My Worst Call of the Day

From the dozens of idiotic calls I take each day as a customer service representative, I humbly submit the winner.

Thursday, March 17, 2005

Another Phrase I’d Give My Left Kidney to Never Hear Again

“I’m a Christian, and I was NOT treated right.”

I hear this phrase at least once a week, usually uttered by an outraged caller who’s just spoken with someone at his gas or electric company. And every time I hear this, the slender thread of my patience becomes a little more frayed. Apparently these callers are laboring under the delusion that their religion has anything to do with the level of customer service they receive. In fact, the opposite is true--among our constitutional guarantees is the right for everyone to be treated like shit by customer service.

I should note that I have never once heard an indignant Jew, Buddhist, or Muslim invoke his faith regarding a dispute with a customer service rep. I’m also letting Catholics and the “vanilla” Protestant denominations off the hook here--an Episcopalian would rather go without electricity than bring the Lord into an argument of this nature (after all, someone might mistake him for a Baptist).

But you know, this got me thinking that it really would be cool if companies had a means of classifying customers by their belief systems. So here is my modest proposal for just such a thing, using an automated voice response system:

“Thank you for calling Company X. In order to better assist you, please enter your religion using the following prompts:

#1. Evangelical Christianity. (Appalachian-sounding male voice accompanied by fiddle and banjo.) Your call will be answered right quick by good white folk who were born right here in the good old U.S. of A. There’s no dot-heads or other heathens here, nosiree-bob! If there’s more than an hour’s wait to speak to one of us, it must mean the Rapture has done come along, and we’re all wrapped in the embrace of our Heavenly Father.”

#2. Buddhism. (Richard Gere’s soothing voice accompanied by muted bells and chimes.) Contemplate the infinite while waiting for one of our highly-evolved customer service bodhisattvas to help you along the path to enlightenment. We sincerely hope that this delay will not cause you any inconvenience, but remember that suffering makes one wise.

#3. Judaism. (Brooklynese-accented female voice accompanied by the score of “Fiddler on the Roof.”) Oh my Gawd, it is such a horrible shame that we're keeping you on hold like this. My hand to Gawd, we will get to you as soon as we can, bubie. But you know, when you think about what our people have had to endure over thousands of years, spending a little time on the phone isn’t so bad, now is it? And shame on you for thinking you're too good to wait in line like everyone else, Mister Big-Shot!

#4. Islam. (Stern male voice accompanied by "The Star-Spangled Banner.") Stay where you are! A team of INS and FBI agents, along with local law enforcement, will arrive at your location shortly. Do not resist, repeat, do NOT resist!"


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  • At 3/17/2005 7:22 PM, Blogger My Life Is God's Comic Strip said…

    You should start chanting in some weird scary voice when you get one of those calls. When the caller asks what you're doing, tell them it's little ditty you learned from Satan.

  • At 3/17/2005 7:36 PM, Blogger Ruthie said…

    I just stumbled across this - absolutely freakin' hilarious :D

  • At 5/10/2005 11:51 PM, Blogger pragensis said…

    I'm saying this at the considerable risk of seeing your blog disappear but you are much to funny to write for free. If there is justice you should end up writing sitcoms for a six-figure salary.

  • At 5/14/2005 11:33 PM, Blogger The Supervisor said…

    Brilliant. Keep up the great work.

  • At 7/08/2005 8:46 PM, Blogger Operator15 said…

    That was too funny!
    I think I'm going to start invoking irrelavent information in an indignant tone when I feel hard done by.

    "I'm taller than average and I had to wait 90 minutes for the pizza I ordered!"


    "I'm a Beatles fan and I deserve better treatment than I got at your salon!"


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