Unable To Understand Your Con-Text

, , , , , | Right | December 22, 2017

(I work at my company’s in-house IT help desk. A few months ago we switched our mobile service provider, and now every employee only has limited — but combined — mobile data volume for their phone and laptop. Once the volume is used up, they get a text message informing them that their bandwidth is now reduced quite a bit. While every employee can order new gigabytes by simply replying to the notification, sending a simple text message to our provider, or checking a web portal, a member of our higher management seems to be too stressed out by this procedure one day and calls us.)

Me: *picking up phone* “Hello, this is [My Name]. How can I help you?”

Employee: “Yes, hello, my Internet is really slow. I already called [Provider] and they said I didn’t get a notification message because of some maintenance work. Now I can’t reply to the message and get new data volume.”

Me: “Ah, okay. No problem at all. You can also just send a text message saying, ‘[simple word],’ to [number]. Or use your phone to go to [Web Portal] to check your status and buy new data volume there.”

Employee: “But I didn’t get a message! Can’t you call [Provider] and tell them to send the notification message again?”

Me: *slightly irritated* “Um, like I said, you just need to text ‘[simple word]’ to [number] or check the webpage.”

Employee: *starting to get annoyed* ”No, no. I’m at a big event and right in the middle of a meeting. I can’t handle composing a whole message right now. Can’t you just call them and have them send me the notification again so that I can reply to it?”

Me: *a bit dumbfounded while processing that request* ”Well, um, like I said, you… could just send a text message yourself… right now.”

Employee: *in a slightly aggressive tone* “So, what you are telling me is that you refuse to call [Provider]? That you don’t want to call them?”

Me: *still in disbelief* “Well, of course I can call [Provider] for you, but that way you will still have to send a text message. The process on your end will pretty much be the same.”

Employee: “Great, just call them and let them send the notification again! Thanks.” *hangs up*

Me: “…”

(I wound up calling our provider and booking new data volume for the employee myself. Afterwards I wrote an email with detailed instructions on how to get new gigabytes yourself and sent it to the employee. With all the waiting in line, dealing with robots and the call center employee, and writing the email, I spent about 40 minutes on what could have been done with a simple text message in less than ten seconds.)

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