Acts Of Godawful Coworkers

| Fremont, CA, USA | Working | May 24, 2013

Me: “Thank you for calling [company] customer service. My name is [name]. How can I help you today?”

Caller: “This is going to sound incredibly stupid and unreal, but I figured I would ask anyway. I have your [scanner brand] in my hands and the tab in the USB port is mangled beyond belief through no fault of your company. By any chance would ‘Coworker Disasters’ be covered under your warranty?”

Me: “Well, what seems to have happened to it? Maybe there is something I can do for you.”

(The caller sort of chuckles before sighing.)

Caller: “We had just given this new scanner to [coworker] to set up at her desktop. After 20 minutes, I began to hear a weird crunching noise and asked her if there was anything she needed help with. She told me she was just having a lot of trouble with the safety tab. This confused me seeing I have the same scanner and there was no ‘safety tab.’ When I went to check on her, to my horror I saw her with a metal butter knife trying to chip the much needed tab out of the USB port. I stopped her and asked what she thought she was doing.”

(I hear a light slap and what she says next is a bit muffled. I presume she had face-palmed herself at this point.)

Caller: “I couldn’t believe [coworker] sat there completely serious with the butter knife and told me she “didn’t think the tab belonged there,” and since she couldn’t take it out normally, she had gotten the knife to pry it out. So, do you think there is anything you can help me with?”

Me: “Well, ma’am, give me a second and let me see what I can do…”

(At this point I put the poor lady on hold, go to to my supervisor, and ask if there is anything we can do. I get my answer and go back to the call.)

Me: “Hello, ma’am? Well, I talked with my supervisor and normally the highest discount we can give on a scanner is about 25%, but she let me offer you 35%. Also, we can ship the new unit from here and put a bright yellow sticker with the tech support phone number and a caution to call them before opening the box on the outside if you’d like.”

(The caller cracks up laughing on the phone, and then agrees to order a new unit with the discount. We indeed shipped the box with the yellow caution sticker on it. A week later, the customer called in thanking me for the extra service and said she would recommend our product to other companies she knew.)

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Of All The Reasons For A Cause To Give You Pause

| Austin, TX, USA | Right | May 13, 2013

(I work at a call center for a cancer charity. I generally speak to donors and volunteers that are very supportive of our mission.)

Me: “Hello, my name is [name]. Thank you for calling—”

Caller: “Are you a Muslim organization?”

Me: “Uh, no we are not.”

Caller: “Are you some kind of terrorist?”

Me: “No, of course not.”

Caller: “Well, I saw the bumper-sticker for your event, and it uses that d*** Muslim symbol with the moon and star.”

Me: “Oh… I can see why you might misunderstand. There is some similarity between the Muslim star and crescent, and the logo we use for our fundraising events. See, the event is a relay that goes on for 24 hours. It has a sun, moon, and star to symbolize that the fight against cancer goes on, day and night.”

Caller: “Where’d you get the idea for that!?”

Me: “The… sky?”

Caller: “I bet you have Muslims in your organization!”

Me: “Well, we do not discriminate on the basis of creed or race, and we are quite a large organization. I assume we do have some Muslims.”

Caller: “Well… you shouldn’t use that d*** Muslim symbol! You’re confusing people!”

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Trash Talking Your Service

| Sacramento, CA, USA | Right | May 5, 2013

(I work for a trash service. The customer I’m speaking with had an account several years ago that was cancelled due to non-payment. It still has a balance.)

Me: “I’m sorry, ma’am. We cannot reactivate your account unless there is a zero balance.”

Customer: “Well I only put out my trash once a month! I will only pay for once a month pickup! I will not pay that amount!”

Me: “But once a month pickup is not a service we offer in any area.”

Customer: “I don’t care! I only put out my trash once a month! You are just trying to get more money out of me!”

Me: “Okay, so let me get this straight: you want to pay for a service that doesn’t exist, only because you say it does?”

Customer: “Yes!”

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Someone Needs To Treat Warhorse

| St. Cloud, MN, USA | Right | May 2, 2013

(I work at a call center that does outbound fundraising. One of our clients is the Veterans of Foreign Wars, Department of Minnesota.)

Me: “Hello, this is [my name], calling for the ‘Veterans of Foreign Wars, Department of Minnesota’. Thanks for taking my call!”

Woman: “Wait, wait, did you say veterans?”

Me: “Yes, I was calling because—”

Woman: “I don’t need a veteran. I don’t even have any animals!”

(I can give her the benefit of the doubt for simply mixing up the words ‘veterans’ and ‘veterinarians’. But I have to wonder what she would have thought a veterinarian of foreign wars would be!)

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If Cars Could Run On Stupidity

| ON, Canada | Right | April 30, 2013

Me: “Thank you for calling roadside assistance; how may I help you?”

Elderly Lady: “Yes, I need you to get my car started; it won’t start.”

Me: “Okay, ma’am, can you try to describe the problem to me?”

Elderly Lady: “Well my husband used to drive, but now he’s passed, so I have to drive again, and this stupid car won’t start.”

Me: “Alright, can you take the phone and go to the car. Try to start it, so I can listen?”

(The elderly lady starts grumbling as she goes to the garage.)

Elderly Lady: “So, I put the key in, and this happens.”

(The car tries to turn over, but nothing happens. I’m trying to figure out what it could be, and am about to dispatch a tow truck.)

Me: “Ma’am, I need to you turn the key just a little bit, and tell me if any lights come on.”

Elderly Lady: “One with a box and a squiggly line.”

Me: “Okay, I need to you look on the dashboard and find the letters E and F.”

(The elderly lady is very angry now, as we’ve been on the phone a while and she’s running late.)

Elderly Lady: “They are right beside the box with the squiggly part.”

Me: “Perfect, now where is the line pointing to?”

Elderly Lady: “The E. Why, what the h*** does that mean?”

Me: “Ma’am, I’m sorry to tell you this, and I can send help, but your car is out of gas. You need to put gas in the car.”

Elderly Lady: “You mean to tell me that I spent $50,000 on this car, and I still have to put gas in it?!”

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