Setting Precedent For The President

, , , , , | Right | February 25, 2018

(I used to work at a call center that was contracted with a health insurance company. As you can imagine, I got a lot of “interesting” phone calls. This is probably one of the more unusual calls I ever took.)

Me: “Thank you for calling [Insurance Company]. My name is [My Name]. How can I help you?”

Customer: *with a thick Southern accent* “Yeah, can I please talk to the president of [Insurance Company]?”

Me: “I’m sorry, ma’am. I’m unable to connect you with the president of [Insurance Company].”

Customer: “Why? Is he too busy with his coffee break to speak to me? Do you even know who I am?”

Me: “Again, I’m sorry, but I have no way to transfer you to our corporate office.”

Customer: “Well, that’s just silly. Is there anyone there I can talk to?”

Me: “I would be happy to assist you today, ma’am. How can I help—”

Customer: *cutting me off* “No, I don’t want to speak to you. You’re being uncooperative. Can I talk to the president of [Insurance Company], please?”

Me: “I’m sorry you feel that way, but as I said before, customer service does not have the direct number to [Insurance Company]’s corporate office.”

Customer: “Then let me speak to your manager.”

Me: “All right, I’ll be right back with him.”

(By this point, I’m getting a little frustrated. I grab my manager, and he hooks up my headset to his headset so that I can listen to the conversation. It’s a common practice where I work to observe and listen to a manager de-escalating an issue.)

Manager: “Thanks so much for holding. My name is [Manager] and I’m [My Name]’s manager. How can I help you?”

Customer: “GET ME THE PRESIDENT OF [Insurance Company] NOW!”

Manager: “I’m sorry, ma’am, but I can’t do that. I can help you with whatever you need.”

Customer: *suddenly cheery* “Oh, all right!”

(For the remainder of the phone call, the customer was cheery and cooperative. Turns out she actually had a complicated billing issue that my manager had to send to another department for resolution. We still don’t know why she was so adamant to speak to the president of the company, though.)

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Someone Needs To Invent A Sail-Thru

, , , , | Right | February 25, 2018

(I work the night shift in a fast food drive-thru. The lobby closes earlier, but the drive-thru stays open until two am during the summer. The manager has made it a policy that at night we avoid talking to walk-up customers, for safety reasons; they might be trying to steal something or stalk us. A customer stands next to the drive-thru speaker, walking back and forth between the speakers in our two-lane drive-thru.)

Me: “Hey, [Manager], that guy has been standing there for a while now; should we say something?”

Manager: “We have signs saying we do not do walk-up orders. He will leave eventually.”

(I don’t argue with the manager’s decision to ignore him, and go back to doing dishes until I get a customer in a car. I take the order, but now the walk-up is standing outside the window, and since a car is coming, I don’t have much of a choice but to talk to him. I point to the sign on the window that says we do not take walk-up orders. The customer ignores it. I decide to open the window a crack so he can hear me.)

Me: “I am sorry, but we don’t accept walk-up customers for safety reasons.”

Customer: “Oh. Our boat won’t fit through your drive-thru.”

Me: *looking at the tall boat parked behind him* “I am sorry, but there is nothing we can do. I can’t go against company policy. Have a good night.”

(He leaves, and I take the next customer’s money. I go back to doing dishes, when I hear a notification that there is a car in the drive thru. I look, and then shake my head as I see his 14-foot-tall boat pulling up next to the sign that indicates the height of our 12-foot-tall drive-thru.)

Me: “[Manager], that’s not going to fit.” *I point to the screen that shows the cars*

Manager: “He isn’t even fitting in the lane. I am not going to answer him.”

Me: “I think you should at least tell him that he’s not going to fit, and that if he breaks the overhead roof he is going to have to pay for it.”

Manager: “No, he just needs to go.”

(Eventually he gives up… and pulls forward, trying to drag his big boat into the drive-thru. We both just watch the security monitor, shaking our heads and avoiding the windows as we watch him try and go through. He eventually stops because his boat is about to hit the roof. Then, we get another car. We are both wearing headsets, so I can hear the manager try and take the order.)

Manager: “Welcome to [Restaurant]. How may we help you?”

Customer #2: “Are we going to be able to get through?”

Manager: “I don’t know; I think this guy is stuck. I could try and take your order, but we might wind up having to call someone to get him out.”

Customer #2: “All right.” *places order*

Manager: “That will be [total] at the first window.”

([Customer #2] pulled up and boxed [Customer #1] in even more. I started laughing. We took two more orders after that. My coworker in grill, against protest, went outside and tried to talk to the guy. I didn’t hear what was said, but apparently the customer was pissed off and started yelling at my coworker, who went back inside. Eventually, the customer finally adjusted himself so that he was pulled up as close as he could get to the curb. He was able to squeeze his big boat through the drive-thru, and I was able to help the other customers and watch him go.)

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Kids Have The Best Stalling Tactics

, , , , , , | Friendly | February 23, 2018

One time I was in a bathroom stall at a restaurant. A mother and her young child decided to go into the stall directly next to mine.

Suddenly, I saw this little, tiny kid basically crawling under our conjoined stalls. I didn’t know what to do; I was shocked. Our eyes met; he was still going for it, despite me slowly shaking my head. I was so confused.

So, I reached down, placed my fingers against his forehead, and slowly pushed him back under the stall.

Only after I left the bathroom did I realize how silly that was.

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Rage Against The Human Machine

, , , , | Working | February 23, 2018

(I work as an office assistant for a small company. We get a lot of spammy recorded calls of questionable origin. The phone rings and the caller ID is from an insurance company. It looks to me like it may be another recorded message, but I always pick up the phone in case it’s not.)

Me: “Hi, you’ve reached [Company].”

Caller: “Hello? Can you hear me?”

Me: “Yes?”

Caller: *long pause* “How are you doing today?”

(This is a common enough format for recorded calls that I ask outright:)

Me: “Is this a recording?”

(After another pause, he doesn’t respond to my question, and instead starts talking about where he’s calling from. Between the long pauses and ignoring my question, I figure it’s a recorded message and hang up. The phone immediately rings again from the same number. I don’t bother answering it, instead lifting the receiver and hanging it back up. This pattern goes on for some time, at least five times. I also hold the phone to my ear a couple of times before hanging it up and hear the same voice say, “Hello?” and, “Can you hear me?” but nothing unique enough to make me think this isn’t a sophisticated recording. I’ve heard that if you let a recorded call get far enough or even answer it at all they’ll keep calling you. I figure this is a particularly persistent and obnoxious one, and I guess I hope if I hang up on it enough it’ll stop. I probably should just let it go to the voicemail, but I hate letting the phone just ring. However, this pattern is now at the point where I can’t get anything done because of the constant calls. I snap and decide to try picking it up again)

Me: *picks up phone* “Hi, is this a real person?”

Caller: *same voice, but now exasperated* “Yes! I’ve been hung up on several times now. I’m trying to do an employer check for [Company Employee]. Who am I talking to?”

Me: *embarrassed now* “Oh… This is the office assistant, [My Name].”

Caller: “Can you tell me if I am speaking to the right person, or who I should speak with?”

Me: “The directors should be able to help you out. Let me transfer you.”

Caller: “That’d be great, thanks.”

(I was too embarrassed to apologize for hanging up on him so many times. Hopefully he didn’t give my boss an earful about his incompetent office person!)

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Being A Total Cone-Head

, , , , , | Right | February 23, 2018

(I’m working at [Burger Joint] when this customer in his late teens comes in with a bunch of his friends. Note that we sell burgers, fries, sandwiches, and other stuff like that.)

Me: “Welcome to [Burger Joint]. What can I get for you?”

Customer: “Hey, uh… Do you have, uh, like, the tacos?”

Me: “No, sir. Unfortunately, we don’t have tacos.”

Customer’s Friend: “Are you f****** serious dude?”

Customer: *pointing to the menu* “Look! They do have tacos!”

Me: “Sir, that’s an ice cream cone.”

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