These Multiple Callings Show It’s Not Their Calling

, , , , , | Right | May 12, 2020

I’ve worked at home for many years. I realize a lot of people suddenly find themselves working from home now. Apparently, it is not as easy as it looks.

The calls I’ve been getting lately are these:

Me: “Hello, thanks for calling.”

Caller #1: “Hi, this is—” *Noise, noise, noise*

Me: “I’m sorry, I’m having trouble hearing you. Could you repeat that?”

I just hear more noise.

Me: “I’m sorry. I just can’t hear you. Is the TV on perhaps? Could it be turned down?”

Caller #1: “YEAH! IT’S ON. BUT IT’S WAY OVER THERE!”

Me: “Sir, I can hear that you’re shouting now. It would be easier if there were just less background noise.”

Cue more fumbling sounds.

Caller #1: “Okay. I turned off the TV and took my phone off speaker. Can you hear me now?”

Me: “Yes. Thank you. What can I help you with today?”

Next call:

Me: “Hello, thanks for calling.”

Caller #2: “Hello, we’d like to start service at—” *Ear-piercing whistle*

Me: “Sorry, I didn’t catch that. Could you please repeat?”

Caller #2: “Oh, yeah, that’s my parrot. He likes to sit with me—”

There is another ear-piercing whistle.

Caller #2: “—now that I’m home.”

Yet another whistle.

Me: “I’m afraid I will not be able to continue this call with that sort of interruption. Can the bird sit further from the phone until we finish, please?”

Next call:

Me: “Hello, thanks for calling.”

Caller #3: “Oh, yeah, hey, so our office needs— HEY! CUT IT OUT! —service. The address is—”

He is drowned out by the sound of shouting children, apparently sixty or seventy of them.

Me: “Okay. So, you said the address was [address]. Is that correct?”

Caller #3: “Yeah. No one’s there, though. Can we still get service?”

Me: “We will need someone to meet the technician.”

Caller #3: “Well, we’re supposed to work from home.”

The mob of children has now apparently taken hostages.

Me: “I understand. But we will need someone to meet the technician.”

Caller #3: “You can’t just come?”

Me: “Is the door unlocked?”

Caller #3: “I don’t think so.”

There may be murders taking place in the background at this point.

Me: “Then, no. We can’t just come. We need to get inside the building.”

Caller #3: “You don’t have a key?”

It suddenly gets silent on her end. Maybe they are as floored by the question as I am.

Me: “No, ma’am. We don’t have a key.”

Caller #3: “Oh, okay. I’ll have to ask about this. I’ll call you back.”

Next call:

Me: “Thanks for calling.”

BEEP!

Me: “Hello, you’ve reached—”

BEEP!

Me: “Hello?”

BEEP!

I hang up. The phone rings again.

Me: “Hello, thanks for calling.”

BEEP!

I sit there and just wait.

BEEP!

Voice In Background: “I don’t know why they won’t answer. Maybe they are closed.”

Another Voice: “They can’t be closed.”

BEEP!

Me: “HELLO!”

BEEP!

Voice In Background: “We have to reach them today. Maybe we should email.”

Another Voice: “That’s a good idea. Maybe they are working from home, too.”

Next call:

Me: “Thanks for calling.”

Caller #5: “Hi, I need to pay our bill. Can I do that by phone?”

Me: “Absolutely. What’s the address of the account?”

Caller #5: “Unfortunately, I don’t have the account number. I’m at home instead of the office. I have limited access to things. Can you look it up by the name or address?”

Me: “Yes. The address is easiest.”

Caller #5: “Great, it is [address]. I don’t have the actual bill. I’m at home instead of the office. I have limited access to things. Is there a way I can look up the info online or could you email it to me?”

I check the account. All bills have been paid online. The account is linked to a specific email address.

Me: “Yes. If you answer a couple of questions, I can give you access to the account.”

Caller #5: “My email address is [email address I have on file].”

Me: “Oh, that is actually the email address we have in the system. I can resend the login information to that email.”

Caller #5: “I have that email. It was sent to my office. I need it sent to my home, though, because I am working from home for the foreseeable future.”

I pause.

Me: “All right. I’ll resend that to you now. Would you like to pay by phone or wait until you have logged into your account?”

Caller #5: “I’d better pay by phone. I’m at home instead of the office. I have limited access to things.”

Me: “By phone it is.”

The phone rings at 9:45 pm, 9:50 pm, 9:52 pm, and  9:58 pm. I am worried it might be one of my adult children calling from other than their own phone.

Me: “Hello?”

Caller #6: “Isn’t this [Company]?”

Me: “It is from 8:00 to 5:00.”

Caller #6: “Well, I’m working from home so I work the hours I want.”

Me: “Okay, well, I have closed down my office for the day. I will have it back up by 8:00 tomorrow morning.”

Caller #6: “Yeah, that doesn’t work for me. I need to see about service.”

Me: “I’ll be happy to help you tomorrow between 8:00 and 5:00. Good night.”

I hung up, and dialed into the system to unroll the phones for the first time in years

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