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, April 28, 2005

The Ideal Caller

Today was a horrible, no-good, very bad day for yours truly. From the first call to the last, it was one long parade of people who are just too damn stupid to live. To add insult to injury, the calls were also unbelievably dull—not a single blogworthy one in the whole bunch. This onslaught of idiocy got me thinking, however, about the kind of caller I’d be thrilled to talk to, and what qualities this mythical caller would possess.

First and foremost, the ideal caller would have a pleasant speaking voice. This is a fairly rare commodity in the state where I was born (and foolishly continue to reside). The folks here tend to pronounce the word ‘fire’ as rhyming with ‘bar,’ where, by the way, they spend the bulk of their waking hours. I could even handle the hillbilly accent if it weren’t coupled with the kind of grammar that results in sentences like: “They done come ‘long and wuz jest ‘bout to switch my ‘lectric off.” Imagine being forced to listen to the State of the Union Address for eight hours a day, and you’ll have a sense of why I sniff glue on my coffee breaks.

The next quality the ideal caller would possess is the ability to relay information in a logical and coherent manner. The most difficult part of my job is to not only decipher the stream of nonsense that callers spew at me, but to convert this babble into readable case notes that might be used in an investigation. On any given day, I will have to make sense of drivel like this: “Um, hi . . . last year . . . no, it must have been before that . . . now when did Sara have her baby . . . uh . . . a couple months after that . . . let me think . . . oh, shit . . . can I start over?”

And oh, how I want to respond, “Sure, but could you take your Ritalin first? And maybe wash it down with a tall, cool glass of lighter fluid? Would you do that for me, sweetheart? Thaaanks, you’re a doll.”

Finally, the ideal caller would have some sense of personal responsibility, however miniscule. Most of the people I talk to each day are filled with such a raging sense of entitlement that they act like they’re doing me a favor by calling to complain about their utilities. These callers will ignore their bills for, say, a year, using every ounce of charity or public assistance at their disposal. Then, after the well runs dry, they scream bloody murder when their heat or power is disconnected. “Well, what am I supposed to do now?” they roar. “I’ve got kids here and there’s no heat in the house.”

Because I’d like to hold on to this job for just a little while longer, I fight the urge to reply, “Gosh, I feel so bad for your kids. It’s not their fault that they have stupid fucking parents who should have paid their goddamn bills like the rest of us." But I bite my tongue and help them maintain the illusion that they're not worthless deadbeat parasites.

It occurs to me, though, having enumerated the traits of the Ideal Caller, that the reason I’ve never spoken with this person is because someone with these qualities is able to resolve problems on his or her own, and doesn’t need my help. That being said, I suppose I wouldn’t have a job without my half-wit callers. And I certainly wouldn’t have a blog. So God bless the morons—may they continue to provide employment and amusement for many years to come. Or at least until the economy picks up and I can get the hell out of this job! Pray for me.


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  • At 5/01/2005 1:57 PM, Blogger Doug said…

    Thanks for dropping by my site. I hadn't seen yours before and this is the funniest post I can remember reading. I'm torn between wishing you a better job and wanting to read like this for a long time. Remember your readers when Microsoft calls.

  • At 5/04/2005 11:56 PM, Blogger Anastasia said…

    I couldn't help but laugh, especially "it was one long parade of people who are just too damn stupid to live.", that had me laughing because it all reached break point for me last week where the long parade of two phone calls per minute more or less nailed my resignation or Diva like "I quit!" the following morning when I just couldn't get myself out of bed. Thoughts of phone calls blitzed my mind and this after four years (A company swap over or outsourcing that transformed into a living nightmare for the last six months - a half year of experiencing all round idiocy, from company sales reps, companies, clients).
    I simply had to blogmark you.
    Have you considered writing professionally, if not, consider it.

  • At 5/12/2005 5:17 PM, Blogger zombieswan said…

    It makes me want to figure out how to call you so that I can be a nice customer to you. :) I use good grammar, pay my bills, and, even though I can rhyme Bar with Fire when really drunk (having grown up in the south) usually don't.

    But at least your blog makes those of us who stumble in here laugh. Haunted electricity? Ma'am=prostitute? Passive Aggressive Couple w/ degree in Mass Comm?

    Lovely.. :)


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