Bashing The Button Basher

| TX, USA | Right | October 8, 2013

(A 20-something calls in with the very common problem of their TV showing a blank screen. I’m second-level tech support, meaning they’ve already spoken to someone who either concluded their problem was serious, or simply gave up attempting to assist them.)

Me: “Press the red button at the very top of your remote.”

Caller: “Umm… uh… What’s a button?”

Me: “Do you want to think about what you just asked for a moment?”

Caller: “Umm, yeah, what’s a button?”

Me: “Those little round things that make stuff happen when you push them.”

Caller: “Oh, it worked! What was wrong?”

Me: “Your TV was turned off.”

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Must Have Dismissed Thinking It Through

| Toronto, ON, Canada | Working | October 3, 2013

(I work for a small call center and my boss has been trying to get rid of me for months. She is trying everything in the book to fire me without having to pay severance. I have just come in after a smoke break and she orders me into her office.)

Boss: “Pack your bags; you are fired.”

Me: “What? Why?”

Boss: “You threatened my manager with your fist, and now she is afraid of you. She has asked me to fire you, so leave.”

Me: “When did I do these things you are accusing me of?”

Boss: “Five minutes ago!”

Me: “I was outside having a break!”

Boss: “No, I saw the whole thing. Now leave, or I will call the police!”

(I stand up and walk to the door and call the manager into the boss’ office.)

Me: *to the manager* “Did I threaten you just now?”

Manager: “Huh? Of course not!”

Me: “Did I wave my fist at you? Are you scared, and so you want me gone?”

Manager: “Uh no? That’s ridiculous!”

(I turn back to the boss who is red in the face.)

Me: “Do you know what wrongful dismissal means?”

Boss: “Get back to work.”

(I am still there. The boss has given up, and does not even talk to me anymore—which is fine by me!)

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The Long Way Round To The Wrong Way Round

| TX, USA | Working | September 26, 2013

(I work in a more specialized department, and customer service transfers a lot of calls they can’t handle to various departments.)

Customer Service: “One of our customers has [issue].”

Me: “I’m sorry, but here in [my department] we can’t help with that; you need to call [other department].”

Customer Service: “I tried calling them, but they were too busy. I was waiting on hold for a long time.”

Me: “I still can’t help them. We don’t have the entitlements on our computers needed to fix that.”

Customer Service: “Can’t you do something?”

Me: “We don’t have a direct line to [other department], so I’d actually have to transfer them back to your department.”

Customer Service: “Could you tell them that?”

Me: “Do you want to transfer the call to the wrong department so we can tell them that they’ve been transferred to the wrong department?”

Customer Service: “Yes.”

Canada’s Net Worth

| Edmonton, AB, Canada | Right | September 20, 2013

(I work in a Canadian call centre that is contracted by an American cable internet company. Therefore all my customers are American.)

Client: *after the issue is resolved* “I can’t place your accent. Where am I calling? Are you in India?”

Me: “No, ma’am. I’m in Edmonton, Alberta. That’s in Canada.”

Client: “Canada? Really?”

Me: “Yes.”

Client: “Do they even have cable internet up there?”

Me: *pausing to swallow incredulity* “Yes, ma’am, we do. In fact, we actually have had cable internet for a bit longer than most US markets.”

Client: “Oh, well, I don’t know nothin’ about Canada. I thought it was a third-world country or something.”

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Make Appoint To Forget

, | Los Angeles, CA, USA | Right | September 19, 2013

Me: “Thank you for calling [Hospital]; how can I help you?”

Patient: “I need to cancel an appointment I have today.”

Me: “All right, let’s verify your information and then we’ll look at the appointment.”

(As the patient verifies everything, I note he is 25 years old, the appointment is urgent, and was made earlier that day. He has already spoken to a nurse as well.)

Me: “Okay. I see the appointment with [Doctor] at [time], and you want me to cancel it?”

Patient: “Yes. Oh, and can you tell me what the appointment was for? I can’t remember.”

(I hover over the cancel button as I tell the patient.)

Me: “Sir, it is for forgetfulness. Are you sure you want to cancel?”

Patient: *silent for a moment* “Yes, go ahead and cancel it.”

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