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Mumbling Through Your First Day

, , | Right | November 27, 2022

On my first day ever taking calls, I get a call from an elderly lady.

Me: “I need to ask for some of your information to access your account.”

Caller: “I can’t tell you that! There’s a man in my attic, and he will steal my identity if he hears me tellin’ you!”

I have honestly no idea what to do, so I silently stand up and wave a manager over, who hooks into my phone and listens as I ask the caller again to give me her information.

Caller: “I can’t! The man in my attic! I can hear him creakin’ around up there right now!”

My manager gapes and shrugs at me, and I just try to be as professional as possible.

Me: “Ma’am, if there is an intruder in your house, I advise you to end this call and call 911 immediately.”

Caller: “Nah, he’s been up there for weeks, just creakin’ around in the attic. The police told me it’s a squirrel, but I heard him talkin’ the other day. I just need to get some money from my 401k.”

Me: “Okay, well, if you are sure, I can help you with your 401k, but I need some of your information to access it so you can get your money out.”

Caller: “Okay, fine, but I’m gonna whisper so the man can’t hear me.” *Mumbles* “He’s right over the kitchen right now; I can hear him up there…”

She then proceeded to whisper for the entire duration of the phone call.

Sadly, We Think He Might Have Been Right

, , , , , , , , | Right | November 27, 2022

I’m new, working for a tech support line for an ISP in the earlier days of the Internet (around 2003, before common wireless capabilities). I get my very first call after finishing my training and mentoring period.

Caller: “My Internet won’t work!”

Me: “I am sorry to hear that, sir. Let’s go through some troubleshooting to see if we can identify the problem.”

Caller: “I charged my Internet all night, and now it won’t work when I unplug it from the modem.”

Hoo, boy…

Me: “Your modem does need to be plugged in to provide Internet, sir.”

Caller: “But it should be fully charged!”

Me: “It’s not a battery-operated device, sir. It needs to remain plugged in at all times.”

Caller: “Well, that’s stupid! Fine, I’ll just preload the Internet into my computer so I can unplug it from the modem, then.”

Me: “That’s not possible, either, sir. Your computer needs to be connected to the modem.”

Caller: “So, my computer needs to be connected to the modem, and my modem needs to be connected to the power?”

Me: “Yes, sir.”

Caller: “Humans have to plug themselves in to use the Internet! It’s the matrix! I don’t like it!”

Me: “I’m… sorry you feel that way, sir.”

Caller: “Does the government know about this?”

Me: “I think so, sir.”

Caller: “Well then, I’m gonna tell them anyway! This is gonna damage society, I tell ya!”

Me: “I understand, sir.”

Caller: “So… do you have the government’s email address?”

I took a break after my very first solo call.

An Exercise (Machine) In Futility

, , , , | Right | November 23, 2022

I worked at an inbound call center in 2004 and took orders for dozens of different infomercial products. On one call, I went through the whole script of collecting contact information for the caller so I could send him a free information packet about an expensive exercise machine. I mentioned the name of the machine at least four times.

He gave me his name, his mailing address, and his phone number.

Me: “Would you like your informational video on VHS tape or DVD?”

Caller: “DVD would be fine.”

Me: “Thank you. One last question, sir. Would you like to provide your email address so we can send you some extra details and a coupon by email?”

Caller: “Okay. It’s… Y’know, I don’t know why you’re asking me all these questions. I just want to know what room my daughter is in.”

Me: “I’m sorry, what was that?”

Caller: “My daughter! She just had a [surgical procedure], and I need to know what room she’s in!”

Me: “Sir, this isn’t a hospital. You’ve called the free information line for [Exercise Machine].”

Caller: “Well, why didn’t you say that?!”

And he disconnected the call.

Won’t Give Him Credit For Trying Get Credit

, , , | Right | November 21, 2022

Me: “Thank you for calling [Company #1]. This is [My Name]. How can I help you?”

Caller: “I need to know why my account isn’t being reported to [Company #2].”

[Company #2] is a professional services company that, among other services, acts as a credit agency for businesses.

Me: “Oh, I’m so sorry. Let me see what I can do to get this taken care of for you.”

I take his name, company name, and account number.

Me: “Okay, let me get one of our credit specialists for you so that they can find out what is going on with your account’s reporting and get it fixed. Can you hold for one minute?”

Caller: “Yes.”

I get our credit department on the phone, give the caller’s account number to the credit representative, and explain what is going on.

Credit Rep: *Chuckles* “If he wants me to, I can fix the issue with his reporting. All his payments have been late, and he’s currently past due, so he might not want me to. Go ahead and transfer him over.”

I checked his payment history after I completed the transfer and before I closed out his account details. He had five invoices that were between twenty-five and sixty-five days past due. He was about to royally shoot himself in the foot!

Taxing Taxiing, Part 9

, , , , , , | Working | November 19, 2022

My mom and I are vacationing in Ireland, and the plan is to check out a local castle. We’ve been informed by our [Vacation Rental] hosts to take the bus to the nearby town and walk up the hill to the castle from there.

We go to the central train station to take the bus to said town, but it’s a no-show. We ask some other drivers and they tell us it will be another hour. Having time to kill, we head for the beach and promenade nearby to take in the seaside views, but disaster strikes on the way back. My mom loses her balance stepping down from a curb, collapses, and scrapes her knee, and her ankle starts to swell up. She’s a real soldier, though, and is determined to not have it ruin our plans.

Because of the hassle of the fall, we end up by the wrong bus stop and see the bus we’re supposed to take leave without us. Not wanting to spend another hour waiting, we decide to take a cab, instead. This is good thinking, it turns out, as the road from the town up to the castle would have been too long and too steep to climb in my mom’s current condition.

The cab driver is very friendly and advises us to download the app for his company for the ride back. We spend a lovely afternoon at the castle and surrounding gardens, but my mom’s ankle is getting worse, and by closing time, I use the app to arrange our ride. The app informs me at the end of my reservation that a cab will arrive in about twenty minutes, so we stand by the front gates by the road to wait.

Forty minutes later, there is still no cab. By this time, my mom is almost unable to stand and there are no seating options anywhere. I call the cab company and explain the situation, asking how far off our driver is.

Employee #1: “You are [My Name], yes? You have ordered two cabs, is that correct?”

Me: “No… just one cab. I don’t know where you got the second, but apparently, my reservation has gone through twice somehow.”

Employee #1: “Okay, I’ll cancel the one cab, and the other should be on its way to you.”

Me: “Great. Any idea how long it will take to be here?”

Employee #1: “About twenty minutes.”

At least we have a timeframe now, so we opt to wait some more. Half an hour later, there is still nothing, so I call again. I say my name and explain the situation, and there is a loud sigh on the other end.

Employee #2: “[My Name]?”

Me: “Yes?”

Employee #2: “You told us to cancel the ride, so we cancelled, and now you still want a taxi after all?”

Me: “Hold up. You accidentally send two, and I just needed the one. You said there was still one on the way.”

Employee #2: “There never was. We have no drivers left available.”

I’m stunned. We’ve been out in the cold rain waiting for over an hour, my mom is in visible pain, and the man on the phone is acting curtly and rudely. I’m out of patience.

Me: “If you have no drivers left in the first place, you could have told me that half an hour ago.”

Employee #2: “I told you, we have nothing.”

Me: “Well… do you happen to know an alternative company that operates around here that can help us out?”

Employee #2: “No. Besides, I tried to call you twice to tell you your cab wasn’t coming…”

I’ve received no incoming calls whatsoever, I’ve been glued to my phone all the time, and I’ve had full bars of service, so I know he’s lying.

Employee #2: “…and you didn’t pick up, so that is on you.”

Me: “On me? Are you kidding me right now?”

Employee #2: “Now quit calling us. We have no drivers!”

I’m seething at this point. The castle is since closed, and we’ve seen the employees leave for the day. There’s no one around, and I have no clue how to get off this hill.

Me: “Just so you know, your service is f****** abysmal. Thanks for nothing.”

I hung up. We limped back into the castle, hoping to find someone to help us. We just caught the receptionist before she left, and she took pity. She called a friend of hers from town who happened to drive a cab for a rival company. The friend — an elderly gent with a heavy Irish accent — showed up five minutes later and neatly dropped us off at our [Vacation Rental]. We made sure to royally tip him.

Mom’s ankle was thankfully fine the next day, just slightly sprained.

Taxing Taxiing, Part 8
Taxing Taxiing, Part 7
Taxing Taxiing, Part 6
Taxing Taxiing, Part 5
Taxing Taxiing, Part 4