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Some People Just Don’t Want To Be Helped

, , , , | Working | June 15, 2021

I work for a company that supplies service desk services to the national offices of a huge international pharmaceutical. Our job is basically to take the incoming calls from the client’s office employees, solve them at the first level and, if not possible, route the issue to the second level — local IT teams, since our service desk team is remote.

The day is going calmly. Suspiciously calmly. I am already three hours in and have had zero calls.

Me: “Service desk, [My Name]; how can I help you?”

User: “This is absurd. I’ve been trying to talk to you guys for the last two hours and the line’s always busy!”

The fact that theirs is my first call of the day proves this statement is a lie.

User: “I can’t receive emails; my [email software] isn’t working. Fix it!”

Me: “Sure. I just need your user ID first, please.”

User: “I can’t believe it. Every time you guys ask for my ID! Don’t you remember me?”

The fact that we receive calls from the whole country makes it clear that we don’t remember each and every voice.

User: “I’m [User]; my username is [user ID].”

Me: “Okay, [User], just give me a minute to check some things. Do you have network access?”

User: “I have no idea. I can’t receive emails; that’s all I know.”

Me: “You got an error message on [email software]?”

User: “What? No! Where did you get that from? [Coworker] told me on [messenger] that she sent me something that I need to see!”

Okay, that means they still have network.

Me: “Understood. Just give me a moment. I’ll connect to your computer to check what could be going on.”

User: “Do it fast.”

I remote into their computer, and it’s a huge mess, as usual. Dozens of spreadsheets are open at the same time, the browser is open with several tabs and, apparently, one of them is playing music. Basically, their computer is overworked. Among the other windows, I find the email software window… frozen.

Me: “I see. Your computer seems to be overworked, and [email software] froze. All we need to do is close the program and reopen it.”

User: “I already tried that, moron.”

I’m surprised that I’m being insulted during a recorded call.

Me: “Oh. Okay, in this case, we need to reboot the computer.”

User: “Not happening.”

Me: “I’m sorry?”

User: “You won’t reboot my computer. I need to work; it’ll take my time and I’m busy.”

Me: “You… need your email working, correct?”

User: “Yes.”

Me: “Have you tried using the webmail service?”

User: “That thing’s stupid. All my contacts are on [email software].”

Me: “If the program won’t close and the computer can’t be rebooted, I can’t solve the issue.”

User: “Such incompetence. Get me your supervisor!”

Our service desk team has no “supervisor” in the sense of someone who can overrule something to get things done. The best we can do is escalate the issue to Level 2.

Me: “You want me to send the issue to the Level 2 team so they can send someone to your desk?”

User: “You thought of that by yourself or someone helped you to reach that conclusion?Yes! I want someone here! Now!

My eardrums still hurt just by remembering them shouting in my earpiece. I write a ticket to the Level 2 team with notes of their behavior. In the description, I write, “[User]’s [email software] froze and won’t close. [User] won’t allow a reboot. [User] agitated.”

Me: “Done, [User]. There’s a ticket for you on Level 2’s queue. They’ll get to you as soon as possible.”

User: “They have five minutes.”

Me: “I’m sorry?”

User: “No, you’re not. I want someone here in the next five minutes, or else I’ll go straight to your boss.”

Joke’s on them; my boss isn’t even part of their company.

Me: “I can’t give you an estimate of when someone will be by your desk, as I don’t have access to the Level 2’s queue. They could be with you in minutes or hours, depending on what they have going on.”

User: “You’ve been warned. Five minutes.” *Click*

The following day, I get a message from a friend on Level 2.

Level 2: “Hey, [My Name]! Why didn’t you solve the issue with [User] yesterday?”

Me: “They demanded someone locally.”

Level 2: “I got to their computer and rebooted it. But they kept saying that they didn’t have time to waste waiting for us and that they could’ve rebooted the computer themselves, and they even asked why [Client] keeps us on their tab if we’re this useless.”

Me: “They… what?”

Level 2: “I s*** you not! They’re insane!”

Me: “You added this conversation on the ticket log, right?”

Level 2: “Of course. I’ve covered my a**. You covered yours?”

Me: “The system records all calls we receive. I hope this one gets randomly picked for revision.”

Level 2: “You don’t know the worst part. After I finished rebooting, they logged in and opened the browser first, going to YouTube, checking personal emails, even a finance blog, before even trying to open [email software].”

To my surprise, I got an email later with an evaluation of my service… from that user! It was an automated email, yes, but it was about the user’s call; it had their ticket number and their user ID, and in a field reserved for observations, they laid on me, saying I was rude and called them names and even said they should jump off a bridge! I brought it to my supervisor’s attention since he was the one responsible for our company’s contact with [Client]. He took the issue directly to human resources, and I found out that [User], prior to my hiring, had similar issues with other people on the service desk.

The last I heard about [User], they’d been demoted to someone’s assistant and put back into interpersonal training.

Needs To Pay The Intelligence Tax

, , , , | Right | May 29, 2020

The company which I work for issues their contracts with values without taxes. This happens because taxes vary from state to state, and many customers use our services in several different states. I work at the customer service billing branch; I don’t really meet the clients, but I talk to them regularly by telephone.

Me: “Hello, Mr. [Customer]?”

Customer: “Yes?”

Me: “Hi there, my name is [My Name]. I work at [Company] and called you to talk because you contested your first invoice. Can we talk about it right now?”

Customer: “Ah, yes! You see, the invoice value is different from what we had in agreement.”

Me: “I understand the problem; please give me some time to check the values.”

I analyze the bill and check that everything was in accordance with the contract.

Me: “Sir, everything is in accordance with the contract. Do you have the contract with you right now?”

A few seconds pass…

Customer: “Yes, I have it now. Can you see it next to the value? It says we’re exempt from taxes.”

I am completely puzzled and surprised. I check again the PDF copy of the contract I have and don’t find anything about what the customer says.

Me: “I’m sorry, sir… but I couldn’t find the information you’re pointing out. Can you be more specific, please?”

Customer: “It’s right next to the value! It reads, ‘without taxes,’ between parenthesis!”

I give a small chuckle in relief as I’ve figured the problem.

Me: “Ah, I see! It looks like it was just a misunderstanding. It’s not that you don’t have to pay taxes, it’s just that the value mentioned does not include taxes yet; you still have to pay those.”

Customer: “Nonsense! I’m tax-free! It’s in the contract!”

Me: “But, sir—”

Customer: “Who the h*** issues contracts with only half the values, anyway?”

I explain the whys and because, and after several minutes of trying to convince him, I finally give up.

Me: “Okay, Mr. [Customer], I’ll look into it and position you by email.”

Customer: “Finally! Don’t forget it! I’m tax-free!” *Hangs up*

I sent him an email with everything I already told him by phone, saying that his invoice value was correct.

This story is part of our Brazil roundup!

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Pizza Saves The Day Again

, , , , , , | Working | February 26, 2020

I was walking back from the grocery store with my wife, a little before 11:00 am. I had four bags with our things we’d just bought, because I always try to carry all our things except for her purse. We were waiting for the red light to cross the street, and when it came the cars stopped.

I stepped onto the street and a guy in a motorcycle sped up, hitting my belly with his mirror and yelling insults about my mother. My blood boiled instantly, but after we crossed the street my wife managed to calm me down. When I got home, there was a big bruise over my stomach where his mirror had hit me.

That night, my wife suggested pizza and we ordered delivery. What a surprise when the guy delivering it was the same guy that had almost run over me earlier! He turned ghost-white when he saw it was me, because I’m sure he remembered what he did. Then, he jumped on his motorcycle and sped away. At least I managed to take a picture of his license plate.

I contacted the restaurant where I ordered and explained exactly what had happened: the incident that morning, and how he ran away and didn’t deliver the pizza. I didn’t know the guy’s name, but I had his plate with me and gave it to the restaurant, and the manager informed me over the phone that they would fix this right away.

Fifteen minutes later, another guy showed up with two pizzas instead of one, saying the second one was on the house. The next night, I called in to thank them for the extra pizza and order another one, and I casually asked about the “Running Man.” The girl who took my order casually said he was fired, saying he had a history of hitting and almost hitting people. Well, Karma rides fast sometimes.

This story is part of our Brazil roundup!

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Deaf Becomes Her

, , , , , | Romantic | August 30, 2018

I heard this story from a bookstore clerk. He told me he had been working in the bookstore for a couple weeks when, on a Saturday morning, this couple came in. The wife started browsing the shelves, while the husband, a French gentleman, stood by the counter chatting with the clerk. When the wife came back to speak to the husband, the clerk noticed how rude she was, speaking loudly, almost screaming at him.

Later, he talked about the couple to the bookstore owner, saying how impressed he was with the husband, who had a very interesting and intelligent conversation, and the wife’s manner, mainly the way she yelled at him. The owner said, “Oh, that’s my friend, Mr. [Friend]. His wife is annoying as h***, so to avoid as much conversation with her as he can, he pretends to be deaf.”