(I answer a crisis hot line for suicide, depression, drugs, any sort of thing they want to talk about.)
Me: “[Name of Crisis Line]. My name is [name]. Do you feel comfortable sharing your first name?”
Caller: ”Do people really ever call this line?”
Me: “Yes, they certainly do. What’s on your mind today?”
Caller: “Well that’s stupid. Do you just listen to depressed people all day?”
Me: “I listen to whatever is on their mind. That’s what we’re here for.”
Caller: “You should just tell them to off themselves.”
Me: “Sir, if you would like to speak to an operator, I’m right here. If you are prank calling us, that is a misdemeanor and we will prosecute.”
Caller: *obviously faking it* “Oh… well you see …my… um… my… cat…died.”
(I am the only representative in the Texas queue. I had spoken to this customer 15 minutes previously, before I went on break. He is my first call when I get back.)
Me: “Thank you for choosing [Phone Company]. How may I assist you today?”
Customer: “Aren’t you the one I talked to earlier?”
Me: *checking the account info* “Yes sir, I did speak to you earlier. Is there a problem?”
Customer: “You told me the technician would be out here on Monday. Well that’s not good enough! I need him out here right now!”
Me: “Sir, it’s 9 pm on Saturday evening. Our technicians go home at 7 pm and do not work on Sundays.”
Customer: “I don’t care, you get someone out tonight! I have a medical condition and if something happens to me while my phone is out, I’m calling my lawyer!”
Me: “Sir, I will be more than happy to send you the letter for a doctor to verify that you have a medical condition requiring your phone services to be on 24/7. Unfortunately, because the status is not currently on the account, I will not be able to get a call-out approved.”
Customer: “I don’t want your letter! I want my services back on! If something happens to me on the weekend and I die, you’ll be hearing from me!”
(I have to talk to many different dentists through the day. The old ones speak in a very old-fashioned Norwegian.)
Me: "[Company name] this is [my name]. How may I help you?"
Client: "Yes, you see, my customer just left, and I forgot to take a copy of his bill. Could you send me a new one?"
Me: "Sure miss, but I can see you live quite the distance from here, may I suggest calling the customer to get it back, or get the numbers? I am quite sure it’ll be easier for you."
Client: "But you don’t understand! He just left!"
Me: "I understand miss. I still believe it would be easier for you if you just called the customer though."
Client: "What part of ‘he just left’ is so hard to understand? He left!”
Me: "I see, I’m sorry if I bothered you with my opinions. I’m printing out a copy of the bill right as we speak, and it’ll be out by tomorrow at noon."
Client: "Good. That’s alright then.” *mumbles to herself* “…asking me to call his widow for the bill. Outrageous."
Me: "Widower? Excuse me miss, but is your customer dead?"
Client: "Oh, so now you get it, huh? I told you he left!"
Me: “Hello, may I please speak to Jane Doe?”
Customer: “Which one? One’s my wife and one’s my sister.”
Me: “Jane L. Doe.”
Customer: “That’s my sister. She’s a crackhead. We don’t associate with her anymore. She still owes me hundreds of dollars.”
Me: “Well, do you know anyone who could get in touch with her? Maybe your parents?”
Customer: “My parents don’t talk to her anymore either. And even if they did, I don’t want to hassle them over my good-for-nothing crackhead of a sister. Why do you want to talk to her?”
Me: “I need to speak with her regarding the property on [address].”
Customer: “That’s my house. What Jane Doe did you say you were looking for?”
Me: “Jane L Doe.”
Customer: “Oh, that’s my wife. She’s not a crackhead. She’s at church.”
Me: “Alright sir, in order to get this taken care of we will need to know the manufacturer of brand name of the product.”
Customer: “I’m sorry, I don’t quite understand.”
Me: “The company that makes the product.”
Customer: “I still don’t understand.”
Me: “It will state who makes it on the product.”
Customer: “Oh, I know! It was China!”