Losing His Hold On Reality

| Midlands, England, UK | Right | June 15, 2013

Me: “Hello, [company name] support; how may I help you?”

Customer: “You c****! I heard what you did; how dare you!”

Me: “Excuse me?”

Customer: “You changed the f****** music!”

Me: “I’m sorry, sir; I don’t understand the—”

Customer: “The hold music!”

Me: “I’m terribly sorry if it wasn’t to your liking, but you are through now. I’d like to help you fix your problem if we can just—”

Customer: “I won’t stand for you insulting me like this! And you let everyone else hear it; that’s slander!

Me: “Hear what?”

Customer: “The insults about me you put in your hold music!”

(The customer had been on hold for so long, he had come to believe the hold music was actually insulting him, and that someone at the company had slipped in taunts and abuse directed at him personally.)

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No Port For The Harbor

| Port Charlotte, FL, USA | Right | June 13, 2013

Customer: “I dropped my phone in the water while I was on the boat this weekend, and I want to retrieve my pictures off of it. Can you do that?”

Me: “Sure we can.”

(I wait to see phone.)

Me: “Where is it?”

Customer: “At the bottom of the harbor; you can still get my pictures, right?”

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Life Needs An Undo Button

| USA | Right | June 5, 2013

(I work at an online backup company. Our pricing is based on what storage amounts are used. You can get a free small account and upgrade to a paid account with more space later.)

Me: “Thank you for calling [name of business], this is [my name] speaking. How can I help you?”

Caller: “Yeah, hi, I needed to wipe my hard drive. I got a free account, but it wasn’t enough space. I paid to upgrade and then wiped my drive. Where is all my backed up stuff?!”

Me: “When you upgraded the account, did you try to back up again so it would upload whatever didn’t fit before?”

Caller: “No, it didn’t say I needed to do that! I just paid for the extra space this morning! You mean I lost all of my stuff?”

Me: “Well, if you ran out of space, and then paid for more space, but didn’t back anything up, then all we’d have is what you backed up before.”

Caller: “So, you’re basically saying I’m an idiot, then?”

Me: “Uh…”

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I’m Positive This Is The Issue

| Detroit, MI, USA | Working | June 5, 2013

(I’m working as a field tech, and I’m at a site trying to figure out why their database keeps going missing.)

Me: “So walk me through what you do each day.”

Employee: “Well, I take this floppy disk to the office and get the database, and then I bring it back here. Then I put it in the drive, and it doesn’t work.”

(She shows me a pile of ‘failed’ floppy disks. I look at the computer and see a HUGE magnet sitting on the computer right over the floppy drive.)

Me: “Um, is this always sitting here?”

(I pry the magnet off the computer.)

Employee: “Yeah, I guess it’s been there for awhile.”

Me: “I don’t suppose your problems started right about the time this got placed on the computer?”

(I go on to explain the problem with magnets and floppy disks, and we try running the process with a new disk. Lo and behold, it worked.)

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Mismanaged Expectations, Part 10

| Auckland, New Zealand | Working | June 4, 2013

(I work night shift. We’re a leveraged team, so we cover approximately 100 corporate and business clients. My manager is on leave, so another manager is covering for her; he’s known for being very pushy. One morning, he comes up to me.)

Other Manager: “So, are you coming to the training day for [his biggest client]?”

Me: “Training day? I didn’t know that there were any arranged. [My manager] didn’t say that any were scheduled.”

Other Manager: “Yes, it’s been specially arranged. I’ve noticed that your team is rather lacking when it comes to service for [client]. You really need to connect with the client and understand your role better.”

Me: “When is it?”

Other Manager: “It’s on next Wednesday, from 10 am to 3 pm.”

Me: “Uh, I can’t make that. I’m working Tuesday and Wednesday nights.”

Other Manager: “But it’s essential! You really should be making more of an effort.”

Me: “Uh, really, no. I’m working those nights, I really need the sleep.”

Other Manager: You should still come. We all have to make some sacrifices!”

Me: “No. Not unless you want me to go for 48—no, 72 hours without sleep. Short of [my manager] directly ordering me to do this on pain of dismissal, I’m not coming.”

Other Manager: “I’m going to report you to [your manager]!”

Me: “I think my manager will be very interested to hear about this. Especially given that this seems to have been arranged on very short notice, and without her approval.”

(The rest of my team gave similar answers. When he took our responses to  to my manager as a complaint, she turned him down flat. Soon after, he got fired for interfering with other teams!)

Mismanaged Expectations, Part 9
Mismanaged Expectations, Part 8
Mismanaged Expectations, Part 7
Mismanaged Expectations, Part 6
Mismanaged Expectations, Part 5
Mismanaged Expectations, Part 4
Mismanaged Expectations, Part 3
Mismanaged Expectations, Part 2
Mismanaged Expectations (Not Always Right)

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