This Transaction Took 48 Hours

, , , | Right | August 8, 2018

(I work at a box office where we usually accept reservations over the phone. I frequently get scolded for how quickly I talk and have to apply extra effort to keep my voice at a normal human speed. Some customers are understanding and just tease me for it; others seem to think I’m doing it on purpose and get prickly. This is one such person.)

Me: “So, if you give us 48 hours advance notice prior to the show date, we can move your seats to a different night or give you a six-month credit.”

Customer: “I’m sorry; I’m not understanding you. Forty-eight hours, then what?”

Me: *repeats myself*

Customer: “I still can’t understand you. Forty-eight hours, then what?

Me: *repeats myself more slowly*

Customer: “I can’t hear a word you’re saying. I caught, ‘48 hours,’ and, ‘different date,’ but that was it.”

Me: *repeats myself a third time, taking care to enunciate each word clearly*

Customer:There we go! Now I can understand you. Okay, here’s my credit card number, and we’ll see if you can understand me when I talk that fast.”

(The customer then proceeds to rattle off his 16-digit credit card number at the speed of light and seems quite satisfied with himself. Our system is programmed to automatically detect if we haven’t entered correct numbers, or if we’ve put in the wrong amount, as per the credit card company’s algorithms. I am extremely chuffed when the system provides no such error message.)

Customer: “There! Did you get all that?”

Me: *cheerily* “Yep! And the expiry date?”

Customer: “You got all those numbers?”

Me: “Yep!”

Customer: “Oh. Um…” *gives the rest of his information*

Me: “Perfect! So, we charged [amount] onto your credit card and, as I said before, it’s non-refundable, but so long as you give us forty-eight hours advance notice prior to the show date, we can move you to a different night of the show or give you a six-month credit.”

Customer: “Okay, now, you want to read all those numbers back to me so I can make sure they’re right?”

Me: “Oh, it already processed and the system approved it, so it looks like all the information was correct!”

Customer: “Oh. So, you understood me even when I was talking that fast?”

Me: “Yep, I understood you just fine!”

Customer: “Oh.”

Me: “Will there be anything else, sir?”

Customer: “No, that’s okay. Thank you.” *click*

(I don’t mind when people ask me to speak more slowly when they have trouble hearing, but there’s no need to be rude. I’m not doing this on purpose; it’s just how I talk!)

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