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The Agent Hasn’t Found Their Calling

, | Learning | February 12, 2015

(In the admissions office we frequently deal with recruitment agents who act as representatives for students, handling everything on the student’s behalf. The agents often phone in with one problem or another.)

Agent: “One of my students has been trying to make a payment but he keeps getting an error message.”

Me: “Okay, which payment method is he using?”

Agent: “He’s doing it by phone.”

Me: “He’s getting an error message… by phone?”

Agent: “Sorry?”

Me: “Wait, is he paying online?”

Agent: “Online, yes.”

Me: “Ok, well if he’s getting an error message online and he’s due to enroll this month, it might be easier if he phones our finance office and they can just take the payment over the phone.”

Agent: “That’s what he’s trying to do.”

Me: “He is?”

Agent: “Yes, but he keeps getting an error message.”

Me: “Someone is giving him an error message over the phone?”

Agent: “Yes.”

Me: “Do you know who he’s been speaking to?”

Agent: “No one.”

Me: “He’s not paying by phone?”

Agent: “By phone, yes.”

Me: “If he’s paying by phone then he must be speaking to someone. We don’t have an automated phone system.”

Agent: “Sorry?”

Me: “Do you know what number he called?”

Agent: “I’ll check.” *rustling and clattering for a few seconds* “It’s some sort of phone number, I think. Yes.”

Me: “Can you read me the number please?”

Agent: “It’s some sort of number.”

Me: “Are you sure he’s paying by phone–”

Agent: “By phone, yes.”

Me: “—and not online?”

Agent: “Online, yes.”

(This continued for some time until we both gave up.)

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