His Hate Engine Is Running Fine, However

| Bristol, England, UK | Right | June 13, 2016

(I work for a small software company that had previously been owned by a well-known breakdown cover provider.)

Me: “Good morning, [Company]. How can I help?”

Customer: “I’ve broken down; I need you to come and get me.”

Me: “I’m sorry, sir, but this isn’t [Breakdown Cover Provider]; you have the wrong number.”

Customer: “WHAT?! I looked up the number on the Internet for the Bristol branch and it gave me this number. Don’t lie to me.”

Me: “This is a software company. We were previously owned by [Breakdown Cover Provider] but we haven’t been part of that company for a while.”

Customer: “Well, I don’t have time for this; you have to sort it out. I’m stuck on the side of the road and I can’t look up the number from here.”

Me: “I thought you’d already looked up the number on your phone which is how you got this number.”

Customer: “DON’T GET SMART WITH ME! Give me the god-d*** number now!”

(I realise there is no point in arguing so I look up the number on my computer whilst he is screaming at me.)

Me: “Okay, sir, the number is [number]. I hope you get everything sorted. Have a nice day.”

Customer: “Why couldn’t you just do that straight away instead of arguing with me? F*** YOU!” *hangs up*

Don’t Bank On A Search Engine

| Ottawa, ON, Canada | Right | April 28, 2016

(I work at a software company where our main clients are American. Depending on your Google search our ad often pops up first and being the receptionist I end up with a lot of calls like this…)

Me: “Thank you for calling [Company].”

Caller: “Hi, I can’t get into my bank account.”

Me: “I’m sorry, sir, this is a software company.”

Caller: “Huh? Google gave me this number to call and complain.”

(Realizing there is a good chance the caller is American I try another tactic.)

Me: “I do apologize, sir, but this is a software company located in Canada.”

Caller: “Well, then, why does your number show up as the person to call?!”

Me: “It depends on what you searched online.”

(After another minute of explaining he seems to get it.)

Caller: “Are you sure you aren’t the bank?”

Me: “Yes, sir, the company hasn’t magically changed in the past five minutes of talking to you.”

(I wish I could say this was a rare conversation but it happened almost every day.)

Wish You Were At Your Desk So You Could Head-Desk It

| Silicon Valley, CA, USA | Working | March 6, 2016

(I send a request to our help system:)

Me: “I am out with a broken ankle and need to be set up so I can work from home.”

Help System: “We tried to contact you on your desk phone and were unable to reach you.”

Me: “Not enough ‘duh’ in the world for that.”

Technically Fired

| Finland | Working | February 29, 2016

(It’s the early 2000s. I am a student, but I am also working as the only technical writer at a startup software company. I am about to leave for a three-month study-abroad term. The company has just released the first version of its product, along with the manual that I wrote.)

Me: “Do you want me to continue working remotely while I’m studying abroad, or should I request a leave of absence?”

Boss: “Well, now that the product is released, we don’t really need a technical writer any more. You can just put in your notice before you leave.”

(I put in my notice. When I came back three months later and started looking for another technical writing job, guess who was hiring?!)

Can’t Physically Do It

| NJ, USA | Working | January 8, 2016

(I work as a shipper for a software distribution company. We offer both physical and electronic versions of many products; when a customer orders the electronic, they just get an email with one or more serial numbers and download links/instructions. Obviously, in our system the “physical” and “electronic” versions are set up with different product numbers, etc. And yet, just about daily…)

Salesperson: “So for this, I just put in the electronic ship-method, right?”

Me: “No. You need to use the electronic PRODUCT VERSION, otherwise the system will auto-adjust it to standard ground shipping and the physical will go out.”

Salesperson: “But, that’s how I always do it!”

Me: “Yes, and that’s why we keep sending you emails about it, and keep getting returns…”

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