This Is How Democracy Dies

| Farmington, UT, USA | Crazy Requests, Extra Stupid, Politics

(I work in an election office. It’s the afternoon on Election Day, and we’ve been in a call center since 6 am, telling citizens where their designated polling place is and explaining how closed primaries work. The phone rings.)

Me: “Hello, county elections, how may I help you?”

Citizen: “I’ve been to three different polling places today, and they all say I’m in the wrong place!”

Me: “Can I have your name? I’ll look up your polling place for you.”

(The citizen gives their name.)

Me: “It looks like your polling place is [Elementary School].”

Citizen: “I’ve already been to three other places! How was I supposed to know that’s where my polling place was?”

Me: “Well, we sent you a card a few weeks ago with your polling place on it. It should also be on the voter card that was mailed when you registered to vote at your address.”

Citizen: “I have three kids! I don’t have time to read my mail!”

Me: “In addition, we’ve listed all the polling places in the local paper for the last two weeks, and you could look up your polling place online at [website]. We’ve also had pamphlets at the local library. Or you could have called this number before you went to three different polling places.”

Citizen: “That’s unacceptable! I want someone to come to my house on the morning of election day with a van and say, ‘Mrs. [Name], this is where you vote!'”

Me: “Uh…”

(And that’s how democracy dies.)

Taking Account Of Your Actions

| Newcastle, NSW, Australia | Liars & Scammers, Money, Top

(I work in telephone banking for a major bank. In our system, we can see all of the customer’s call history, from wait time, last 20 calls, who the customer spoke to, and any notes left by previous bankers.)

Me: “Hello and welcome to [Bank]; my name is [Name]. How can I help you today?”

Customer: “Oh, thank f*** for that! Do you know how long I’ve been waiting? 35 f****** minutes! And all I wanted to do was check my balance on my credit card!”

(I can clearly see the customer has waited a total of 25 seconds from the start of his call to speak to me.)

Me: “I’m so sorry about any wait there, but you have come through fully identified, so thank you for putting in your customer number and access code. Now before I can—”

Customer: “Now you just f****** wait a minute. I’ve been waiting 35 minutes to speak to you, and you aren’t even going to apologize for making me wait? What kind of f****** s*** customer service are you lot running there? Huh?”

Me: “I’m sorry, sir; I did apologize for the wait that you experienced and I—”

Customer: “Get your f****** manager now! I don’t have to deal with this! I demand compensation for my time and phone charges! Get your manager!”

(I put the customer on hold and signal for a manager to take an escalated call. While I wait for my manager to arrive, I look at the customer history. I see that the customer has been with us for five years. He seems to call twice a year, and almost always demands to speak to a manager, repeatedly demanding compensation. He has been told by our relations department that they will not compensate him further because he has been given close to $2000 in refunded interest on his credit card over the five years. There is a special note from the head of the relations department simply saying ‘if customer threatens to close accounts, process request. Do not attempt win-back.’ I recap the call so far to my manager, and advise him about the notes from the relations department as well. Total wait for the caller has now been two minutes.)

Manager: “Hello, sir, my name is [Name] and I’m a manager. How can I help?”

Customer: “Well, hasn’t that taken you a f****** lifetime to answer?! I’m sick of this s***! I demand that I have interest repaid to my credit card or I’ll close all my accounts!”

Manager: “Sir, I’m not going to be able to repay the interest for you, as you’ve already had close to $2000 refunded to you over the past—”

Customer: “Well, then close my accounts! Close them now! If you can’t fulfill a simple request like that, f*** you and [Bank]! I’ll take my business elsewhere.”

Manager: “Sir, just so I have it clear: you are formally requesting for me to close out your accounts with [Bank] right now?”

Customer: “That’s what I f***** said; you people just—”

Manager: “Okay, sir, as requested all your accounts are now closed. The amount you had owing on your credit card has been automatically paid from your everyday account, leaving you a balance of $52.16, which I’ll post out to you as a check. I’m sorry you’ve chosen to leave [Bank], but I hope you have a wonderful day.”

Customer: “YOU CLOSED MY ACCOUNTS?! BUT I—”

Manager: “You requested for them to be close on a recorded phone call where you were asked to confirm your wishes. You aren’t scamming anymore FREE money from [Bank].”

Customer: “I…”

Manager: “Hello?”

Customer: *defeated* “I… err… I’ll… I’ll wait for my check.” *click*

He Is Irony Man

| Lansing, MI, USA | At The Checkout, Extra Stupid, Money

(I work third shift at a local gas station, and have just finished ringing a customer up.)

Me: “Do you have a rewards card with us, sir?”

Customer: “No, and I don’t want one. That’s just a way for people I don’t know to track the things I’m buying!”

Me: “That’s fine, sir. Your total today is [total].”

Customer: “Alright, I’ll be putting it on my credit card.”