Your Accent Doesn’t Change As Quickly As Their Attitude

, , , , , , | Right | January 8, 2019

(I am British, but I have a really odd combination accent because growing up, I lived in places with vastly different dialects — Essex, Hampshire, Norfolk, and I even spent several years living in America, so on top of all those, I have a slight American twang, too. I am very used to people asking where my accent is from. Most are polite and just mildly curious. I am working in a call centre, though, when the following exchange happens.)

Me: “Hi. You’re through to [My Name] at [Company]; how may I help you?”

Customer: “Oh, your accent. Where is this call centre?”

Me: “It’s in Hampshire. I have a mixed accent because I moved around a lot growing up.”

Customer: “Are you South African?”

(This is a common guess; many people I speak to ask this.)

Me: “No, sorry. I’m British; my accent is just a mixture.”

Customer: “You’re lying. Why would you lie about being South African?”

Me: “I’m sorry, madam, I am not South African, but even if I was, it is irrelevant. Now, how can I help you?”

Customer: “I bet you’re foreign. Probably claiming benefits, stealing from taxpayers, and you’ve stolen that job from an honest British worker. You’re f****** scum, you know that? No wonder you won’t admit to being South African!”

Me: “Madam, this is your first warning and only warning. If you continue to use language like that, I will disconnect the call. However, if you will tell me what it is you are calling about, I will be happy to help you.”

Customer: “Oh, f*** off, you b****. I want to speak to a British agent, not some foreigner w***e like you!”

Me: “As previously advised, I am going to terminate the call. Have a nice day, madam.”

(I hang up the call and go and speak to my manager to inform her of the call, just in case. The customer did not even give me a name, so I cannot pull up an account to make a note on. However, as I am talking to my manager, one of my colleagues comes up and says she has a customer on the line demanding a manager, saying that some “foreign worker” called her names, was rude, and swore at her before calling her a b**** and hanging up. Evidently, the same customer called back as soon as I hung up. My manager looks at me and sighs.)

Manager: “Get back on the phones. Don’t worry; I’ll deal with this.”

(A few hours later, my manager asked me to come to her office. She informed me that she had listened to the call and found no issues with my conduct, and applauded me for my patience and tact with this particular customer. She then told me that she had informed the customer that she had listened to the call and found no indication that I had done any of what she’d claimed, but that, in fact, she had been the abusive one, and if she continued to do so, she would be barred from calling us. Then, the customer shouted abuse at her and she was forced to end the call. A few weeks later, we got a big complaint letter from this customer claiming that my manager and I had insulted her, called her several racial slurs, and called her a w***e. She demanded £100k as compensation. She never got it, but for months we kept getting letters. Each time she ramped up the story until eventually she was claiming that we’d made threats of violence against her, her family  — including claims that I, the “South African,” threatened to shoot them all — and that we threatened to add — in her exact words — a “£1000 b**** charge,” which I personally thought was hilarious. She also threatened to report us to the police, to tell the energy watchdogs about our “conduct’,” and to tell the papers about how our company hired and protected “South African terrorists.”)

The Wicked Witch Of The West Needs Some Foundation

, , , , , | Right | January 6, 2019

(I am a regular at a cosmetics store which prides itself on being environmentally friendly and safe to animals. It has a devoted consumer base, but occasionally one would read something online which challenged these ideals, and being totally naive, completely believe it. I am in the store being served when another regular comes in.)

Employee: “Hello, [Customer]! Nice to see you again. What can we do for you?”

Customer: “I want something a little tougher on my skin, as it has been more oily lately.”

(The employee offers for her to try a product and motions for her to stand next to a basin they use to demonstrate products. The woman does as instructed, but when the employee turns to actually get the product she submerges her entire head into the basin and lifts it out immediately after, screaming.)

Customer: “MY FACE, MY BEAUTIFUL FACE! YOU’VE BURNED ME WITH YOUR CHEMICALS! I CAN’T SEE! OH, MY FACE!”

(She staggers around the shop, swinging her arms around wildly. She collides with just about everyone and probably destroys about half the displays. She finally crumples in a heap, gasping, saying she’ll never see again between breaths. The shop manager comes out.)

Manager: “What’s happened?”

Employee: “I… I don’t know! She said she was burning!”

Manager: “What did she do?”

Me: “She stuck her head in one of the basins. Maybe there was something in it?”

Manager: “But I just filled them up before we opened.”

Employee: “And you’re the first two in. It should just be water!”

(The regular heard all of this, and at the word “water” she stopped screaming, looked around in a daze, stood up, and walked out as if nothing happened. They had to close early to tidy everything up. I went back in a month later and was told the had woman called customer services demanding a refund for a towel she had to buy after she left, to dry herself off.)

They Broke The Code — Literally

, , | Right | January 6, 2019

(I work for a company that offers digital marketing services, among other things. In order to track the campaign’s performance, we need to add a small piece of code to the client’s website. Most of the time we are able to add this ourselves, but occasionally the client has contracted out their web services and we must get in contact with a third party. Recently, a campaign that was generating huge success has suddenly flat-lined. After hours pouring over the campaign I finally determine that there is a flaw with the code, which was installed by the third-party web company six months ago. Here is my email exchange.)

Me: “Hey, can you guys please re-add [code] to the site? We had it on there before but I’m not sure what happened.”

Contact: “Our service team is unable to add [code] to the site at this time as there is already existing [code] on site. This code was sent to us two months ago, and we updated it as requested. It is not recommended to have multiple [code]s running at the same time but it can be done. Please advise if we are to remove or replace the existing [code].”

Me: “I can’t speak to what to do with the current [code], but ours needs to be re-added as soon as possible. [Client]’s campaign has already experienced a negative because it was removed.”

Client: *cc’d on email* “Oh, yeah, we had them remove [code] to put our marketing intern’s on there. It’s for her final class project. Just add both codes.”

Me: *now exclusively to the client* “Did you know that they had removed our [code] from the site to place your student’s there?”

Client: “Yeah, we didn’t think it would be a huge deal because she’s running her own marketing for us and it’s all the same code.”

(After digging in a bit further, it turns out that not only had they basically sabotaged their own campaign, they were also running digital marketing to compete with their existing digital marketing campaign as a way to get out of their contract with us!)

Sociopathy 101

, , , , | Learning | January 6, 2019

(I go to a very small, Catholic high school. It is so small that we would typically have class with the same people almost all day. In my sophomore year theology class, I am seated next to a girl who comes across as an airhead. She asks the dumbest questions and irritates the teachers, constantly raising her hand and not even waiting for the teacher to acknowledge her before yelling out another doozy of a question. One day, she’s agitating the — honestly, kind of a b**** — theology teacher so much that the teacher looks like she’s going to scream.)

Teacher: *blinking furiously* “[Girl], I need to get on with teaching! I can’t keep explaining this to you!” *turns around and starts writing angrily on the board*

Me: *rolling my eyes in frustration*

Classmate: *turns to me and whispers* “Do you think I can get her to cry?”

(I was so shocked I almost burst out laughing. Apparently, this girl was being annoying for entertainment purposes. As an adult, I wouldn’t find it funny anymore, even if the teacher was a fanatic and a jerk, but I definitely looked at her differently from then on, and it turned out, she was actually quite intelligent, and I definitely understand how hard it was to take a class seriously when the teacher’s opinion mattered more than anything else.)

Power Steering You To Another Dealer

, , , , , | Working | January 4, 2019

(I get my car serviced at the dealership, but I get my oil changed at the big box company shop near my work; it’s more convenient because I can drop my car off and walk to work instead of waiting there. I’m a female, but the regular guys don’t usually bother to bully me into getting additional services. The worker I talk to after this particular oil change must be new.)

Worker: “I’m calling to let you know your oil change is complete and you can come to pick up your car. I do want to mention that it looks like your power steering fluid needs to be changed.”

Me: “Oh, really? It’s still a pretty new car.”

Worker: “If you drive often, it can get dirty quicker than expected.”

(My car probably has about 12K miles on it.)

Me: “How much will it cost?”

Worker: “It needs to be completely flushed and replaced, so with labor, it will come to about $300.”

(I’m pretty surprised he’s pushing this on me. I decline a couple times but he insists it needs to be done immediately. I then call my dealership after telling him I’ll see him in a few minutes to pick my car up.)

Dealership: “Your car is too new to need your power steering fluid flushed. Let’s verify. How many miles are on your car? Do you experience difficulty turning your steering wheel?”

(He asks a few more questions. I give him all the info he asks for.)

Dealership: “Bring the car in when you have a chance, but I wouldn’t let them do that yet. We will take a look at the color of the fluid and see if it really does need changing.”

(I went back to the auto shop, declined once more for the $300 added service, and took my car to the dealership later that week. The dealership said the fluid was fine. I actually never had to change it up until the point that I traded that car in for a new car. I have multi-point inspections on my cars whenever I go in for regular maintenance checks with my dealerships, and nobody has ever insisted on services I don’t need. Oddly enough, I’ve always had really good experiences and honesty with car dealership service. I’m glad there are still honest and truthful people in the world. It’s just those darn big box companies that like to scam girls.)

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