Forgetful Of Remembrance Day

| UK | Working | November 28, 2014

(Each person in my team deals with customers of a specific country. As some bank holidays differ from one to the other, we may have to come to work and do nothing because we are not allowed to call customers. On such a day (August 15th), I started a conversation with a coworker. After about 30 minutes, the manager comes over.)

Manager: “Are you two on break?”

Me: “No, there’s just nothing to do today.”

Manager: “How come? Is there anything in both your countries?”

Me: “Well, yes. Today is a bank holiday, so we can’t call customers.”

Manager: “Oh  really? Across several countries? What bank holiday is it?”

Coworker: “15th of August? The Assumption of Mary? It’s a well-known Catholic holiday.”

Manager: “Never heard about this. Okay, I’ll check.”

(My coworker and I looked at each in shock. The manager is from a mainly Catholic country, and was looking at us as if we were lying. A few months later, on Remembrance Day (11th of November), the same coworker asked to observe a minute of silence to honor the fallen dead, as is tradition in the UK. It is supposed to happen at 11:00 am. A few seconds before, the program manager asked out loud why should we do that, ruining the mood in the process. She has been living in the UK for more than 15 years, and still doesn’t know what people celebrate here.)

Morons In Disguise

| NY, USA | Right | November 24, 2014

(I work for a large cable TV company’s call center. I get a call and my customer mentions having problems with the image looking pixelated. This company gives customers a cable box to get their channels; this is the troubleshooting target.)

Me: “Okay, I’ll be sending a signal to the box and it’ll reboot. It is possible that you see some blue screens while it does that. This completely normal.”

Customer: “Okay.”

(This cable boxes usually take 2 to 7 minutes to reboot. 12 minutes after…)

Customer: “Okay, the screen went black now. Looks like it’ll restart again.”

Me: “That won’t happen; the box is looking fine from my end. Can you please turn it on and check on the channels you had issues with?”

Customer: “I don’t know. It looks very weird…”

Me: “Does the channel look weird?”

Customer: “No, the box! It has some strange symbols on it.”

Me: “Can you describe those to me?”

Customer: “They look like alien symbols, Transformers, like! You know? Their way of writing stuff?”

(At this point of the evening, on a Saturday, after this long call and three energy drinks, I take a look outside the window to check I’m still on planet Earth.)

Me: “That’s very strange. The box is only supposed to show the time. Can you check all cables in the back of the box are not loose?”

Customer: “They’re tight! What’s going on?! What did you do?! I need my TV! Fix this NOW!”

Me: “Can you turn on the box, from the button panel in the front of it, please? It’s the last button to the right.”

Customer: “I pressed the button and nothing happened. The first symbol just changed and looks like a ‘G,’ but weird looking. You have to get this fixed!”

(Another eight minutes go by trying and trying to get the box to turn on, assuming the display screen is damaged.)

Customer: “YOU’RE USELESS! THIS WAS A WORKING BOX WITH ALL THE OTHER CHANNELS AND NOW I’VE LOST THEM ALL!”

Me: “I’m really sorry about this, is the first time I’ve seen someth—” *brief pause*

Customer: “HELLO!?”

Me: “Can you please press the first button to the left?”

Customer: “It worked! It’s on! The TV’s back! What the h*** happened?!”

Me: “Your box was upside down.”

Customer: “…”

Me: “Hello?”

Customer: *click*

(I think Megatron abducted her…)

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Marriage Of The Undead

| PA, USA | Right | November 24, 2014

(I work in a call center for a student loan servicing company. I deal with many difficult callers each day, as people get very upset over their loans. I have just spent an hour arguing with a woman as to why her loans were delinquent and I am quite frazzled.)

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

Caller: “I received a letter from you that says ”our condolences on the loss of your son.”

(I check the account. The borrower has indeed been reported as deceased and we are waiting for the death certificate in order to discharge the loans.)

Me: “Yes, sir. I am terribly sorry for your loss. Do you have any questions on the discharge process?”

Caller: “Yes. My son isn’t dead.”

Me: “Excuse me?”

Caller: “Yeah, do you want to talk to him?”

Me: “Uh… yes, please.”

Caller: “Okay. Here he is.”

Son: “Hello. As far as I know, I am not dead, unless I am the first recorded instance of the zombie apocalypse.”

(At this point I start giggling helplessly. The son laughs, too.)

Son: “Out of curiosity, why do you guys think I’m dead?”

Me: “Well, sir, you were reported deceased by [Name].”

Son: “Oh. That’s my ex-wife. She must have been trying to mess up my credit. Is this going to hurt me at all?”

Me: “Not in the slightest, sir.”

Son: “Ha. Sucks to be her. Have a lovely day, miss.”

Me: “Thank you, sir. Please don’t bite anyone.”

Son: “But where’s the fun in that?”

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Signs You Should Probably Stop Driving

, | CO, USA | Right | November 21, 2014

(An elderly customer calls about her policy, which has increased at the most recent renewal due to an accident she’s had pulling out of the drive from her retirement community.)

Customer: “You know, I’m really a good driver. I just didn’t see the other car. It came from nowhere.”

Me: I’m sure you wouldn’t have attempted to pull out if you’d seen it.”

Customer: “Many of my neighbors sold their cars and ride the bus; several routes go right by our complex. I can’t do that, though, because I don’t see so well anymore. I can’t read those signs they have on the buses that say where they are going.”

Me: “…”

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Driving Her Own Price Up

, | CO, USA | Right | November 21, 2014

(A policy holder calls to complain about the very high premium she is paying for her auto insurance. I review the policy with her and determine that she’s had many accidents and violations. Easily the worst driving record I’ve seen, and I’ve been doing this job for years.)

Customer: “So, what can be done so that I don’t pay so much?”

Me: “As your driving history is the reason for the high premium, there are no opportunities to reduce the cost until your record improves.”

Customer: “There has to be something you can do?”

Me: “I’ve verified that the price is accurate. There is nothing more I can do.”

Customer: “Is there something I can do?”

Me: “Have you had a recent check up with a doctor to see if there is a physical reason you are having difficulty while driving? You may want to consider using public transportation, at least until you’ve been medically cleared.”

Customer: “There’s nothing wrong with my health, and I’m not going to stop driving!”

Me: “If you must continue to drive, I’d suggest taking a driver education or improvement course.”

Customer: “You’re joking, right? I’m a good driver! Everyone gets into a bit of trouble now and again!”

(This call was chosen by my supervisor for monthly call review and coaching, which was less than a week later. There were already two more accident claims filed!)

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