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Ugly American, Party Of One

, , , , | Right | August 23, 2022

Back in the day, I worked for a bilingual outsourcing company that handled [Cellphone Provider]’s call center. This provider delivered prepaid service and had numerous customers so each agent could easily take seventy-plus calls per shift. That — combined with college and horrible management — made the job very exhausting, to the point where it wasn’t unusual for us to see coworkers having mental breakdowns, but we needed the money and we just dealt with it and moved on.

I was in the middle of finding a company to work with during my internship, I must note.

Some of the customers would chit-chat during the short periods of time when the system was processing their orders (how our days were going and so on), and we happily followed. Some others would be pretty demanding.

I had the closing shift until 11:00 pm. Some time around 8:00 pm, I got this customer. He was rushing the call and was very rude while giving me his information and waiting for the system to pull his account. He had a quick question before I started assisting him.

Customer: “Where are you guys located?”

We were in [South American country], but the headquarters offices were in [US City], and we were required to explain it that way, so I did.

Customer: “What?! Why am I not speaking to an American? Get me an American now!

I was fed up and tired of his rudeness.

Me: “Mr. [Customer], if you paid attention during your geography class in elementary school, you should know that America is a huge continent and, while the US is a part of it, you’d be surprised to know that [My Country] is also part of it, too! That means I am as American as you. I even think I’m more American since, after looking at your last name, a clearly Nordic one, I can figure out that you’re probably a descendant of a European immigrant or perhaps, you are an immigrant yourself. I can transfer your call, and it’ll probably be answered by a [Southeastern Asian country] agent. So, how can I assist you today?”

He was very toned down, and for the rest of the call, he just answered my questions, and I added his minutes and finished the call as required.

It turns out that Quality Assurance was listening to that call, and I was called out to the account manager’s office. He pointed out QA’s findings and asked me to arrive half an hour earlier the next day to discuss it.

I found a missed call on my cellphone when I finished the shift that night and returned the call the next morning. It was a company accepting my internship, so later that morning, I quit my job at that call center. I never heard from the account manager again!

I guess I won a double prize that night!