This Call History Is Building

, , , , | Right | June 15, 2018

(We have several locations, but because people are out sick or on vacation, some locations don’t have certain “specialists” at the moment, especially the ones that don’t see as many people coming through. Most callers have been understanding about this, and have been fine with speaking to whoever is available. This caller, however…)

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

Caller: *clearly irritated* “Is this the [Other Location] branch?!”

(I glance at the screen to see which phone number she called.)

Me: “Uh, no, ma’am. You’ve called [Our Location], but I can get you over to [Other Location].

Caller: *sarcastically* “Oh, can you, really? I have talked to several people and been transferred a dozen times, and I’m still not talking to someone out there!”

(I find this odd, as there are only three operators currently working, and in the last half hour each of us has only taken a couple of other calls. If one of us had heard from this woman more than once, we would have said something to the others. I know I haven’t gotten her, as all my callers to this  point have been men. Not to mention, if she wants the location she says she does, then it seems odd that she’s calling the number to a different branch.)

Me: “I’m very sorry about that, ma’am. I can definitely get you over to someone; what do you need to speak with someone about?”

Caller: “About [issue]!”

Me: “Certainly—”

Caller: “And I want to talk to someone at [Other Location]! I keep getting every other branch but that one!”

Me: “I do apologize. The person who usually handles [issue] at that branch is actually out sick today, but someone else can definitely help you out. If you need to come in and that location is most convenient, we can get someone out there for you.”

Caller: “I want someone who is actually sitting in the [Other Location] building!”

Me: “Ma’am, we only have one person at that location who can handle [issue], and she’s out sick today. But if you’ll give me just one moment, I can get someone on the line who can meet you at [Other Location]—”

Caller: “Oh, so, you’re going to transfer me, too?!”

Me: “Uh, yes, ma’am. I only answer the phones, so I wouldn’t be able to help you with [issue], but I’ll keep you on the line until I can get someone who can help. Bear with me one moment, please.”

(I put her on hold to start a transfer over to the next nearest location to her. One of the “specialists” answers after only a couple of rings and I breathe a sigh of relief.)

Me: “[Specialist], I’m really sorry, but I’ve got a cranky one for you, for [Other Location]. I tried to tell her someone could go out there if she needs, but apparently that isn’t good enough. She wants someone who is actually sitting at [Other Location], but, uh, that obviously can’t happen, and she’s pretty irate about it.”

Specialist: *sighs* “There’s always one, and she’s probably the one who hung up on [Other Specialist] twice already. Put her through.”

Me: “Here she is. Sorry, again.”

(I finish the transfer and shake my head.)

Coworker #1: “Was that a lady calling for [Other Location]? I just had her, and I told her pretty much what you just did. Just… didn’t do it more than once like you had to.”

Coworker #2: “I had her, too.”

Me: “Well, it sounds like she hung up on [Other Specialist] a couple times, probably after finding out that he wasn’t sitting in the building ten miles away. Some people…”

(The specialist messaged me just a bit later that the woman hung up on him, too, after being informed that, no, he was not sitting in the other building but could meet her out there. For some reason, she was apparently under the impression that they couldn’t help her because they weren’t in the building she wanted them to be in right that moment.)

She Is Fala-full Of Herself

, , , , , , , | Friendly | June 14, 2018

(My roommate’s best friend recently had a nasty breakup, and moved in with us until she can get back on her feet. I don’t really like her; I think she’s kind of petty, and she’s constantly getting angry about things that I consider pretty inconsequential. When this happens, she claims it’s because of my white privilege, no matter what the issue is about. We’re both Caucasian and female, and after a month or so of this, I’m so sick of it that I usually just leave the room. At work one day, I go to pull my lunch out of the fridge, and sigh.)

Coworker #1: “Dude, what’s wrong?”

Me: “Oh, I picked up samosas for lunch, and I was really looking forward to them, but [Accidental Roommate] was guilt-tripping me about it earlier, that it’s not my culture and I shouldn’t be stealing someone else’s cuisine and traditions.”

Coworker #2: “F****** seriously? Look around you!”

(I do… at my Hindi coworkers eating pizza and pasta, my Filipino coworker eating hummus and pita chips, my black, Muslim coworker eating tacos, my Native American coworker eating fried rice and egg rolls, etc. I have to laugh.)

Me: “Okay, fair point.”

Coworker #3: “Seriously, f*** that. Other than [Native American Coworker], everyone’s family came here from somewhere else. They were looking for better lives for themselves and their kids, which includes better food. Tell that b**** to find something worth complaining about.”

Coworker #4: “Plus, I think a lot of businesses would go under if no white people ever shopped there. My mom runs a cafe, and she always said Americans make the best customers because they don’t know how the falafel is supposed to taste, so they aren’t constantly comparing it to their mom’s and grandma’s the way all of her Middle Eastern customers are.”

(I had to laugh, and I enjoyed my samosas a lot more after that. My accidental roommate is moving out in two months, and my coworkers have preemptively started a countdown.)

Common Decency Has Logged Out

, , , , , , | Working | June 14, 2018

(Our small company hires a new tech guy who is kind of a jerk. He really likes to lean hard into the “everyone but people who work in IT are helpless and have stupid problems” stereotype and takes it beyond harmless teasing, even when the issue you have is legitimate and out of your control. He also tends to be very arrogant and condescending. One day I’m trying to update something in our database and keep getting an error. It’s something I’ve done a million times before, as outlined by the steps left behind from our previous tech guy who moved away, and the system isn’t giving me any information that I can use to troubleshoot besides the error. I call up our tech guy and give him the error I’m seeing, plus the steps to reproduce it, and everything I’ve tried.)

Tech: “Huh, that shouldn’t be possible. You probably aren’t logged in.”

Me: “I am definitely logged in. I couldn’t see the dashboard if I wasn’t.”

Tech: “You need to be putting these things in the assets folder.” *drags the word “assets” out long, as if speaking to a dog*

Me: “I just told you, I did. You can see them in there for yourself. I know the error it gives me when it can’t find them, and that’s not the code it threw. Did you try to replicate it?”

Tech: “We’ll do that later if necessary. For now, let’s just make sure everything you’re doing is on the up and up.”

(Frustrated, I walk him through everything that’s happening, again. He just keeps reiterating that I must have done something wrong, and I keep asking him to try and see if he gets the same error. When he loops back around to saying I must not be logged in, AGAIN, I hang up and go down to his office, make him move aside, and show him, right in front of him, what I’m doing and the error I’m getting. I have to tell him to pay attention multiple times because he keeps sighing in a put-upon way and fiddling with his phone.)

Me: “Okay. You just saw me do everything correctly, right in front of you, and I still got the error. What is happening?”

Tech: “I told you, you… Oh. Well, why aren’t you doing [completely different process than the one I’ve been following for years]?”

Me: *baffled* “Why would I? That’s not the way the system works.”

Tech: “It is now. I made some updates yesterday, so you need to do things that way from now on. I told you about this, hon.”

Me: “You absolutely did not, and please don’t call me ‘hon.'”

(While he initially insisted he did, when he pulled up his email to prove it, what he’d actually done was save the message as a draft instead of sending it. He never apologized for the confusion or his attitude. I found out from another coworker that he’d gone to complain to our boss about my “bad attitude.” My boss just laughed and said, “I’ve never heard her so much as raise her voice; what did you do?” Keep in mind I still HADN’T actually raised my voice to him at all. He quit a couple weeks later, saying he was looking for a company a little less “high maintenance,” right after he’d been reprimanded for coming in more than an hour late three days in a row. Can’t say we miss him, and the new guy we hired is absolutely fantastic.)

Put Your Football In Your Mouth

, , , , , , | Working | June 14, 2018

(I’m a female in my mid-twenties, and have just started a new job. One of the upper managers, who is in his early sixties, has come over to my desk to introduce himself. Somehow we get on the subject of football. I’ve been watching football with my dad since I was ten.)

Manager: “You watch football?”

Me: “Yep! My favorite team is [Hometown Team].”

Manager: “So, if you know football, tell me about [My Team’s Quarterback]. What do you think of him?”

(This happened several times at my previous job; guys don’t believe that a girl can like football. I feel an evil grin spread across my face.)

Me: “Well, I think he should stop throwing to [Wide Receiver] in triple coverage. That’s just asking for an interception! We’ve got so many great wide receivers, and he never uses them. Maybe his judgement has been clouded by the number of hits he’s taken. I guess that’s not his fault. The offensive line gets overrun by opposing defenses on every play. But I don’t want to talk about our offensive line. It’s the worst.”

(The manager is staring at me, open-mouthed.)

Manager: “Um, hmm. I, uh, don’t actually know that much about football. So, I guess I can’t comment.” *walks away*

(I told my dad the story a couple days later. He got a good laugh out of it.)

They Have An Open-Door Firing Policy

, , , , | Working | June 12, 2018

(We have had an incident at the back of our office. The owner has been informed and requested that no one be allowed to enter until she arrives. As the incident occurred at the end of a corridor in a secure area, I have asked an intern to wait by the entrance and deny access until the owner arrives. Twenty minutes later, I walk by the door and see the owner trying to get in. She is arguing with the intern through a window. For whatever reason, the intern has decided to go beyond the door and set herself up in the reception, which has a button to permit access. I assume she has locked the door on her side, so only she or someone who has a key can unlock it.)

Owner: “No, I’m the owner. I told you to wait until I arrived.”

Intern: “And that is what I have been doing! No one in. No one out!”

Me: “[Intern], what are you doing? Let [Owner] in.”

Intern: “You said no one is allowed in.”

Me: “Until the owner arrives.”

Intern: *squints at the owner* “No, I don’t believe she is the owner.”

Owner & Me: “What?”

Intern: “If she was, why would she be asking to get in? She’s probably some scruff off the streets looking for drugs.”

Me: *shaking my head in disbelief* “[Intern], seriously, just open the door.”

Intern: “F*** off!”

Owner: “I’ve had enough.” *to me* “What was her name?”

Me: “[Intern].”

Owner: “[Intern], if you don’t open this door immediately, you are fired.”

Intern: “Ha! The only way you’re firing me is if you get in here.”

(The owner produces a keychain and unlocks the door. The intern is aghast as the owner walks calmly into the reception and instructs her to get her things and go. As the owner heads to the incident, the intern runs out.)

Intern: “But, [My Name] said you loved people who joked around!”

Me: “She does, but how on earth was that joking around, and why would you think joking around now, of all times, was appropriate?”

(She couldn’t answer, and I had to escort her out of the building. The owner had a change of heart a day or so later, and the intern was allowed back. She was then fired permanently a month later with several others, after involvement in the incident was discovered.)

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