You Can’t Put A Name To Being That Stubborn

, , , | Right | October 14, 2020

I work in the call center at a VA hospital. When a veteran calls in, we have to ask for their last name and last four of their social security number in order to verify that it’s actually them since there are an incredible number of vets with the same last name. Pretty standard across all VA hospitals in the U.S. The vast majority of the vets that call in don’t have a problem with this.

Me: “Thank you for calling the [VA]. This is [My Name]. How may I help you?”

I worked in the specialty center which housed the orthopedic, podiatry, ENT, surgical, dental, etc.

Veteran: “I need to speak to Dr. [Name].” *Head of the clinic*

Me: “Okay. Did he call you directly?”

Veteran: “No! Just let me talk to him!”

This guy is already getting angry and the call has just started.

Me: “Okay. What’s your name, sir?”

He gives his first name.

Me: “Okay. What’s your last name?”

Veteran: *Yelling* “You don’t need to know! Just get me Dr. [Name]!”

Me: *Calmly* “Well I kinda need to know who is calling for Dr. [Name] as it is something that the doctors like to know.”

Veteran: “I don’t f******* care! Just give me Dr. [Name]!”

Me: “Sir, I must ask you to refrain from cussing or else I’ll have to terminate the call. Now please, tell me your last name and I can see what I can do.”

Veteran: “I ain’t giving you s***! If you ain’t going to help me, then you can f*** off!”

Click.

I laugh a little to myself and with my coworkers. The phone rings again; it’s the same guy. At this point, I make a mental note of the phone number.

Me: “Thank you for calling the [VA]. This is [My Name]. How may I help you?”

Veteran: “Get me Dr. [Name]!”

Me: *Knowing it’s the same guy* “Okay, sir. What’s your name and last four digits of your social?”

Veteran: “You’re not getting s*** from me, just be a good little boy and get me the f****** doctor!”

Me: “I’m sorry, sir, but I have to know who is calling in order to inform the doctor.”

Veteran: “This is going f****** nowhere! F*** you!”

Click.

I tell my coworkers he called again and hung up a second time. We laugh a bit and I tell them to forward me the number if they see it.

My coworker’s phone rings and he says it’s the same guy. I tell him to forward it to me.

Me: “Thank you for calling the [VA]. This is [My Name]. How may I help you?”

Silence, for only a couple seconds but feels like longer. I speak in my kindest, sweetest voice.

Me: “Hello? Is anyone there?”

The veteran releases a long pronounced sigh.

Click.

This happened at the end of the day. At 4:30 pm the phones shut off and the calls get routed to information, and they are far less helpful. I laughed again, gathered my stuff, and left.

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