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.

Tuesday, March 15, 2005

Why I Have a Tragic Drinking Problem

Today, gentle readers, I reached a dubious milestone in my career as a customer service rep: I actually hung up on a caller for a reason other than the use of profanity. This particular call came from a man whose medicine cabinet is surely packed full of prescribed anti-psychotic drugs. The problem is, he's not taking them anymore.

The caller requested that I contact another government agency to resolve an issue he's been having with them. Unfortunately, my office has absolutely nothing to do with this other agency--it would be like asking the Lottery Commission for help in obtaining a fishing license. As such, I informed the caller that his issue was completely outside of my jurisdiction.

"But it is your jurisdiction," he bleated, "you're the guv'ment, and so's this other place I'm having trouble with." Apparently to this poor benighted soul, the government is just one big Lego structure whose parts and functions are wholly interchangeable. This caller would make no distinction at all between, say, the I.R.S. and the city sewage department. Hmm . . . okay, I'm having trouble seeing the difference here, too, but you get my drift.

Anyway, I repeated that this was not, in fact, something that I could help the caller with. "So you're not going to fix my problem for me?" he asked incredulously. I replied that I would not, at which point he began debating me about the scope and authority of my own agency, about which he knew less than nothing. After we argued about this for roughly ten minutes, I informed this nut-job that I had other calls to take, and our little chat would have to come to an end. He began to squawk again, and I promptly hung up the phone, cutting him off in mid-babble.

It's calls like this that remind me why I keep a bottle of Jack Daniel's in my filing cabinet. And why I buy it in bulk.

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