not until Monday.”

Caller: “What kind of college can’t talk to me about courses?! Put me through to someone!”

Me: *giving up, and hoping that someone at Student Services will take pity on him* “Fine, just a minute, please. I’ll see what I can do.”

(He was put on hold while I looked for someone, anyone, who was available to help him, and ten seconds later he hung up. He called back again in mid-morning on Monday, basically did the same thing to another operator in my office, and eventually we managed to get him through to the team manager for his course. They really didn’t have to answer calls about admin but did us a huge favour in doing so. It turns out that after all that, the caller just wanted to haggle with the tuition fee for his course because, after having paid one school for a year’s education, he didn’t think he had to pay us for the second year. As far as I’m aware, the team manager has taken his name and details and has black-listed him, assuming — probably correctly — that the difficulties he is having with his old school likely stem from his own attitude.)

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