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, September 29, 2005

The Death of Diplomacy

Not too long ago, gentle reader, I wrote about how I endeavor to treat my callers with some degree of diplomacy. This is an admirable approach, and certainly one that all customer service reps should emulate. However, the intervening months since I wrote those words have been . . . well, challenging at best. The vast sea of idiots and assholes crashes mightily upon me each day, and, as a result, my rock of diplomacy is now somewhat eroded.

All of this, I hope, will serve to explain why the following sentences escaped my mouth when speaking to various recent callers:

“Let’s see if I can reconstruct the assorted, um, chunks of information you’ve given me, and try to arrange them into something approaching coherence.”

“I’m sorry your electricity was disconnected today, sir, but the last time I checked, the electric company wasn’t providing service out of the goodness of its heart. You might want to consider actually sending them a payment now and then. Call me crazy, but this seems to work okay for the rest of us.”

“Yes, ma’am, I understand that you don’t agree with our state’s utility laws, but you see, I wasn’t really asking for your opinion.”

“While I am personally thrilled to know that you’re a taxpayer, a member of the AARP, and a veteran of the Korean conflict, sir, I was supposed to go home five minutes ago, so if there's a point to this conversation, I recommend that you get to it right now."

And finally:

“Ma’am . . (squeaky, high-pitched babbling) . . . ma’am . . . (still babbling) . . . MA’AM!!! My ears are bleeding! I need you to slow your mouth down from that chipmunk chatter to a level that humans can comprehend. And please bear in mind that I’m also taking notes, and that I only type fifty words per minute, not five-hundred.”

Given these lapses in customer service etiquette, all I can say is, thank God my job's protected by the union, or I would be so fucking fired.