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, May 02, 2005

Double Trouble

Today, gentle readers, you’ll be getting two for the price of one. Neither one of these calls is substantial enough to merit an individual write-up, but it seems wasteful to just toss them aside. Submitted for your amusement, then, are my two worst calls of the day.

My first nut-job was an old lady who yelled at me because I had the audacity to call her “ma’am.” “Do you know what that word MEANS?” she howled. “It’s the same as calling me a prostitute!” Baffled by her interpretation of this very polite form of address, I nonetheless apologized and told her I wouldn’t use the word again.

Bear in mind, however, that customer service reps have been trained to use the words “ma’am” and “sir” when speaking to people. Because of this, I accidentally called her “ma’am” at least two more times, which resulted in her hurling a most unladylike curse at me before hanging up. I was crestfallen, as I wanted to reassure the old crone that illicit sex was the furthest thing from my mind while listening to the harsh, crackling squawk that passes for her voice.

My second bizarre call came from a husband and wife who insisted on speaking at the same time, and at a volume usually reserved for hog-calling. After the ringing in my ears stopped, I informed the clamoring couple that I could not understand them when they spoke in tandem, and suggested that one of them remain silent while the other speaks.

I had little idea of the controversy this would generate. Both parties apparently wanted to play “alpha dog,” and the fur began to fly:

“The gas bill is in MY name.”
“Well, if you had called about this THREE WEEKS AGO like I asked, I wouldn’t have to be involved.”
“For Christ’s sake, just let me handle this.”
“You don’t know how to talk to these people.”
“Remind me again, WHICH one of us has a degree in communications?”

And so it went for the next couple of minutes, until they had the good sense to disconnect and continue their spat in private. Or maybe they heard me frantically scribbling notes, and muttering, “my readers will LOVE this!” I guess some people are just sensitive about being blog fodder. Go figure.


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  • At 5/04/2005 4:51 PM, Blogger Jamie said…

    Oh, it's good to know it's not just my job that gets all the stupids and the crazies out there!

  • At 5/04/2005 6:03 PM, Blogger MrMystic said…

    Next time don't call her Ma'am, call her "foofy'.

  • At 5/04/2005 6:25 PM, Blogger teirrah said…

    You're blog is so hilarious! I'm glad I found this on a whim. It's been entertaining reading all about your crazy callers. Sorry you have to talk to all these kinds of people everyday, but hey, at least it keeps the job interesting and not vapid. :)

  • At 5/04/2005 10:39 PM, Blogger Dunyasha said…

    I LOVE your blog, as someone who has spent the past 2.5 years working in customer service (first for a large retailer and now for a major fast food chain) and prior to that spent 5 years as a sales associate for a large retailer, I can relate.

    I present to you my worst call from yesterday:
    A very southern man left a very angry message on my voice mail regarding his diabetic grandson and our kid's meal nutritional listing, stating it is confusing to the point that we are playing with people's lives. His gripe? On our nutriion guide we list each item separately and he thought the kid's meal hamburger nuritional content was the nutritional content for the entire kid's hamburger MEAL.

  • At 5/11/2005 7:10 PM, Blogger Wirthy said…

    With any luck, the couple's spat escalated to domestic violence, leaving one dead, and thus ending the arguement over the gas bill.

  • At 5/12/2005 6:47 PM, Blogger Anonymous Me said…


    I can only HOPE that this was indeed the case.

    Thanks for posting!


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