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, May 11, 2005

A Stupid Question, and Some Very Stupid Answers

Following in the footsteps of last week's post, Double Trouble, I humbly submit another "two-for-one" for your reading enjoyment.

A Stupid Question

Yesterday, I was speaking with a very unpleasant woman who was whining about her phone company. She wanted to file a formal complaint against them, but her grievance was without any legal merit. I informed her of this, and our conversation took a turn toward the snippy. After threatening to sue both me and my agency, she squealed, "How do YOU know what the law is here? Isn't your call center in India or one of those other godforsaken places?”

While I ended up reassuring the xenophobic shrew that I'm in the U.S., this is how I wish I could have replied:

“Well, you found me out, Miss Marple! Even though I was trained by professional linguists to speak English with a redneck American accent, you managed to see right through me. My call center is located deep within The Black Hole of Calcutta, and there are cows roaming up and down the aisles. Vrishnu be praised!" I would then begin chanting at the top of my lungs until the horrified caller hung up, or until my co-workers wrestled me to the ground, whichever came first.

Some Very Stupid Answers

Me: Good morning, you have reached [the name of my agency]. Could I have your phone number, please?
Caller: 555-1234
Me: What area code is that in, sir?
Caller: 75115
Me: (rolling my eyes) I'm sorry, that's a zip code, sir. What is your area code?
Caller: Uhhh . . . Texas?
Me: (cursing under my breath) No, that is a state, sir. What is your area code?
Caller: Uhhh . . . oh, shoot, you asked me too quick . . . err . . .
Me: (blowing air out sharply through my nostrils, drumming my fingernails on my desk)
Caller: What is it you asked me for, again?
Me: (the veins in my forehead become prominent) Your AREA CODE, sir--the three digits that precede your phone number.
Caller: Oh, okay, 555.
Me: (grabbing my foam anti-stress ball, and squeezing the shit out of it) Sir, that is not an area code in this state.
Caller: Hmm . . . are you sure?
Me: (picking up the pieces of my ruptured anti-stress ball) Sir, 555 is not even an area code anywhere in the country. Let's just skip it, though. (taking a deep breath) What can I do for you today?
Caller: I just wanted to know if you wuz goin' to pick up my garbage today.
Me: (in a murderously calm voice) This agency has nothing to do with that, sir. You have called the wrong number.
Caller: Well, how would I get ahold of them?
Me: *click*


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  • At 5/11/2005 11:09 PM, Blogger Fidget said…

    I shouldn't laugh at your pain but gosh, it sound slike what my mom goes through. SHe is the one to answer when you call up to order stuff off of infomercials.. she gets people who's address actually include "yellow house number 2 rural route 7 goat pens in front....

  • At 5/12/2005 11:55 AM, Blogger Katy said…

    The sad part is that isn't made up. Damn funny when you aren't the one dealing with the dumbass.;)

  • At 5/12/2005 3:55 PM, Blogger Contagious said…

    God called my work the other day...when told he would have to pay freight to get his order shipped to him...he wasn't happy. My employee's response "I'm sorry sir, even God has to pay shipping"

  • At 5/13/2005 4:27 AM, Blogger wizo said…

    My boyfriend used to work for a car-hire company, but spent more time giving callers advice on tourism in Britain, ferry prices, and counselling people whose pets had died...

    And yup, it's amazing how many people don't know which county/state they're in...

  • At 5/14/2005 8:59 AM, Blogger london cokehead said…

    Top !!!!

    What a doughnut ...

  • At 5/14/2005 10:56 PM, Blogger BitchFestivus said…

    Hilarious! This reminds me of my own (new!) blog!

  • At 5/14/2005 11:15 PM, Blogger The Supervisor said…

    Christ, this takes me back to my days as a rep. Sadly, we look up accounts by zip code, and you'd think we were asking for their hat size or something. People would get so defensive about us asking for it and expecting them to know right away -- even though the hold music asks for it, too. ;)

    The real fun part is if they don't have their zip code, we have to look it up by credit card number. When we ask for that, the fur flies!

  • At 5/15/2005 11:44 AM, Blogger Anastasia said…

    hahhahahaahhahha... oh geez I laugh at it right now only because I went awol on the company I worked at. But 100% spot on, it's infuriating, that's what. People expect a customer service officer to be a member of the psychic network most of the time.

  • At 5/16/2005 2:00 PM, Blogger My Life Is God's Comic Strip said…

    Actually, there are no stupid questions. Only stupid people.

  • At 6/21/2005 11:40 PM, Blogger The Singing Butler said…

    LMAO. I pity you.

  • At 10/12/2005 7:04 AM, Blogger jordan said…

    I found a lot of useful info about Car Hire on your blog - thank you. I also have a new Car Hire Tips blog - please click over and have a look

  • At 9/27/2006 11:19 PM, Blogger Goobian said…

    again sorry to be annoying but you hit the nail on the head. I deal with this too. I put money on prepaid phones so some people when I ask for the billing address they freak like they are getting a bill. well why the fuck does it matter anyway because they want to pay on a monthly basis on the phone?? They get a STATEMENT but not a BILL but there is only a slight difference...

    anyway this guy I said thank you for calling (cell phone company) my name and rep is, may I please have the last 4 digits of your prepaid wireless phone number?

    (phone company name here) better not be shipping their calls overseas because I invest a lot of money into your company and I'll take all the money out today if they do that!! You sound like you are from india!! (mind you, lots of noise, everytime I asked for info after this or told him something I had to repeat it)

    I laughed a little I knew he heard me, and I assured him that I wasn't from India I was from Oregon born and raised and he had nothing to worry about as far as that was concerned, and I said I might have a little bit of an accent but it's an OREGONIAN accent. Now that I think about it man that guy was lying about investing shit and he was really slow. I rarely get a professional clear voiced customer. Like 4 a day out of 130.

  • At 9/13/2010 4:27 AM, Blogger Danielle said…

    Your experience was very hilarious. Can't help myself laughing. But I was impressed on how you still manage to be calm on dealing with your caller. It was really outstanding. Thanks for sharing us your experience. It was really worth reading for. Good Luck and Keep up the good work on dealing with your callers.


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