You Give Nothing, You Get Nothing

, , , , , | Right | January 19, 2019

(I work at a call center in the e-Commerce — sales — department for a large American cable company that also provides other services. I am working chat support, which means the work is mostly non-voice, which comes in handy in case one of us has to vent or sound the occasional scream of frustration. While we mostly process customer orders and handle inquiries, we also process transfers of service, in the case of customers moving to another address and wanting to take their service with them. One day I end up with this bizarre chat:)

Me: “Hello! My name is [My Name]! How are you today?”

Customer: “I am moving and want to transfer my service.”

Me: “Thank you for letting me know; I will be more than happy to assist you with that today!”

(Usually, customers with existing service sign in and enter their info as well as the new address, which pops up in a form accompanying the chat. This customer left the form blank, and instead of her name, she only appears as “Guest” in the chatroom, so I need to ask for the missing info in order to pull it up in our system, check the serviceability of the new address, etc.)

Me: “In order for me to be able to assist you today, may I please have your full name, phone number, and your account number, as well as your current address and the complete new address you will be moving to?”

Customer: “No.”

(This is the first time I’ve had this response to what is a fairly standard request, and I get the feeling I’m in for something out of the ordinary. I nudge my coworker, who peeks over to watch the show.)

Me: “I will need to pull up your account, and I also need to check the status of the new address to process the transfer. And we need to request the information for verification purposes, as well, to ensure that the security and privacy of your account are maintained and that only the account holder or authorized users process changes.”

Customer: “STAY OUT OF MY ACCOUNT!”

Me: “I don’t have access to your account. I don’t even have any information to pull the account up with.”

Customer: “LIAR! GET OUT OF MY ACCOUNT NOW!”

Me: *baffled and at a loss at this point* “I understand that you might have some concerns regarding your account’s security, but I don’t have your account up, as I have not been provided with any information I require to pull it up.”

Customer: “YOU JUST KEEP DIGGING YOURSELF IN DEEPER, DON’T YOU? I WANT TO TALK TO A SUPERVISOR NOW!”

(I’ve already let my team-lead know that I have a potential escalation, but our process requires us to at least try to de-escalate the situation before we pass it on to “the higher power,” who in all honesty aren’t able to do much more than the regular agents are.)

Me: “I understand that you would like to speak to a supervisor, but I assure you that I am more than capable of assisting you with your service transfer request, and I would just like to inform you that in order for a transfer to be processed, we will require your full details, which will mean pulling up your account. As no information has been provided, nothing has been pulled up or accessed. May I have the opportunity to try to assist you today?”

Customer: “I WANT TO TRANSFER MY SERVICE MYSELF!”

Me: “I’m afraid that is not possible. You might be able to move the equipment yourself, but the actual transfer of the service, such as cable, phone, and Internet, would need to be processed in our system.”

Customer: “NO! I WANT TO TRANSFER MYSELF! I WANT A SUPERVISOR!”

(I already have a side-chat going with the escalation team and have given them the general details of the situation. They are giving me the green-light for a transfer, but they want me to try one last time to get some kind of personal detail — a name, anything really — that I can pass on to them.)

Me: “I understand. I will be transferring you to my supervisor shortly. Before I do, may I at least have your name to pass on to them?”

Customer: “NO! TRANSFER ME NOW!”

Me: “All right. I am transferring you now; please keep the chat window open.”

(I transferred the customer and let the escalation team know that the customer had refused to provide any info. I later pulled up the chat file to find out how it had gone and found that the customer had provided the name “Jane Doe” after some persistence from the supervisor, and refused to provide any other information. She just kept insisting she would move the service herself before finally terminating the chat. Thankfully, I’ve left the world of call centers and customer service behind for now.)

Telling You The Long And The Shorts Of It

, , , , | Right | January 19, 2019

(I am about nineteen, working in a retail shop that carries some clothing items and sports equipment. In the sports equipment area, we also have a bench where we work on customers’ broken equipment. To my left, overlooking the clothing area, is the dressing room, and to my right is a back hallway. A customer of about sixty or older walks in and begins looking at shorts.)

Customer: *tries two dressing room doors, locked and in use by other customers, and turns to me* “Hey, these doors are locked. Where can I try these shorts on?”

Me: “Oh, I’m sorry. There must be a few customers still trying things on. It should be just a few minutes before they’re done, and then I will open one up for you.”

Customer: *grumbles and goes back to looking at shorts*

(Five minutes later:)

Customer: “Hey, these dressing rooms are still locked. I’m about ready to just go in the back hallway over there and just try my shorts on in there, instead.”

(He chuckled and walked away again. I just laughed awkwardly, thinking how crazy that idea was, and then went back to working on a customer’s equipment. Five minutes later, the customer walked out of the back hallway wearing the shorts he’d been carrying, with the pants he’d been wearing draped over his arm. I was stunned and speechless.)

This Time, It’s Personal

, , | Right | January 19, 2019

(I’m a property manager at a small real estate agency. I generally work at the front desk, so I also take calls in. My bosses are of retiring age and are VERY hard workers; they work ten hours a day, seven days a week, and some public holidays. They have finally gotten a vacation: a week-long trip to China. I am instructed to take all calls for them and just pass the calls along when they get back, etc.)

Me: “Hello, this is [Realty Agency], [My Name] speaking. How may I help you?”

Client: “Hi, I’m looking for [Boss].”

Me: “I’m sorry, [Boss] is currently on leave and is not available right now. I am the agency’s property manager, so I may be able to help you, however. If not, I’ll be—“

Client: *irate* “No, I need to speak to her directly! Put me on the phone with her!”

Me: “Unfortunately, as I mentioned, she is currently on leave and won’t be back until Tuesday next week. I can leave a message for her if you’d like to leave a name and message.”

Client: “I sent an email to her two hours ago and she still hasn’t responded!”

Me: “Ah, I see. Due to her staying in another country, she has notified me that she will only be checking her emails once every day due to a lack of Internet connection.”

Client: “Well, then, you need to check her email, please. It’s from [Company]!”

Me: “Sorry, was that sent to her personal email or her business email?”

Client: “Personal, obviously!”

Me: “I’m sorry, but I don’t have access to her private emails. She’ll have to call you back.”

Client: “You don’t have access to her private emails? Well, that’s a bit stupid.”

(The client then hung up.)

Lactose Intolerance Versus Lactose Ignorance, Part 2

, , , , , | Right Romantic | January 19, 2019

Patron #1: “Why do you have two ice cream options?”

Me: “One is made with cow’s milk, while the other is made with coconut milk.”

Patron #1: “What’s the difference?”

Me: “One is vegan-friendly and safe for those with lactose sensitivity.”

Patron #1: “I don’t understand. Which should I get?”

Me: “I assume after the chicken you just had that you are neither vegan nor lactose intolerant, so I would suggest the ice cream made with cow’s milk.”

Patron #1: “No, I think I’m lactose intolerant.”

Me: “But your sauce was prepared with milk. Are you all right?”

Patron #1: “I think so.” *to [Patron #2]* “Am I?”

(I stare at both of them while [Patron #2] face-palms.)

Patron #2: “I think we’ll risk it.”

(I bring them their ice cream. Half an hour later I am asked to bring the bill, and [Patron #2] offers to pay with a card. I take him to the reader.)

Me: “Are you sure he’s all right? I don’t want him to get sick.”

Patron #2: “I don’t think he knows what it means, so I think it’s safe to assume he’ll be fine.”

Me: *worried* “Oh, I thought you knew each other. I shouldn’t have suggested the cow’s milk.”

Patron #2: “No, seriously. Even if he is lactose intolerant, I doubt there’s enough going on in there to make the connection. I think I’ve actually gotten dumber just spending the night with him.”

Me: “Oh, I see. Well, please let us know if there are any problems.”

Patron #2: “Sure, although I doubt I’ll see him after tonight. I don’t know if I’ll ever use Grindr again!”

Related:
Lactose Intolerance Versus Lactose Ignorance

Doesn’t Need A Bank Or A Post Office But A Hospital

, , , , , , | Healthy Right | January 19, 2019

(I have been helping a patron set up a direct debit.)

Me: “And is there anything else I can help you with today?”

Patron: “Yes, can I have a packet of first-class stamps?”

Me: “Oh, I’m afraid we don’t offer stamps, but there is a post office just down the road. Just head right as you step outside.”

(Her head does this awkward jerk and she looks around in confusion.)

Patron: “This isn’t a post office?”

Me: “No, it’s a bank.”

(She looks furious, but before she can say anything else, she collapses on the floor. I’m the closest first-aider so I go into action. The door security guard calls 999. It looks like she’s having an epileptic fit, so I try my best to work with my training. I check her handbag for an identity card, but can’t find one. The guard walks over and tells me EMTs are coming just as our manager answers the phone. He looks so confused, but he addresses us.)

Manager: “What’s her name?”

Me: “What? How is that relevant?”

Manager: “I’ve got one of the paramedics on the phone. She’s asking.”

Me: *confused* “[Patron].”

Manager: “It’s [Patron]…” *to me* “She says to put a cushion under her head and check her handbag.”

Me: “Already done. I couldn’t find anything. I don’t know if she’s epileptic.”

(He tells the paramedic.)

Manager: “Was there anything drug-related in the bag? Pills? She’s asking for a colour.”

(I grab the bag and check. There is a small, clear bag in one of the side pockets. I don’t touch it but I can see small, round tablets.)

Me: “They’re pink.”

Manager: “Pin– Oh, they’re already here.”

(Literally as he says this, the EMTs burst through the door, with the woman my manager was speaking to hanging up.)

EMT: “Sorry, once we knew it was [Patron], we knew we had to hurry.”

(I surrender her to the EMTs. After a few minutes and an IV, she comes around. She is laughing and quite jolly with them as they take her away on a gurney.)

EMT: “Thanks for the help. I’ll just need to ask some questions.”

Me: “Sure, but how did you know it was her?”

EMT: “Sweetie, I’ve lost count of the number of times we’ve been called out for her. Now we just take it as standard to call ahead when we’re told it’s a middle-aged woman.”

(I really have to commend them. I can’t imagine having to deal with the same woman time and time again as she slowly destroys herself.)

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