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.

Wednesday, March 09, 2005

Beware These Callers, Part Deux

Continued from an earlier post. These are the callers that drive mild-mannered customer service reps to commit suicide, homicide, or both. I myself prefer the last option, but then I'm an overachiever.

6) The Ranter. This caller has lost all sense of perspective (assuming he had any to begin with), and has succumbed to the illusion that his problem is the Only Thing That Matters Anymore. Even worse, he will demand that you share his little delusion. Trying to assist him will be difficult, however--his rant will swell from the problem at hand to encompass all of Creation. If your ranter happens to be elderly (and most of them are), his tirade will not stop until he shrieks the magic words, “Jesus-Mary-and-Joseph, this world’s just going to Hell in a handbasket!” This may be accompanied by a wet, popping sound that is most likely a blood vessel bursting in righteous indignation.

The upside of this is, after the climax of his sad little diatribe, this caller will now be weak as a kitten, barely able to speak. And some people say there’s no justice in the world.

7) Mr. Indirect. This caller is exceptionally long-winded, and will trace his problems with the electric company all the way back to the Peloponnesian War. But despite his verbal diarrhea, the caller seems pathologically unable to phrase a direct question, leaving you to guess what it is that he actually wants. After a few minutes of the caller's pointless spew, I attempt to plow through the muck with the following questions: 1) “What is the purpose of your call?" and 2) "What exactly is it that you would like me to do for you?”

And the rest of the conversation goes something like this:

Caller: “Geez, haven’t you been LISTENING to me?”
Me: Silent, suppressed rage, followed by a wet, popping sound.
Caller: “Hey, what’s that wet, popping sound? Hello? Hello?"

8) The Interrupter. This caller may be the most frustrating of the bunch. He absolutely will-- not-- let-- you-- finish-- a-- sentence. I used to try (in vain) to squeeze my words in as quickly as I could, but I’ve since found a better approach. After the first few interruptions, I cease talking altogether. Mind you, it sometimes takes several minutes before the caller notices. However, once he realizes there’s nothing but an echo on the other end of the line, he panics: “Hello? Hello? Are you still there?”

After letting him hang for another second or two, I smoothly reply, “I’m sorry, were you waiting for a response? I figured that since you’d interrupted me every time I tried to speak, that your questions were rhetorical in nature. If you do actually need my assistance, you may want to let me finish what I’m saying.” What I love about this response is that it really pisses the caller off, but it’s not actually rude if delivered in the proper tone.

And as such, your supervisor can’t give you any shit about it (as if you care about such things).


I regret to inform you that there will be more of these undesirable callers to follow. And please feel free to submit your own horrible callers by posting a comment.

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4 Comments:

  • At 3/10/2005 6:21 PM, Blogger My Life Is God's Comic Strip said…

    Wet popping sounds. You should write a book. You could fill pages and pages, and then go on a book tour, and I could watch you on Letterman. You would make millions. Or at least hundreds of thousands. Genius.

     
  • At 3/11/2005 7:15 AM, Blogger Anonymous Me said…

    It's true, I could do all that, but the sudden fame and wealth would probably turn me into one of the assholes I skewer in the blog. Still, it would be cool to go on Letterman, especially if Amy Sedaris were on the same show.

     
  • At 3/22/2005 12:26 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    If you go on Letterman, just let us know in advance so we can set our VCRs.
    Great blog. I'll post about it in mine.

     
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