Some People Just Don’t Want To Be Helped

, , , , | Working | June 15, 2021

I work for a company that supplies service desk services to the national offices of a huge international pharmaceutical. Our job is basically to take the incoming calls from the client’s office employees, solve them at the first level and, if not possible, route the issue to the second level — local IT teams, since our service desk team is remote.

The day is going calmly. Suspiciously calmly. I am already three hours in and have had zero calls.

Me: “Service desk, [My Name]; how can I help you?”

User: “This is absurd. I’ve been trying to talk to you guys for the last two hours and the line’s always busy!”

The fact that theirs is my first call of the day proves this statement is a lie.

User: “I can’t receive emails; my [email software] isn’t working. Fix it!”

Me: “Sure. I just need your user ID first, please.”

User: “I can’t believe it. Every time you guys ask for my ID! Don’t you remember me?”

The fact that we receive calls from the whole country makes it clear that we don’t remember each and every voice.

User: “I’m [User]; my username is [user ID].”

Me: “Okay, [User], just give me a minute to check some things. Do you have network access?”

User: “I have no idea. I can’t receive emails; that’s all I know.”

Me: “You got an error message on [email software]?”

User: “What? No! Where did you get that from? [Coworker] told me on [messenger] that she sent me something that I need to see!”

Okay, that means they still have network.

Me: “Understood. Just give me a moment. I’ll connect to your computer to check what could be going on.”

User: “Do it fast.”

I remote into their computer, and it’s a huge mess, as usual. Dozens of spreadsheets are open at the same time, the browser is open with several tabs and, apparently, one of them is playing music. Basically, their computer is overworked. Among the other windows, I find the email software window… frozen.

Me: “I see. Your computer seems to be overworked, and [email software] froze. All we need to do is close the program and reopen it.”

User: “I already tried that, moron.”

I’m surprised that I’m being insulted during a recorded call.

Me: “Oh. Okay, in this case, we need to reboot the computer.”

User: “Not happening.”

Me: “I’m sorry?”

User: “You won’t reboot my computer. I need to work; it’ll take my time and I’m busy.”

Me: “You… need your email working, correct?”

User: “Yes.”

Me: “Have you tried using the webmail service?”

User: “That thing’s stupid. All my contacts are on [email software].”

Me: “If the program won’t close and the computer can’t be rebooted, I can’t solve the issue.”

User: “Such incompetence. Get me your supervisor!”

Our service desk team has no “supervisor” in the sense of someone who can overrule something to get things done. The best we can do is escalate the issue to Level 2.

Me: “You want me to send the issue to the Level 2 team so they can send someone to your desk?”

User: “You thought of that by yourself or someone helped you to reach that conclusion?Yes! I want someone here! Now!

My eardrums still hurt just by remembering them shouting in my earpiece. I write a ticket to the Level 2 team with notes of their behavior. In the description, I write, “[User]’s [email software] froze and won’t close. [User] won’t allow a reboot. [User] agitated.”

Me: “Done, [User]. There’s a ticket for you on Level 2’s queue. They’ll get to you as soon as possible.”

User: “They have five minutes.”

Me: “I’m sorry?”

User: “No, you’re not. I want someone here in the next five minutes, or else I’ll go straight to your boss.”

Joke’s on them; my boss isn’t even part of their company.

Me: “I can’t give you an estimate of when someone will be by your desk, as I don’t have access to the Level 2’s queue. They could be with you in minutes or hours, depending on what they have going on.”

User: “You’ve been warned. Five minutes.” *Click*

The following day, I get a message from a friend on Level 2.

Level 2: “Hey, [My Name]! Why didn’t you solve the issue with [User] yesterday?”

Me: “They demanded someone locally.”

Level 2: “I got to their computer and rebooted it. But they kept saying that they didn’t have time to waste waiting for us and that they could’ve rebooted the computer themselves, and they even asked why [Client] keeps us on their tab if we’re this useless.”

Me: “They… what?”

Level 2: “I s*** you not! They’re insane!”

Me: “You added this conversation on the ticket log, right?”

Level 2: “Of course. I’ve covered my a**. You covered yours?”

Me: “The system records all calls we receive. I hope this one gets randomly picked for revision.”

Level 2: “You don’t know the worst part. After I finished rebooting, they logged in and opened the browser first, going to YouTube, checking personal emails, even a finance blog, before even trying to open [email software].”

To my surprise, I got an email later with an evaluation of my service… from that user! It was an automated email, yes, but it was about the user’s call; it had their ticket number and their user ID, and in a field reserved for observations, they laid on me, saying I was rude and called them names and even said they should jump off a bridge! I brought it to my supervisor’s attention since he was the one responsible for our company’s contact with [Client]. He took the issue directly to human resources, and I found out that [User], prior to my hiring, had similar issues with other people on the service desk.

The last I heard about [User], they’d been demoted to someone’s assistant and put back into interpersonal training.

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Try Not To Read Too Much Into This

, , , , , | Working | June 15, 2021

I order a book online to be picked up at a bookstore in town. As I do it well after they close, I expect to pick it up the next day. Instead, I receive this text.

Text: “We’re sorry! Your [Bookstore] buy online, pickup at store order has been cancelled; see your email for details.”

I check my emails throughout the day but never receive anything. I resign myself to ordering through a major online realtor… until the day after. My phone rings.

Me: “Hello?”

Caller: “Hello, is this [My Name]?”

Me: “Uh, yes. Who am I speaking with?”

Caller: “I’m [Caller] from [Bookstore]. I saw that your order for [Book] by [Author] has been cancelled. I guess the person pulling orders couldn’t find it and you won’t be charged for it. Well, I checked today and I found it, so all you have to do is submit a new order and come pick it up. It’s at the help desk ready for you.”

Fairly entertained by the whole situation, I submitted a new order and went to the store when it was ready. I ended up speaking to the person I had spoken with on the phone, who said they’d checked this morning and found the book exactly where it was supposed to be, and that they had no idea what had happened the day previous.

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Calling This A “Sticky Situation” Would Be Too Easy

, , , , , | Working | CREDIT: bradley547 | June 14, 2021

I’m a cash register repair guy. I’m sent to repair a cash register at a mini-mart in a popular beach town. They have a service contract and two cash registers, so I don’t expect any drama. The drive out there takes about an hour, but it’s gorgeous, so I’m in a good mood when I get on site.

One of their registers “just stopped working” in the middle of a shift. I do the normal troubleshooting and find that the lights are on but nobody’s home; the machine has power but isn’t accepting any user input. While I am troubleshooting, the two cashiers are trading off on the one working register and the owners — a husband and wife couple — are deflecting rude customers. I pop the cover off of the register.

Me: “Well, there’s your problem.” *To the owner* “Looks like someone spilled into the keyboard. Looks like coffee with cream and sugar.”


My head snaps to my left and I see [Cashier #1] with her hand over her mouth and eyes wide as saucers. She then runs out of the shop, and [Cashier #2] and the owners burst into laughter.

It turns out that [Cashier #2] drinks his coffee black, like all truly good people. The owners drink tea, but I’m open to alternative lifestyles. Only [Cashier #1] drinks coffee with cream and sugar

Apparently, she had done the deed, but rather than fess up, she was hoping the problem would either go away on its own or not be traceable to her. My detective skills had convicted her of the crime.

Fortunately, the coffee never made it to the electronics, and I quickly replaced the keyboard matrix and retuned the machine to service.

As I was leaving, I saw the owners escorting the most hangdog-looking cashier back into the store. She was still there the next time I serviced the site, so I suspect her only punishment was a healthy dose of embarrassment.

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Should I Stay Or Should I Go?

, , , , , | Working | June 11, 2021

I drop into a large chain coffee shop. I order a large coffee and something to eat and sit by the window to enjoy a bit of quiet. A couple of women come in, chat to the barista, look around, and motion in my direction. I assume they are picking out a table; instead, they all stand awkwardly together at the counter and the barista comes over.

Barista: “Sorry, but could you swap tables?”

Me: “I’m quite happy here. Why do I need to move?”

Barista: “We have other customers that need that table.”

The table is no bigger than any of the others, nor more accessible. There is one next to me exactly the same, but mine is the only one left by the window.

Me: “No, I don’t think I will… unless there is a good reason for it?”

Her face scrunches up and she marches to the back. She comes back quickly.

Barista: “I’ve spoken to the manager and he says you have to leave.”

Me: “Okay, but I want a refund.”

Barista: “I will put it in a to-go cup.”

Me: “I don’t want it to-go. Besides, I paid extra to sit in, so I want a full refund, please.”

Barista: “I can’t do that.”

Me: “But I’m sure your manager could.”

She went back to the group of women. There were some less than subtle remarks and they sat somewhere else. The manager never appeared. I can only assume that they were friends trying to bully others out of their favourite spot.

I drank my coffee in my own time and eventually left. I didn’t put in a complaint, but the barista wasn’t there a month or so later, so she probably managed to get herself fired all on her own.

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Spider Dress, Spider Dress, Causing Customers Great Distress

, , , , , | Working | June 11, 2021

My friend and I like going to thrift stores and just looking around, even if we’re not going to buy anything. One day, we notice a very nice wedding dress and I decide to try it on. I pick it up and start walking with it to the changing rooms. I happen to look into the dress and see a large spider. My idea of a large spider is about two inches long, and I have severe arachnophobia. I freak out.

The attendant comes over and pulls the spider out.

Attendant: “It’s just a spider, dear.”

It may be just a spider, but it is in a dress that I was about to try on. No one wants to wear a spider dress.

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