They Want It For Free And Give Nothing Back

, , , | Right | October 22, 2019

(I work for a company which handles large groups and conventions coming into town. It is not uncommon for people to request lots of free items. Normally, I send these calls to someone in sales; however, the entire sales department is away for a site visit, and I’ve been instructed to provide callers with the email address of the relevant party, instead.)

Me: “Good morning, [City] information. How can I help you today?”

Caller: “Yes, hello. I probably shouldn’t have waited this long, but I’m coming into town next week for a family reunion and I was wondering if the center would provide some little items that we could put in our goodie bags, like pens or something. There will be 65 of us.”

Me: “All right, currently the entire department is out of the office for an event. I can give you my colleague’s email address, though, and he’ll be able to respond to you promptly.”

Caller: “Can’t you give me a phone number? I don’t want this mailed to me; I want it delivered to my hotel. Your office is at [incorrect address], right? How far is that from [Hotel]?”

Me: “Our office is at [correct address], and it is about a 25-minute drive from [Hotel].”

Caller: “Oh, so it’s in a different area? Well, can you have them deliver these items to us so we don’t have to drive all the way down there?”

Me: “Like I said, the entire department is out of the office and I cannot give you their personal phone numbers. I can give you an email address and they will respond promptly, or I can transfer you to their voicemail and they will get back to you when they return to the office tomorrow.”

Caller: “Could you send me to their voicemail? And who is the party I will be talking to?”

Me: “[First Name] Polyachenko.”

Caller: “Chenko?”

Me: “No, Polyachenko.”

Caller: “Panko?”

Me: “Po-ly-a-chen-ko.”

Caller: “How do you spell that?”

Me: “P-O-L-Y-A-C-H-E-N-K-O.”

Caller: “Oh, so the P is silent?”

Me: *giving up* “Sure.”

(I ended the call thinking she’d leave a message and that would be that. Nope; she called back ten minutes later and got my coworker. She complained that I had sent her to the wrong office, even after my coworker explained everything I had just told the caller a few minutes before. My coworker transferred her to someone else in the sales department, who is, of course, also absent from the office until tomorrow. Customers like that are what drive me to drink before noon.)

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