A Feint Complaint

| London, England, UK | Extra Stupid, Technology

(We’ve been really busy lately. Senior management won’t approve any extra staff, so we’ve been getting a lot of abuse from customers. Because most of them want to complain about the wait before letting us get on with fixing the problem, this just puts our wait times up further.)

Me: “I understand completely, sir. You’re right. I don’t think this is at all acceptable. I’ve been quite happy working here for the last few years, but I’m now looking for other jobs. I would, frankly, be delighted if you would put in a formal complaint to our senior management about this, because I assure you, all we want to do is fix our users issues, and instead we’re wasting a lot of our time trying to calm people down about the wait. None of us are being allowed holiday requests, we often don’t get our breaks, most of us are coming in when we’re ill, and we’re all doing overtime,. The management won’t approve any extra staff because while customers are quite happy to yell at us about it – people who, let’s be realistic, can do NOTHING about the situation – nobody seems to want to complain officially so that something might be done. About the only thing I can think of to say that might improve how you feel about the wait times is that at least you don’t work here.”

(After a brief silence, the caller outlines the problem.)

Me: “Right, so you’re having the issue mentioned on our recorded message which tells you to download the patch from our web site. I take it you’ve done so and it hasn’t resolved the issue?”

Caller: “No. They just put those messages on to get people off the phones. They never change. It’s always ‘download the patch’!”

Me: “Well, you’re right about that in a way, yes. We put those messages on so that people who have the issue mentioned don’t have to wait in a queue to be told they need to install the patch, and thereby increase the wait time for our other customers with issues that take more investigation. I assure you, the messages are changed regularly to reflect the current situation.”

Caller: “What do you know about the messages? You don’t have to listen to them!”

Me: “Actually, I do. I call every line to ensure that the message is clear right after I record them, which, incidentally, was on my lunch break yesterday. I’m surprised you don’t recognise my voice, as you’ve been listening to me for the last hour.”

(Unfortunately, the caller still didn’t put in a complaint, and we still don’t have any more staff.)

Put Them On The Wailing List

| CT, USA | Crazy Requests

(I work in a call center as a sales agent for a local insurance agency.)

Me: “Thank you for calling [Company]. My name is [Name] and I’m a licensed insurance agent. I see here that you’re calling in to get a quote.”

Customer: “I certainly am not! I keep getting all you god-d*** junk mail and I want it to stop! I don’t want your stupid insurance!”

Me: “Well, I’m so sorry about that, sir. I can definitely understand how frustrating it is to have a mailbox full of junk mail. Can I have your last name, state, and zip code?”

Customer: “What the f*** do you need that for? I’m not giving you ANYTHING! Just take me off your d*** mailing list!”

Me: “Sir, in order to remove you from our mailing list, I need to find the file we’ve opened for you so we know WHERE to stop sending the mail.”

Customer: “No, you don’t! This is ridiculous! Just take me off the f****** list!”

Me: “Again, sir, I can’t stop sending mail to your address unless I actually have it and I can’t find any of your information without your last name, your state, and your zip code.”

Customer: “F*** you!” *click*

Double Blush

| AZ, USA | At The Checkout, Bizarre

(I’m working near the fitting rooms in a department store one afternoon when an older lady approaches me.)

Older Lady: “Hello, dear!”

Me: “Hello! Is there anything I can help you with today?”

Older Lady: “I was just wondering, dear: do you have naturally rosy cheeks?”

Me: “Oh! Yes, I do.”

Older Lady: “Oh, you’re so lucky! That means you don’t have to wear blush.”

Me: “Aww, thank you!”

(With a smile on her face, the older lady leaves. I wish her a nice day as she goes. Just a few seconds later, a completely different older lady appears out from between the clothes racks. She looks rather excited.)

Older Lady #2: “Oh, hello there, sweetie! I was just wondering: do you have naturally rosy cheeks?”

Me: “Um… Yes? Yes, I do.”

Older Lady #2: “Oh, you’re so lucky! That means you don’t have to wear blush!”

Me: “…”