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, May 10, 2005

Why I Despise Old People

As you’re well aware, gentle reader, I deal with all sorts of irascible callers in the course of my day. But if I had to select the single biggest pain in my ass, it would be, without question, old people. While I freely admit that young people can also be annoying as shit, the elderly are exceptionally good at pushing my buttons. The old goats are so troublesome, in fact, that I’ve begun lobbying congress for a national policy of forced euthanasia. If I’m allowed to testify in support of this program, I’m certain that I’ll be asked (probably by an AARP-funded senator), “Why is it that you despise old people so much?” In response, I will give the following reasons:

Old people waste my time with their senseless babbling.

At the beginning of each call, I advise the person on the other end to be as concise as possible, since I have to create coherent notes from the information I’m given. Old people completely ignore these instructions, and seem incapable of sorting the significant from the meaningless. It will typically take them ten minutes to spin their yarn, when a two-sentence synopsis would have sufficed. By this time, of course, I have either fallen asleep or begun huffing oven cleaner.

Old people are rude.

You might think otherwise about this one, but let me reassure you that old people, as a group, are the rudest SOBs out there. While I’m certain that they were brought up to use polite manners, it’s clear to me that they no longer practice them. Each day, old people interrupt me, curse at me, and fail to make such basic courtesies as “please” and “thank you.” My theory is that, with the Grim Reaper in hot pursuit, the terminally aged simply don’t have the time for such pleasantries. But then, these are the same people who will drive around for two hours looking for the the “Early Bird” dinner special. Go figure.

Old people labor under the delusion that they’re still in charge.

Having forgotten that they’ve long been retired and without live-in kids, old people continue to treat others as either their subordinates, or, even worse, as their children. As such, they’re prone to lecturing and barking commands, both of which make me want to sprinkle ground-up glass in their Metamucil. During a call like this, I console myself with the fact that, while I may be forced to listen to the bleating of these dried-up old husks, I still have control of my bowels. Or at least, most of the time.


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  • At 5/12/2005 3:48 AM, Blogger Kate said…

    I've worked in a few fast food restaurants in my time, and I always found the elderly to be among the rudest customers I ever had to deal with. Their main problem seems to be their belief that the whole world owes them something because they've lived longer than most of the people in it.

  • At 5/12/2005 6:51 AM, Blogger Anonymous Me said…


    You are SO right about this. My reason #4 (which I ended up editing out of the post) was old people's undeserved sense of entitlement, simply for having managed to avoid death thus far. I just hope I can remember this when I'm old and decrepit.

  • At 5/12/2005 11:00 AM, Anonymous Suzi said…

    LOL! Your observations sound similar to my dad's. . .about 30 years ago. He always used to say that old people can't see yellow, and he knew this because of the way they parked their geezermobiles without regard to the lines in the parking lot.

    The joke is on him though; he got old! Bwahaha!

    I found you through Blog Explosion, by the way.

  • At 5/15/2005 11:40 AM, Blogger Anastasia said…

    Oh! You hit the nail right on the head.
    The time factor alone..they'll tell you their life story if they had a chance. I used to loathe retired school teachers because they would get on my nerves ringing up wanting to submit their manuscripts even though I wasn't working in the editorial/publishing section and when I'd explain this they would then rant, 'I will not be put through to anyone's voicemail thankyou very much!'

    **shiver** ..

  • At 5/24/2005 9:19 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    You are so riiiiiiiight about this, the elderly somehow think that because the are well, old, they deserve more attention, patience, respect and DISCOUNTS! than anybody else, now i might agree with one or two but whenever i hear some one on the other end of a line telling me (i work in a call center for an airline) "I need a rate from Houston to Las Vegas leaving tomorrow coming back in a week, the lowest fare please oh and a senior citizen fare" (thinking: tomorrow? and you want the lowest rate, uh...U should've called a month ago for that ma'am) "ma'am rate is xxx.xx" "why is it so expensive? i thought you had a senior rate?", "ma'am senior rates are available on certain routes and whenever that class is available, unfortunatley (boo-hoo) that class is not available for TOMORROW" "ok, fine" beep-beep-beep-beep. Anyway, i agree in pretty much all you've said, that thing about callers saying "are u in india?"


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