Bitter About The Caramel, Part 2

, , , , | Right | January 20, 2019

A woman ordered a hot chocolate, and while I was making it, she asked for extra whipped cream and extra caramel topping — not an odd or hard request.

I handed it to her and she looked at me sharply, asking if I put chocolate in it — she watched me put the chocolate in — because it only tasted like milk and caramel.

Maybe that’s because she had me put half the caramel bottle on her drink. Half a bottle. I’m not exaggerating. She then proceeded to scrape off the whipped cream and flick it over the counter into the barista sink, and then she demanded more chocolate. After I gave her more, she asked for a heap of whipped cream and extra caramel syrup.

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Bitter About The Caramel

Maisy, Maisy, Give Me Your Answer Do

, , , | Right | January 19, 2019

(I’m a systems and technology librarian. It’s during lunch breaks, so we are low on staff, and I’m the only librarian not at lunch. One of the clerks calls me over to the phone with the description, “Secret librarian business; she won’t tell me what she needs.”)

Me: “Hello. [My Name] speaking. How may I help you?”

Customer: “Are you a librarian?”

Me: “Yes, I am. How can I help you today?”

Customer: “What kind of librarian?”

Me: “Systems and technology.”

Customer: “You’re the wrong librarian.”

Me: “Unfortunately, everyone else is at lunch, so I’ll see if I can help you, and if it turns out that I can’t I will get someone to contact you back.”

Customer: “Are you sure that you are a librarian?”

Me: “Yes.”

Customer: “I used to volunteer at the library in the seventies, and I have never heard of a systems and technology librarian before; that doesn’t sound real.”

Me: “It is a more modern position; with the growing use of technology in libraries, it has become a need.”

Customer: “Because I would rather speak to the children’s librarian.”

Me: “She is at lunch, like I said. Give me a try, and if I’m out of my league, I will get her to call you.”

Customer: “Promise?”

Me: “I promise.”

Customer: “Who writes the Maisy books?”

Me: “Lucy Cousins.”

Customer: “HOW DO YOU KNOW THAT?”

Me: “I have a three-year-old.”

Customer: “I’m going to need that confirmed by the children’s librarian; she will need to contact me before three pm, at [number]. It’s really inconvenient that she’s unavailable. The world just doesn’t stop for lunch.”

You Give Nothing, You Get Nothing

, , , , , | Right | January 19, 2019

(I work at a call center in the e-Commerce — sales — department for a large American cable company that also provides other services. I am working chat support, which means the work is mostly non-voice, which comes in handy in case one of us has to vent or sound the occasional scream of frustration. While we mostly process customer orders and handle inquiries, we also process transfers of service, in the case of customers moving to another address and wanting to take their service with them. One day I end up with this bizarre chat:)

Me: “Hello! My name is [My Name]! How are you today?”

Customer: “I am moving and want to transfer my service.”

Me: “Thank you for letting me know; I will be more than happy to assist you with that today!”

(Usually, customers with existing service sign in and enter their info as well as the new address, which pops up in a form accompanying the chat. This customer left the form blank, and instead of her name, she only appears as “Guest” in the chatroom, so I need to ask for the missing info in order to pull it up in our system, check the serviceability of the new address, etc.)

Me: “In order for me to be able to assist you today, may I please have your full name, phone number, and your account number, as well as your current address and the complete new address you will be moving to?”

Customer: “No.”

(This is the first time I’ve had this response to what is a fairly standard request, and I get the feeling I’m in for something out of the ordinary. I nudge my coworker, who peeks over to watch the show.)

Me: “I will need to pull up your account, and I also need to check the status of the new address to process the transfer. And we need to request the information for verification purposes, as well, to ensure that the security and privacy of your account are maintained and that only the account holder or authorized users process changes.”

Customer: “STAY OUT OF MY ACCOUNT!”

Me: “I don’t have access to your account. I don’t even have any information to pull the account up with.”

Customer: “LIAR! GET OUT OF MY ACCOUNT NOW!”

Me: *baffled and at a loss at this point* “I understand that you might have some concerns regarding your account’s security, but I don’t have your account up, as I have not been provided with any information I require to pull it up.”

Customer: “YOU JUST KEEP DIGGING YOURSELF IN DEEPER, DON’T YOU? I WANT TO TALK TO A SUPERVISOR NOW!”

(I’ve already let my team-lead know that I have a potential escalation, but our process requires us to at least try to de-escalate the situation before we pass it on to “the higher power,” who in all honesty aren’t able to do much more than the regular agents are.)

Me: “I understand that you would like to speak to a supervisor, but I assure you that I am more than capable of assisting you with your service transfer request, and I would just like to inform you that in order for a transfer to be processed, we will require your full details, which will mean pulling up your account. As no information has been provided, nothing has been pulled up or accessed. May I have the opportunity to try to assist you today?”

Customer: “I WANT TO TRANSFER MY SERVICE MYSELF!”

Me: “I’m afraid that is not possible. You might be able to move the equipment yourself, but the actual transfer of the service, such as cable, phone, and Internet, would need to be processed in our system.”

Customer: “NO! I WANT TO TRANSFER MYSELF! I WANT A SUPERVISOR!”

(I already have a side-chat going with the escalation team and have given them the general details of the situation. They are giving me the green-light for a transfer, but they want me to try one last time to get some kind of personal detail — a name, anything really — that I can pass on to them.)

Me: “I understand. I will be transferring you to my supervisor shortly. Before I do, may I at least have your name to pass on to them?”

Customer: “NO! TRANSFER ME NOW!”

Me: “All right. I am transferring you now; please keep the chat window open.”

(I transferred the customer and let the escalation team know that the customer had refused to provide any info. I later pulled up the chat file to find out how it had gone and found that the customer had provided the name “Jane Doe” after some persistence from the supervisor, and refused to provide any other information. She just kept insisting she would move the service herself before finally terminating the chat. Thankfully, I’ve left the world of call centers and customer service behind for now.)

This Time, It’s Personal

, , | Right | January 19, 2019

(I’m a property manager at a small real estate agency. I generally work at the front desk, so I also take calls in. My bosses are of retiring age and are VERY hard workers; they work ten hours a day, seven days a week, and some public holidays. They have finally gotten a vacation: a week-long trip to China. I am instructed to take all calls for them and just pass the calls along when they get back, etc.)

Me: “Hello, this is [Realty Agency], [My Name] speaking. How may I help you?”

Client: “Hi, I’m looking for [Boss].”

Me: “I’m sorry, [Boss] is currently on leave and is not available right now. I am the agency’s property manager, so I may be able to help you, however. If not, I’ll be—“

Client: *irate* “No, I need to speak to her directly! Put me on the phone with her!”

Me: “Unfortunately, as I mentioned, she is currently on leave and won’t be back until Tuesday next week. I can leave a message for her if you’d like to leave a name and message.”

Client: “I sent an email to her two hours ago and she still hasn’t responded!”

Me: “Ah, I see. Due to her staying in another country, she has notified me that she will only be checking her emails once every day due to a lack of Internet connection.”

Client: “Well, then, you need to check her email, please. It’s from [Company]!”

Me: “Sorry, was that sent to her personal email or her business email?”

Client: “Personal, obviously!”

Me: “I’m sorry, but I don’t have access to her private emails. She’ll have to call you back.”

Client: “You don’t have access to her private emails? Well, that’s a bit stupid.”

(The client then hung up.)

Strange Customers In Your Salad Days

, , , , , | Right | January 18, 2019

(I work at a relatively well-known chain restaurant. My friend — who is Hispanic but speaks fluent English — is the hostess for the night. At this job, the hostesses also take the to-go orders, fix the side stuff for the to-go orders, make sure the orders come out correctly, and check the customers out. Basically, they take care of any to-go order transactions from start to finish. The phone rings and my friend answers it, and I can tell she is taking a to go-order. I hear her repeat herself several times until she gives me a befuddled look, and I go up front to try to see if I can help. I then take the phone from her to see if I can have more luck.)

Me: “Yes, sir, this is [My Name]. How can I help you?”

Customer: “Yes, I was trying to order a salad, but I couldn’t understand that little Mexican girl.”

(I’m a bit confounded, as she hardly has an accent at all, and it’s pretty offensive to refer to her as “little” or “Mexican.”)

Me: *still trying to be polite* “I’m sorry about that, sir. What can I get for you?”

Customer: “I would like your large house salad, with fried chicken added, with [dressing].”

Me: “Okay, one fried chicken salad with dressing. Would you like anything else?”

Customer: “No! That’s not what I said! I want your large house salad, with fried chicken added!”

Me: “Yes, sir, that is a fried chicken salad.”

Customer: “No! I don’t want that. What is so hard to understand?! I want a salad with lettuce, cheese, tomatoes, croutons, and onions, and I want fried chicken added to it.”

Me: “Yes, sir, that’s what the fried chicken salad is.”

Customer: “But I don’t want a fried chicken salad! I want the large house salad with fried chicken added!”

Me: “Okay, sir. So, that’s one large house salad with fried chicken added with [dressing]. Will that be all for you?”

Customer: *being very rude* “Yes! FINALLY. Thank you!”

(I then ring the order into the computer as a fried chicken salad, as that’s what it is. My friend and I are laughing for a minute at the insanity of it when the phone rings again. I am closer so I go to answer it.)

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

Customer: “Yes, I called a large salad in, with fried chicken added, about five minutes ago.”

Me: “Yes, sir, and what can I do for you?”

Customer: “Cancel my order. I’ve just been in a wreck.” *click*

(My coworker and I sat baffled the rest of the night by the fact that immediately after a collision, his biggest concern was to call and cancel his salad.)

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