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 02, 2005

Beware These Callers

In lieu of my usual blather about my worst call of the day, I thought I'd mix it up a bit. Here, then, are the kinds of callers that customer service reps like myself endeavor to avoid:

1) Chatty Cathy. I don’t often envy the deaf, but this caller makes me long for a world of eternal silence. If you are unlucky enough to have this caller on your line, settle in for a nice long chat. You won’t have to say very much, of course—just the occasional grunt will do. You may even want to use this call as an opportunity to go to the bathroom, clean up your desk, or read (perhaps even write) that novel you’ve been wanting to get to. But if human melodrama is your cup of tea, then by all means listen to Chatty Cathy’s monologue. She’ll babble on about her sister’s female trouble and her children’s struggles with ADD, without ever getting to the point of her call. After a few hours of this, however, she’ll discover that she’s called the wrong number, and will then proceed to waste someone else’s time. What I’ve discovered about this caller is, if you listen closely enough, underneath her ceaseless squawking, you can actually HEAR the hamster wheel spinning in her head.

2) The Conspiracy Theorist. This caller will probably wish to remain anonymous, but will proceed at length to tell you how the gub’ment, big business, and even The Trilateral Commission have conspired in order to manipulate natural gas prices, thus driving up his monthly bill. Be warned: nothing you say will make him think otherwise, and if you argue with him, he may very well begin stalking you.

3) The Know-Nothing. This caller thinks he knows everything about your company, your industry, and, well, everything. Unfortunately, he gets all his information from other know-nothing sources: the guys at the auto-body shop, his idiot brother-in-law, Fox News, etc. And boy, is he surprised to hear that, yes, your heat CAN be disconnected in the winter if you don’t pay your bill. And he ALWAYS wants to speak to your supervisor ‘cause he doesn’t believe you. I’d almost pity this caller for his perpetual ignorance if he weren’t such a complete shit.

4) Lazy Lips, aka Mushmouth. This caller just can’t be bothered to form complete syllables, let alone whole words or sentences. Even though it sounds like a foreign language, it’s actually English as spoken (or, well, mouthed) by a native from your same region. Did the caller just wake up? Is she drunk? Was her tongue cut out by the Spanish Inquisition? These are all plausible explanations, but I think the horrifying truth is that this is just the way some people mumble through life.

5) Mr. Speakerphone. There’s a very special place in my colon for this caller. The speakerphone, as I understand it, was designed so that more than one person on each end could participate in a phone conversation. However, Mr. Speakerphone uses this device for ALL his calls, unwilling to sully has hands with a phone handset. The message this conveys is, “I am simply too important (read: lazy) to actually pick up the phone.” The problem is, most speakerphones suck, and the caller’s voice ends up being mangled. Even when it’s crystal clear, however, I pretend I can’t understand the caller, so he’s forced to use the handset. You may say it’s childish, but I say I just don’t like to reward rude behavior.

Sadly, there will be more of these to follow.


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  • At 6/28/2005 9:45 PM, Blogger karen said…

    When I used to get speakerphone calls, I would lower my voice to the point where I knew it was virtually inaudible. Invariably, they'd have to pick up the handset to hear me.

    I always enjoyed that. Almost as much as giving the silent treatment back to a guy who was giving the silent treatment to me!


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