The Mother Of All Internet Issues

, , , , , | Right | July 20, 2020

Working in IT, you naturally get quite a few odd and noteworthy calls. Working at an ISP’s IT help center for a few years, I’ve gathered a few.

It’s near the end of the month and bills are due; if you’re late on payment three months out, we disconnect after sending a notice in the mail explaining the situation. This college student calls in about their Internet.

Me: “This is [ISP’s helpline]; how can I help you?”

Customer: “Yeah, my Internet is out. It’s always going out; I need it for my school work!”

Me: “All right, let me get some information on your account, and let’s see what’s going on.”

She begrudgingly gives me her account details, including her street address, which is an apartment less than a block from her University. While I look over her account I mute my mic, but I can still hear her. The customer has her phone in speaker mode.

The customer is loudly whispering to her roommate.

Customer: “God, this happens every time we try to watch Netflix. Why are we still getting service with these a**holes?”

Their account has a notice of non-pay disconnect, meaning they haven’t paid for quite some time. I un-mute my mic.

Me: “All right, your account is showing that it has been disconnected due to non-paid bills. I can’t turn you on without a reconnect order from our Customer Service department. But I can transfer you over so you can work out payment, and I can then turn you on then.”

Customer: “What?! I’ve always paid my bills on time and have been a loyal customer for years!”

Their account is less than a year old and this is the third time they’ve not paid and have gotten disconnected.

Me: “I apologize, ma’am, but that’s the only option I have to help you right now.”

Customer: *Huffs* “Fine, transfer me over.”

I actively transfer the customer over to our customer service department to make a payment and warn them about the customer. Afterward, I don’t think about the customer. A few hours later, they call back.

Me: “This is [ISP’s helpline]; how can I help you?”

Customer: *Bear shouting* “I paid your stinking bill and I still don’t have Internet service!”

Me: “All right, let me gather your information and take a look at your Internet connection.”

I gather her information once more. While I’m inspecting her Internet, the customer continuously swears up and down about the service and issues she’s been experiencing with her roommate. I eventually find the issue; the signal to her apartment is horrible and has been before she called in the first time.

Me: “Okay, I think I see the problem, ma’am. There appears to be a line issue that is causing your Internet signal to not come through. We can try a few things, but the best bet would be to schedule a time for a service tech to come on by and get you back up and running. The next time we have opening for a tech in your area would be tomorrow morning.”

Customer:What?! I’ve been having this issue for weeks now! I’m a paying customer and I need it for school work!”

Me: “I’m sorry, ma’am, but with the way that the [University Neighborhood] is set up, we can’t tell if there are any line or signal issues going on. It’s always a good idea to call us when you experience repeated service issues.”

Customer:No! I want a tech out now so I can get my school work done! It’s due today and I can’t complete it without the Internet! I’ll fail my class because of you!”

Me: “I’m sorry, ma’am, but that’s the best I can do for a guaranteed time for a service call. I can try to move things around, and if a nearby tech finishes early I can send them on your way, but I can’t guarantee a service that way. I know that the [University Library] is open right now and you can complete your work there.”

Customer:No! That’s too far for me to travel! I’m paying for this service and I expect service!”

Me: “I apologize again, ma’am, but that’s best I can do. I have you set for tomorrow as that’s the soonest I can do. If I can get a tech earlier, I’ll—”

Customer: “F*** you!” *Click*

I sigh and shrug it off, noting everything about the call in the greatest of detail in case she calls back in and gets any of my coworkers. I take a five-minute break and get back to work. Another hour passes before I get an out-of-state call. It isn’t uncommon as people mistakenly call us for Internet support.

Me: “This is [ISP’s helpline]; how can I help you?”


Me: “I’m… sorry, ma’am? What’s the issue?”

Customer’s Mother: “My daughter is going to [University] and she called me to tell me about her Internet issues and how you aren’t helping her!”

Me: *Making the connection* “Oh, [Customer] at [Address]?”

Customer’s Mother: “YES!”

Me: “I apologize, ma’am, but I have a set time for a tech to fix her Internet issues for tomorrow as I can’t pull any of my techs from their current jobs.”


She continues to get louder and louder to the point where the phone is breaking up due to her volume. After a few minutes of the mother ranting, I have a moment to speak.

Me: “Ma’am, I apologize again. But I have a concrete time for a tech to repair her service. As I told your daughter, ma’am, I’ve been monitoring our techs’ current jobs to see if one finished early for us to fix the issue today. But none have done so.”

Customer’s Mother: “THIS WON’T STAND!” *Click*

I’ve had it with both the customer and her mother. I burst out laughing, turning a few of my colleagues’ heads around. I’ve been sworn at and cursed at. But I’ve never had a customer so angry that they had called their mother on me.

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The Cup Runneth Over With Demands

, , , , , | Right | July 20, 2020

I am working the concessions stand when the theater first opens up for the day. A family consisting of a mother, a father, a son who is probably around ten, and a daughter who is around three approaches me.

Mother: “Hey, could we get a #2—” *a large popcorn and two large drinks* “—but instead of one of the large drinks can we get two regular drinks?”

Me: “Yes, I can ring you up for a #1—” *a large popcorn and one large drink* “—and add on the two regular drinks.”

Mother: “No, I want the #2, but I want two regular drinks instead of one of the large drinks.”

Me: *Confused* “Yeah, that’s what I’m ringing you up for. A large popcorn, one large drink, and two regular drinks.”

Mother: *Rolls her eyes* “No. I want the #2, but instead of one of the large drinks, I want two regular cups. The large cups are too big for her to carry.”

She points to the little girl. Our large cups are very big; they’re basically buckets. But the father or the son, who is sharing the soda with the girl, could carry it.

Me: “I’m sorry, ma’am, but the only way I can give you two regular cups is if you pay for them.”

The mother finally gives in and just gets a #2. They go to the side to fill their sodas when I hear a soda crash to the ground. The mother walks back up to the stand.

Mother: “She dropped it; could we get another cup? Maybe a regular.”

Me: *Nearly boiling with anger* “I’m sorry. I can give you another large cup, but for inventory purposes, I cannot give you a regular cup.”

I gave her the cup after she rolled her eyes again, and then I went to fill the mop bucket to clean up the spill. As I was filling the bucket up, I told my coworker and manager the story over our walkie talkies. My manager came and grabbed the bucket from me, and I returned to my post. I thought my manger was going to clean the spill up for me, but I saw her approach the mother at the butter station. My manager made her clean up the soda spill.

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A Broken Toilet Seat Has Painful Implications

, , , , | Related | July 20, 2020

My mom and brothers have started going camping. My mom saw a toilet seat online that attaches to a bucket to make a portable toilet. The store we go to doesn’t have just the seat for sale. If you want the seat, you buy the bucket, as well.

My mom is testing the product to see how the toilet seat comes off.

Me: “Mom, maybe buy it before you break it.” 

Mom: “No. [Brother], come and help me with this.”

Brother: “Mom! You’re going to break it. Then we have to buy it.”

Mom: “No, they have insurance against this sort of thing.”

I Googled it later. A lot of stores have a “You Break It, You Buy It” policy that you agree to by entering the store. I wasn’t able to check if that store had the policy, but chances are, it did. If my mom had broken the product, she would be using a broken toilet seat on a camping trip.

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So Much For The Overflowing Closet Method

, , , , , , | Friendly | July 20, 2020

My parents weren’t incredibly fastidious, but they did like to generally keep the house tidy. I say this with an admittedly skewed perspective since my maternal grandparents had a house that constantly looked like a Home & Gardens cover page, but still, I don’t think they were any more concerned with cleanliness than is considered average.

Of course, when we had company over, the usual flurry of chores ensued, which was always the most annoying thing ever to me as a kid, but now that I have my own place I realize the necessity of them. Our home was tidy but not a surgical scrub room.

We lived in an area where multi-story homes were pretty normal, and ours was no different; we had two main floors, plus a basement and attic. As is pretty standard, the second floor was bedrooms and such, and the first floor was where most hosting was done. One day, we had some sort of party and a guest had brought her young son with her. He at some point wandered upstairs, which no one was bothered by; he was well-behaved and we didn’t mind him poking around. However, almost immediately, he ran back down the stairs and started tugging on his mom’s skirt.

“Mommy! Their upstairs! It’s actually clean!

The mother was mortified and kept trying to shush her son, but apparently, the idea of a house being clean even in the places that company wasn’t planned to see was just such a mind-blowing concept that the little boy would not stop talking about it.

My dad thought it was an absolute hoot, and though my mom was too polite to say so, I think she was a little bit proud that even if her house wasn’t up to her parents’ “can eat off the floor” standards, at least someone was impressed!

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Hiding In Plain Sight

, , , , | Related | July 19, 2020

I keep miniature chocolate bars in my room at all times as a female necessity. They come in a large, bright yellow variety bag that I split in between two jars as soon as possible to keep them from going stale, as a single bag lasts for months.

My father has a huge sweet tooth, which leads to the occasional plea for chocolate, and in spite of being fairly intelligent, he can be as observant as a brick wall. My mother told me about this conversation she had with him.

Dad: “[My Name]’s chocolate is already gone!”

Mom: “What?”

Dad: “She got a new bag, what, two days ago? I saw the bag in her trash! She’s already finished them!”

It would be physically impossible for me to eat that much chocolate without getting sick, so naturally, my mother is skeptical. She goes down to check for herself, and lo and behold, the plastic bag is indeed in my trash can, but the jars on my dresser are completely full. When she tells me about this conversation, I’m as incredulous as she is.

Me: “He didn’t see the chocolate jars on my dresser… four feet away?”

Mom: “I don’t know.”

I guess my sweets are safe.

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