The Worker Beneath My Wings

| Paris, France | Working | March 11, 2013

(A newly-hired operator is on her first call and is nervous to the point of stuttering. I’m there to watch and help her if she gets stuck.)

New Girl: “[Health care company], th-this is [name]. How can I help you?”

Caller: “Hi, I’m calling to check if you guys gave me the payment for a trip to the hospital I recently had. Your website seems to be down and I only got out of the hospital yesterday, so I can’t check that.”

New Girl: “Of-of course, sir! Can I have your name, please?”

Caller: *gives his name*

(The new girl starts to type, but is visibly stressed and misspells his name several times. Each time, it gives her an error and requires her to ask the caller his name again. After a few tries, she starts to lose control.)

New Girl: “I-I-I’m sorry sir, I can’t find you in the system. M-Maybe you did a wrong num—”

Caller: “First day, huh?”

New Girl: “Y-yes!”

Caller: “Okay, so in the case you don’t find someone with their full name or if the software shoves an error in your face, you ask for the last name and THEN the birthdate. And if that fails too, you ask for the social security number. How about we try that? I’m born on [date].”

New Girl: “Y-yes!”

Caller: “Okay. Now, when you opened the dossier, you go in the…”

(I sit slack-jawed during the whole call as the caller not only does not raise his voice during the whole call, but also guides perfectly the girl through the software, explaining her various tips and policies at the same time. At the end of the call, I can’t stand it anymore and take the call.)

Me: “Sir, forgive my rudeness, but HOW on Earth do you know our tools and policies so well?!”

Caller: “Check my dossier; you’ll see.”

(When I take a better look at his dossier, I stand flabbergasted for a few seconds since this particular caller appears to work in our company, in another call center, for FAR longer than me.)

Me: “Well, that explains everything.”

Caller: “Indeed it does. You take care now, guys! And good luck, [New Girl]! Tell you what: as soon as I go back to work, I’ll send you a few tricks by mail, okay? See ya!”

(He then hangs up. The kicker? A few days later, he indeed sent the new girl an e-mail full of tips and tricks to help her start!)

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