Early Morning Reality Check

, , , , , | Right | October 14, 2017

(I work in a call center. I have just started my shift around 8:00 am, and am sleep-deprived from a party the night before. A customer calls:)

Me: “[Company] mail order, [My Name] speaking. How may I help you?”

Customer: “Are… are you real?”

(For a second that feels like a thousand years, I don’t know. I’ve never felt actual existential dread before this and am having trouble coming up with an answer.)

Me: “I… I think so?”

(It turns out my greeting was so rehearsed the poor lady thought I was a machine.)

That Order Is Totally Phoned In

, , , , | Working | October 12, 2017

(It is the holiday season and we have a lot of special orders. I am calling customers to let them know their order is ready and what time we are closing. This particular order is for someone with the same last name as one of my coworkers, a fact which I happen to blank out on.)

Me: *on the phone* “This is [My Name] at [Meat Market] calling for [Customer]. I wanted to remind you that your order is ready to be picked up, and we’ll be closing at [time] tonight.”

Customer: “Okay, thanks! We’ll be down to get it in about an hour.”

(The customer calls back a few minutes later.)

Me: “[Meat Market], this is [My Name]. How may I help you?”

Customer: “Hi, we just spoke about my order. I was wondering if you could tell me the price on that?”

Me: “Of course; it’s [price]. Anything else I can do for you?”

Customer: “No, thank you. We’ll be down to get it soon.”

(An hour later, my coworker arrives for her shift. Her dad browses our selection for a minute before coming to the counter.)

Coworker’s Dad: “I’m here to pick up the order for [Last Name].”

(The realization hits. I get his order together and give it to him. After he has been rung out and left, I turn to my coworker.)

Me: “So… I called your house to remind your family to come get your order before we close.”

Coworker: “I know. I was the one that answered the phone.”

(At least she got to start a hectic shift with a laugh!)

How To Monday On A Saturday

, , , , , , | Working | October 11, 2017

(My former boss is an incredibly high-strung jerk without any kind of time management or people skills. I receive these shrieking voicemails on my personal cell phone one day when she’s on vacation. The first voicemail:)

Boss: “I have been trying to reach you and [Colleague #1] and [Colleague #2] at the office for an hour this morning. How dare you slack off like this?! We have deadlines! Just because I’m away does not mean you get to waltz into work whenever you feel like it! There are important cases that need to be done by the time I get back! If someone doesn’t call me back in the next ten minutes, you are all fired; do you understand me?! Your a** is out on the street, and I will make sure no one hires you! I will have you and [Colleague #1] disciplined by the [Licensing Authority]! YOU WILL NEVER WORK AGAIN!

(Her screams toward the end escalate in volume and shrillness to the point where I can’t keep the phone against my ear. Then, I listen to the second voicemail.)

Boss: “Um, someone here pointed out that it is Saturday. Please ignore the last voicemail. But I expect you to call me as soon as you get in on Monday! We have important deadlines to make, and I’m extending my vacation, so I need you and [Colleagues #1 and #2] to be on the ball!”

(And she wondered why she couldn’t keep even incompetent employees, and why she didn’t have a better reputation in the field.)

Is He Still Dead?

, , , , | Working | October 10, 2017

Me: “Hello, may I speak to [Client], please?”

Receptionist: “[Client] is dead.”

Me: “Pardon?”

Receptionist: “[Client] died.”

Me: “Oh, I’m so sorry to hear that.”

(I end the call and go to my boss.)

Me: “[Boss], I can’t get [Client]. According to his office, he has passed away.”

Boss: “Are you sure?”

Me: “Yes, I asked twice.”

Boss: “Well, call them again to make sure.”

(I had to call again. It was awkward.)

Customer Interaction Isn’t Meant To Be With Each Other

, , , , | Working | October 9, 2017

(I’m at the office and our Internet is not working. I’m calling our ISP. After waiting for almost half-an-hour, I finally reach their service desk. After I explain the problem, the following conversation takes place.)

Support: “Okay, again, sorry about the long wait. Let me transfer you to the technical department; a tech will take it from there.”

Me: “All right, thanks.”

(I’m back on hold, but only for a moment.)

Other Person: “Hello?”

Me: “Hello, my name is [My Name]. We have no Internet at the office. The modem shows it has no DSL connection. The customer ID…”

Other Person: “Yes, it’s [other customer ID].”

Me: “Uhm… no… it’s [my customer ID].”

Other Person: “Huh? No, it’s not. I have it here on the invoice.”

Me: “What invoice?”

Other Person: “The invoice you sent me? Like the ones you send me every month?”

Me: “Wha… Wait… You’re a customer?”

Other Person: “Well, obviously? I called you about my Internet connection. You just repeated the issue back to me; now I’m expecting you to fix it.”

Me: “Hardly. I called because I’m having the same problem. And now they put me through to you. I guess he was really out of it.”

Other Person: “Oh, great. At least I have someone to talk to instead of that stupid recording that keeps telling me how important my call is to them. So, what do we do now?”

Me: “I guess we’ll have to call again.”

(And so we did. This time I didn’t wait as long, and they actually got it fixed within an hour or so. Hope they could also help the other guy.)

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