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.

Monday, March 21, 2005

Lost in Translation

Today's worst caller was a man with a strange medical condition. Apparently he was unable to comprehend anything that I was saying, and felt obliged to translate my clear, simple words into a language that I have dubbed "Idiotese." Since no paraphrase of the conversation could do it justice, here is a rough transcript:

Caller: I have a problem with my city water department.
Me: I'm sorry, this agency only regulates investor-owned utility companies. We do not have any jurisdiction over utilities run by cities or villages.
Caller: So what does that mean?
Me: It means we have no authority to investigate complaints about your city water department.
Caller: So that means the water department can just do what they want?
Me: Not at all. Your city mayor's office or city council would have authority over the city's water department.
Caller: Well, I have a pending lawsuit with the city council right now [at this point, the "crazy old person with nothing better to do but litigate" alarm has just gone off in my head]. Can anybody else help me?
Me: You could contact your county commissioners and see if they can assist you.
Caller: So why can't YOU help me?
Me: Again, this agency does not have any authority over utilities run by cities or villages.
Caller: Well, why not?
Me: Because we were not granted those powers by the state legislature.
Caller: Well, what DO you do?
Me: Again, we regulate investor-owned utility companies.
Caller: Well, uh, if this were something you regulated, could you help me?
Me: [not playing the "if" game, having been burned before] I can't address hypothetical questions. As I've said, your situation falls outside of our jurisdiction.
Caller: So this means they can just RAPE the customers and not have to answer to ANYONE?
Me: [having déjà vu] I've already answered this question.
Caller: You people up there are no help at all! I'm going to call my congressman!

And at this point, blessedly, he hung up on me. Frankly, though, I think calling his congressman is a good idea. Having met a few of them myself, I'm sure there will be no language barrier between them at all.

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3 Comments:

  • At 3/22/2005 6:39 PM, Anonymous Simon Gray said…

    Again, I have no idea how you do your job. I would've been fired long ago.

     
  • At 3/22/2005 7:32 PM, Blogger Anonymous Me said…

    The sad reality is that for the most part, I actually enjoy my job. Plus it's fun to blog all this stuff for other's people's amusement. And it keeps me from sliding into alcoholism and an early, tragic death.

     
  • At 3/23/2005 12:29 PM, Anonymous Simon Gray said…

    You mean you're not already a alcoholic? All of this ranting is generated by a sober person?? Well, do you at least have drug addiction? Because damn it, I only bother to read this blog because I thought you were a lost soul in need of salvation. I was all ready to help you find the Lord. Damn, I hate wasting my time. Damn, damn, damn.

     

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