Giving Customer Service A Bad Name, Part 2

| Working | October 9, 2012

(I work in human resources. I have to call our insurer because one of the employees needs a letter stating that she holds an insurance policy. The coworker in question is a lesbian; everyone at work knows and has had zero problems with it.)

Call Center Agent: “[Coworker’s name]… what a weird name for a man!”

Me: “That’s because she’s a female, sir.”

Call Center Agent: “But I see here on her file that is says ‘Spouse: [her long-term girlfriend’s name]’. That’s a female name, too!”

Me: “Yes, sir. They are both female.”

Call Center Agent: “But it says the spouse is female! So, there must be a mistake. I’ll change the gender on file right away.”

Me: “Sir, you work in insurance. So, you are aware that same-sex couples are entitled common-law benefits since 1999, and are allowed to get married since 2004. Now could you please send HER the letter at [address]?”

Call Center Agent: “Sure thing! I’ll send the letter to Mr. [name].”

Me: *dies a little inside*


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It’d Be A Marvel If They Did

| Working | October 7, 2012

Me: “Did you go see The Avengers this weekend?”

Coworker: “Yeah, it was okay.”

Me: “You thought it was just okay? It was great!”

Coworker: “Meh… you know what would really be great in superhero movies?”

Me: “What?”

Coworker: “I mean, I like all those superheroes, but it would have been better if the Avengers had teamed up with, like, Batman, Superman and Wonder Woman. How come they haven’t done that yet?”

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Bee Afraid

| Related | October 2, 2012

(I’m working for my mum and uncle’s business and am visiting their head office for a few days for some extra training. My grandma lives in the flat next door, and often pops in to visit. My mum and uncle have lots of stories of the crazy things she says and does during these visits. The rest of us are pretty convinced they’re at least a little exaggerated. My grandma pays one of her visits and my mum’s on the phone when she walks in.)

Grandma: “Oh, hello, I was just wanting to talk to [mum].”

Me: “She’s, on the phone right now. Do you want me to give her a message, or get her to call you when she’s done so you can come and have a chat?”

Grandma: “No, no. I’ll wait.”

(We make small talk about my job and her day, and eventually after about 30 minutes my mum finishes her call.)

Mum: “Hello mum. Is everything okay?”

Grandma: *sounding excited* “Oh, yes! I just wanted to come in and tell you something!”

Mum: “Okay.”

Grandma: “I saw a bee!”

(My mum and I exchange a confused look.)

Mum: “Uh… great?”

Grandma: “Well, that means it’s nearly spring! See you later!” *toddles out of the office*

Uncle: *popping his head around the door of our office* “Did… I just hear that right?”

Mum: *to me* “I told you we weren’t exaggerating!”

Me: “I will never doubt you again!”

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Not Ever Working, Part 6

| Working | September 30, 2012

(I work in a small office, and my coworkers are really easy-going. However, there’s a new employee who takes advantage of that all the time and does very little work. This takes place before Monday lunchtime.)

New Employee: *stares at a computer monitor* “Ugh…”

Coworker: “Are you okay?”

New Employee: “Yeah, I’m just trying to plan which evening I should see my friends.”

Boss: “Do you need the afternoon off?”

New Employee: “Oh no, I’ll manage. It’s just so much to think about, y’know? I have so many friends!”

Coworker: “No, you get yourself home! You’ll be worrying yourself sick!”

Boss: “You’ll get an ulcer!”

New Employee: “Thanks! By the way, I can’t make it in to work tomorrow because I’m seeing my boyfriend, so I’ll see you on Wednesday!”

Me: *flabbergasted*


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Infinitely Loopy, Part 2

| Working | September 29, 2012

(My office computer has crashed and I am unable to access systems critical to my job function. A teammate has filed a trouble ticket for me online. After a few minutes, we check the status and see the ticket has been assigned to the onsite IT Manager who is on vacation for the next two weeks. Unable to wait for his return to the office, I call the Helpdesk to have the ticket reassigned to a back-up IT Manager.)

Helpdesk: “Thank you for calling IT Helpdesk. How may I assist you?”

Me: “Yes, I need to have ticket number XXXX reassigned as the assigned IT Manager is out of the office.”

Helpdesk: “That ticket has already been assigned to [My IT Manager].”

Me: “[My IT Manager] is on vacation for two weeks and I cannot wait for his return. I need my ticket reassigned to another IT Manager right away.”

Helpdesk: “[My IT Manager] has already been notified of this ticket’s assignment. He should be along shortly to resolve your issue. Is there anything else I can do for you today?”

Me: “Yes. I need that ticket reassigned to an IT Manager who is in the office. I cannot wait for [My IT Manager] to return.”

Helpdesk: “That ticket has already been assigned.  Do you want me to escalate the severity status so the IT Manager is notified of the urgency? Would you like his phone number?”

Me: “No, that will not work. I have his phone number but calling him will do no good as he is on vacation for two weeks. I need the ticket reassigned.”

(This goes on for no less than ten minutes with the Helpdesk Representative repeatedly assuring me that my ticket has been assigned and offering the assigned IT Manager’s name and number. My teammates have been listening to my end of the conversation and have gathered around alternately laughing incredulously and offering me encouragement.)

Me: “Look, I am trying to be as kind and patient as possible, yet I feel you are not listening to a word I am saying. Please provide me the name of [My IT Manager] back-up or the name of his supervisor so I can have the ticket reassigned.”

Helpdesk: “Ma’am, your ticket has been assigned and escalated. Would you like the—”

Me: “Sir, I do not wish to be rude, but if you offer me the name and number of the assigned IT Manager one more time, I fear I may scream aloud.”

Helpdesk:“I can give you his direct number—”

Me: “Okay, I give up. As I do not wish to be rude by simply hanging up in your ear, I am letting you know that I am ending the call at this time.”

Helpdesk: “Okay… thanks for calling the Helpdesk. Have I fully resolved your concerns today?”

Me: “Are you for real?!”

Helpdesk: *hangs up*


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