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Some People Just Don’t Want To Be Helped

, , , , | Working | June 15, 2021

I work for a company that supplies service desk services to the national offices of a huge international pharmaceutical. Our job is basically to take the incoming calls from the client’s office employees, solve them at the first level and, if not possible, route the issue to the second level — local IT teams, since our service desk team is remote.

The day is going calmly. Suspiciously calmly. I am already three hours in and have had zero calls.

Me: “Service desk, [My Name]; how can I help you?”

User: “This is absurd. I’ve been trying to talk to you guys for the last two hours and the line’s always busy!”

The fact that theirs is my first call of the day proves this statement is a lie.

User: “I can’t receive emails; my [email software] isn’t working. Fix it!”

Me: “Sure. I just need your user ID first, please.”

User: “I can’t believe it. Every time you guys ask for my ID! Don’t you remember me?”

The fact that we receive calls from the whole country makes it clear that we don’t remember each and every voice.

User: “I’m [User]; my username is [user ID].”

Me: “Okay, [User], just give me a minute to check some things. Do you have network access?”

User: “I have no idea. I can’t receive emails; that’s all I know.”

Me: “You got an error message on [email software]?”

User: “What? No! Where did you get that from? [Coworker] told me on [messenger] that she sent me something that I need to see!”

Okay, that means they still have network.

Me: “Understood. Just give me a moment. I’ll connect to your computer to check what could be going on.”

User: “Do it fast.”

I remote into their computer, and it’s a huge mess, as usual. Dozens of spreadsheets are open at the same time, the browser is open with several tabs and, apparently, one of them is playing music. Basically, their computer is overworked. Among the other windows, I find the email software window… frozen.

Me: “I see. Your computer seems to be overworked, and [email software] froze. All we need to do is close the program and reopen it.”

User: “I already tried that, moron.”

I’m surprised that I’m being insulted during a recorded call.

Me: “Oh. Okay, in this case, we need to reboot the computer.”

User: “Not happening.”

Me: “I’m sorry?”

User: “You won’t reboot my computer. I need to work; it’ll take my time and I’m busy.”

Me: “You… need your email working, correct?”

User: “Yes.”

Me: “Have you tried using the webmail service?”

User: “That thing’s stupid. All my contacts are on [email software].”

Me: “If the program won’t close and the computer can’t be rebooted, I can’t solve the issue.”

User: “Such incompetence. Get me your supervisor!”

Our service desk team has no “supervisor” in the sense of someone who can overrule something to get things done. The best we can do is escalate the issue to Level 2.

Me: “You want me to send the issue to the Level 2 team so they can send someone to your desk?”

User: “You thought of that by yourself or someone helped you to reach that conclusion?Yes! I want someone here! Now!

My eardrums still hurt just by remembering them shouting in my earpiece. I write a ticket to the Level 2 team with notes of their behavior. In the description, I write, “[User]’s [email software] froze and won’t close. [User] won’t allow a reboot. [User] agitated.”

Me: “Done, [User]. There’s a ticket for you on Level 2’s queue. They’ll get to you as soon as possible.”

User: “They have five minutes.”

Me: “I’m sorry?”

User: “No, you’re not. I want someone here in the next five minutes, or else I’ll go straight to your boss.”

Joke’s on them; my boss isn’t even part of their company.

Me: “I can’t give you an estimate of when someone will be by your desk, as I don’t have access to the Level 2’s queue. They could be with you in minutes or hours, depending on what they have going on.”

User: “You’ve been warned. Five minutes.” *Click*

The following day, I get a message from a friend on Level 2.

Level 2: “Hey, [My Name]! Why didn’t you solve the issue with [User] yesterday?”

Me: “They demanded someone locally.”

Level 2: “I got to their computer and rebooted it. But they kept saying that they didn’t have time to waste waiting for us and that they could’ve rebooted the computer themselves, and they even asked why [Client] keeps us on their tab if we’re this useless.”

Me: “They… what?”

Level 2: “I s*** you not! They’re insane!”

Me: “You added this conversation on the ticket log, right?”

Level 2: “Of course. I’ve covered my a**. You covered yours?”

Me: “The system records all calls we receive. I hope this one gets randomly picked for revision.”

Level 2: “You don’t know the worst part. After I finished rebooting, they logged in and opened the browser first, going to YouTube, checking personal emails, even a finance blog, before even trying to open [email software].”

To my surprise, I got an email later with an evaluation of my service… from that user! It was an automated email, yes, but it was about the user’s call; it had their ticket number and their user ID, and in a field reserved for observations, they laid on me, saying I was rude and called them names and even said they should jump off a bridge! I brought it to my supervisor’s attention since he was the one responsible for our company’s contact with [Client]. He took the issue directly to human resources, and I found out that [User], prior to my hiring, had similar issues with other people on the service desk.

The last I heard about [User], they’d been demoted to someone’s assistant and put back into interpersonal training.

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