Passed The First Test

| Baltimore, MD, USA | Awesome Customers, School

(I work at a non-profit agency that runs licensing examinations for a certain profession. When you take our exams, you have a certain amount of time to pass all sections, and if you wait too long to retake a failed section, you end up having to take all parts again. In my time at the job, I’ve had a number of callers who waited too long, and when they find out they have to retake everything, without exception they have gone ballistic. I am taking a call from a young lady with questions about her exams.)

Caller: “Yes, I have some questions about my exams. I failed one section two years ago and want to see about retaking it.”

Me: “Well, let me look up your information.”

(I take her name and look her up in our system.)

Me: “Well, ma’am, you need to do [module] to reactivate your eligibility for the exams. But I’m sorry to tell you that you’re outside your eligibility period, and need to retake the entire exam, rather than just the portion you didn’t pass.”

(I am cringing at that point, waiting for the screaming and crying I’ve always experienced when breaking that news.)

Caller: “Really? Well, that’s annoying, but if I gotta, I gotta, right?”

Me: “Uh… really?”

Caller: “Well, yeah. I waited too long; I do it over again, right? It’s a pain, but it’s what I have to do, right?”

Me: “Ma’am, thank you SO much for being reasonable! I’ve had others in the same position as you and when I’ve broken the news to them, they’ve bitten my head off!”

Caller: “Why would they? It’s not your fault!”

Don’t Get Yuppity With Me

| Minneapolis, MN, USA | Language & Words

(I worked in a call center for an organization that helped people pay their light and gas bills based on their income. It’s Fall of 2011.)

Me: “How may I help you?”

Caller: “Yes, I have an application that says 2009-2010. Can I turn that in?”

Me: “No, ma’am, we’re only accepting ones for this season, so it needs to be one that says 2011-2012. I’ll send you a new one.”

Caller: “All right. I fill that out and mail it in?”

Me: “Yup!”

Caller: “Well, that’s stupid, but I’ll do it. By the way, do you say ‘yup’ a lot?”

Me: *joking* “I say variations of yes all the time like ‘yup’, ‘you bet’, ‘of course’, and sometimes, even ‘yuppers’!”

Caller: “Well, [caller’s name] taught English for many years, and ‘yup’ is not correct grammar. It annoys [caller’s name] very much!”

Canada, America’s Hat, Part 6

| Michigan, USA | Canada, Geography

(Our company is part of a global organization that holds weekend teaching conferences across North America.)

Caller: “Do you ever have programs in Canada, or just in the States?”

Me: “Our territory covers North America. We have programs in the US, Canada, and Bermuda.”

Caller: “Canada isn’t part of North America.”

Me: “Yes it is. Canada is part of North America.”

Caller: “Typical American attitude! Canada is its OWN country!”

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