When Dementia Patients Make More Sense Than Customers

, , , | Right | July 19, 2021

Last night, I listened to some recorded calls for quality adjustment. I got to hear this gem since it was flagged for being overly long. The call agent has spoken for more than twenty minutes to a customer for a shoe where calls usually do not take longer than two or three minutes.

Call Agent: “Welcome to [Company] order line. My name is [Call Agent]; how can I help you?”

Customer: “I want to order your new promo offer. I’ve never ordered from you before.”

Call Agent: “Certainly. Let me take your data and set up an account. Then I can take your order.”

Customer: “Why do you need my data? I just want to order! I don’t want an account with you!”

Call Agent: “We need to know where to send the items to. That is why I need your name and address and to create an account so I can then process your order, so the colleagues can fetch the items from our depot and send them to you by our postal services.”

Customer: “I don’t understand. Why can’t I just tell the postal service? Why do you need my data? This is ridiculous!”

This goes back and forth for a while until the customer gives in and gives her data. The agent is pleasant and friendly all the time. 

Call Agent: “So, you said you want our promo. That’s the shoes [Style A] for 125€ and the shoes [Style B] for 110€, and you’ll get 15€ deducted from your bill and [Item C] for free. What size do you want the [Style A] in?”

Customer: “Why do I need to tell you that?”

Call Agent: “So we can send you shoes that fit you. Otherwise, you could get shoes that don’t fit.”

Customer: “I really don’t know why you need to know so much personal data.”

Cue some back and forth, but in the end, she gives the size.

Call Agent: “The second pair is also for you? It is the same size, then?”

Customer: “Why do I need to tell you that?”

Call Agent: “Many people want different sizes because they want one pair of shoes for themselves and another for somebody else. I don’t need to know what you’ll do with them; just confirm for me that you want them in the same size.”

Customer: “I really don’t know why you ask so many questions.”

Call Agent: “I’ve now put in the same size as the others. Is that okay for you?”

Customer: “No! I want them in [different size].”

Call Agent: “That’s fine. I’ve put that in for you. You get [Item C] for free. It comes in blue, red, or green. Which colour do you like?”

Customer: “Why do I need to tell you that?”

Call Agent: “You don’t need to. I can just put in a colour and surprise you if you prefer not to tell.”

Customer: “No! You don’t choose for me! I want blue!”

Call Agent: “My pleasure. I’ve put that in for you! Now, your total would be 220€ in total after applying the promotional deduction. However, the price for [Shoe A] has changed. It’s no longer 125€ but is marked down another 5€, so you save even more and now have to pay only 215€. Also, shipping is free today, so that’s your price. Your package will arrive approximately in two to three d—”

Customer: “No! That’s wrong! The total is wrong! The ad says another price!”

Call Agent: “Yes, the ad says [Shoe A] is 125 € and [Shoe B] is 110€, right?”

Customer: “Yes.”

Call Agent: “So that’s added, the bill would come to 235€, yes?”

Customer: “No! It’s 205€ after the promo code!”

Call Agent: “That promo can only be applied at the end once. To order both pairs of shoes in the ad, you get 15€ deducted from both shoes.”

Customer: “No.”

Call Agent: “I understand that that’s confusing. I have the promo in front of me; I’ll read it for you.”

She does so and the customer confirms that’s what she sees, too. They do the math again, and then everything goes through two more circles until the customer finally gives in. Still, the agent is perfectly calm and patient the whole time. She explains again and again, always trying to meet the customer halfway. And she finally manages to make her see that she saves even more because one of the shoes has been marked down again during the promo.

Finally, they come to an end.

Call Agent: “Thank you for your order. I hope you’ll enjoy your new shoes and have a good day!”

Customer: “I’m still not sure that this is at all the right price.”

Call Agent: “You’ll get your bill. You can see it on paper before you pay and send it all back if you don’t think it’s a fair price. Now, have a pleasant evening and goodbye.”

The agent terminates the call. She is perfectly friendly up until the end and follows every single company policy except not to terminate the call. But honestly, I can’t blame her for that. I have no idea how she managed that, since I’d felt the need to strangle the customer after the tenth rinse and repeat. I call her between customers, speak through the call with her, and ask.

Call Agent: “Oh, before coming here and starting this job, I was a nurse for elderly patients with dementia and Alzheimer’s. I’ve had worse and it doesn’t bother me. I just quit because I couldn’t take it due to my declining physical health anymore, but I miss the challenge. She was a good chance to use my skills again.”

I marked the customer’s account for immediate transfer to escalations so other calls wouldn’t ruin our call handling time, and I put my agent in for promotion to that department, too, which would also include a nice rise for her. I’ve never heard anybody who’d fit that department better than her. 

The last thing I’ve heard from her is that she’ll get the job and she’s very excited about it.

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Reaching Your Baking Point 

, , , , | Right | July 13, 2021

In Germany, to become a baker, you need to finish a three-year apprenticeship. If you pass the final exam, you can call yourself a journeyman. After several more years and another rather expensive exam, you can call yourself a master craftsman. You need at least a passed apprenticeship to be allowed to open a bakery and must be a master craftsman to offer apprenticeship.

I always liked working with food and have a knack for baking, so I decided to either become a cook or baker. I pass my exam as a baker as best of my class but I discover during my apprenticeship that I suffer from such severe skin sensitivities that I cannot work with flour and dough on a daily basis.

Also, due to the rapidly declining respect for blue-collar jobs, I find myself unwilling to endure the horrible working conditions bakers, cooks, and other labourers have to endure. So, I finish further education and enter a white-collar career.

Still, I love to bake and often bring my very professionally made baked goods to parties, potlucks, and other events. These are the silliest reactions and dialogues I have gotten as a reaction.

Guest: “Hmmm! This bread is delicious. And it looks good! Is it homemade or from a real baker?”

Me: “Yes.”

When I give some of my recipes after people asked for them:

Colleague: “Oh, my, your cake looked so good and had such a great taste! I tried your recipe recently and it didn’t work at all. What brand of [random ingredient] do you use?”

Me: “Well, mostly [Generic Brand].”

Colleague: “That can’t be; that’s just cheap trash! I used [Overpriced Stuff with unnecessary additives] that’s much better!”

Or, if a special brand has to be used:

Colleague: “No, no, no, that can’t be so important. All kinds of [ingredient] are the same! That’s just an overpriced brand!”

Finally, my favourite comment:

Acquaintance: “Uh, a certification as a baker? Who needs that? Everyone can bake. You just need to throw stuff together. They should just scrap all that nonsense and let everyone just open a bakery if they want to. You learn all that stuff in passing.”

No, dear people, that’s not how it works and many really can’t.

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Plumbing The Depths Of Human Stupidity

, , , , , , | Right | CREDIT: TheDaveGER | July 7, 2021

I’m a soldier in the German navy. Our uniform is straight dark blue. Most of the plumbers working in Germany also have blue work clothes. It is December so I am wearing my blue Navy jacket due to the cold. After two weeks spent at sea, I am glad to head home by train. I haven’t changed from my uniform to civilian clothes because soldiers can use the train for free if they wear their uniforms.

At the station, I have to wait about an hour for the next train to arrive, so I decide to use the bathroom. As I’m exiting the men’s room, a woman stops me.

Woman: “The bathroom is flooded; you have to fix it!”

Me: “Excuse me, ma’am?”

Woman: “Fix it!”

Me: “Um, I think you’ve mistaken me. I don’t work here.”

Woman: “Yes, you do! You have working clothes on! So go and fix it; otherwise, I’ll report you!”

Me: “Ma’am, I’m a soldier not a plumber. Look at my jacket.”

I point to my jacket where it says, “German Navy.”

She starts to rage.

Woman: “You f****** lazy piece of s***! Go and do your work! I pay taxes for your money!”

Me: “That’s right, but you have mistaken me.” *Pulls out my military ID* “This is my military ID, look! I AM A SOLDIER!”

She curses me out, and that catches the attention of a station employee.

Employee: “Is there a problem?”

Woman: “Yes! The bathroom is flooded and he—” *grabs me by my jacket* “—refuses to do his job!”

Me: “Ma’am, I’m afraid to say it again, but I’m not a plumber. I am a soldier of the German navy. And do never touch me again.”

I remove her hand.

Employee: “Yeah, it is a uniform from the navy.”

Suddenly, she starts to scream and throws herself to the ground

Woman: “ABUSE! HE SLAPPED ME IN THE FACE!”

She keeps screaming and some nearby police officers notice.

Police Officer #1: “Ma’am, what happened?”

Woman: “He slapped me in the face!”

Employee: “It’s not true; he didn’t.”

Woman: “Yes, he did. You are covering for your coworker, you liar!”

Employee: “I’m not his coworker.”

Me: “I really didn’t. She grabbed my jacket and I just got loose from her grip, and then she started screaming.”

She talks with one police officer while I show my ID to the other officer.

Police Officer #1: “Ma’am, he is right. He is not a plumber, he is a soldier. Our offices have evidence that he didn’t slap you; it is all on camera. I think we should talk further in the office.”

Police Officer #2: “Sorry, sir, for all that trouble. Have a safe trip!”

Me: “Thank you.”

The police took her to the office and I never heard from her again (luckily). The employee and I just laughed our a**es of. He got me a coffee and we chatted a bit until I jumped on my train.

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Those Fridges Know What You’re Up To

, , | Right | July 6, 2021

I’m working the helpline for a huge Internet company. Usually, when customers come to me, they are transferred from a coworker of a lower level and need some special technical help, like deleting cache, cookies, or other stuff, and are stuck in some security alert so they can’t log in to their account.

This conversation comes up to me at least two times a day, sometimes more often.

Me: “Okay, I have your account up now and changed something. Would you mind telling me which device you are using right now?”

Customer: *Irritated* “Um, my home phone… I have no smartphone!”

Me: “Let me be a bit more precise: which device are you using to log in?”

Customer: *Slightly angry* “Oh… a PC. What else should I use? I have no smartphone!”

Me: *Dry as a good wine* “There still is the possibility that you could use a tablet. And don’t forget about smart fridges.”

Customer: *Laughing* “Oh, I’m sorry, I didn’t think of that.”

Most of the time, they add something like, “You know I’m old.” Then, the real struggle begins, but that’s another story.

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Spitting In The Face Of Truth

, , , | Right | June 24, 2021

My boss does not tolerate nonsense from anyone. A woman comes in to claim that I spit on her when she paid, and she wants a refund on the gas she purchased.

Boss: “I will look at our security camera.”

Woman: “Is my word not good enough for you?”

Boss: “No.”

She had a beautiful look on her face when he told her that. And the camera showed she was a liar.

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