Wednesday, June 14, 2006

Intelligence Not Required

Sometimes you've just gotta wonder about how this person managed to apply for a credit card in the first place...

There's a charge on my credit card bill I want to dispute. I've already paid it.
Do you have your receipt for the other payment?
Of course I do!
OK, what form of payment did you use?
I gave them my credit card.

And then what?? You thought Friendly Credit Company was handing out free money on the day you sent in your application? Who in the hell doesn't know that when you make a charge you eventually get a bill for it?

Someone, obviously.

Sunday, March 05, 2006


This was pretty funny. It happened at the beginning of my call center "career".

I was working for a very large company, with 4 call centers and numerous retail locations around the country. A lady called because she could not understand something on her bill. It was really pretty simple, and everything she needed to understand it was on the one statement, she didn't even need to look at past statements to make sense of it. She was older (probably as 'old' as I am now, hehe) and didn't have a good grasp of the english language, so that may have been part of the problem.

After a half-hour of trying to explain it to her, I was so exasperated that I finally told her to bring the bill in to one of our retail locations and ask a salesperson to look at it and show her what I was trying to tell her. The location closest to her was in a shopping mall.

About a week later, I answer the phone, and here is the exchange:

me: Hello, Customer Service, this is Callgirl.
her: Yes, I'm here at the mall, now where do I go to find it?

Just like that. No name or explanation or anything. Out of the thousands of people who could have answered the phone, by some miracle it just happened to be me who got her call. And she had no doubt when she dialed the phone that I would be the one to pick it up. Maybe she thought I was the only person working there, who knows?

I had to wonder what would have happened if someone else had answered. Would she still have assumed it was me? How would anyone else have figured out what she was talking about?

Ahhhh, fate.

Sunday, February 26, 2006

War stories

I'm not sure why, but I still seem to be getting a lot of hits here on the site, even though I haven't been working or writing.

Since people seem to be interested in these kind of stories, I'll try to recall some more of them from the years I spent in the trenches (much as I'd like to forget those years, LOL) and jot them down here occasionally.
_ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _

One guy I remember being especially offensive, even more so than most rude people. He was vulgar and abusive to everyone, and wasn't happy until he had whomever he was yelling at in tears.

A few days after my first encounter with him, I answered a call. While I typed in the account information, I asked for the caller's name. When he said the name, I immediately became involuntarily paralyzed, and not a word would come out of my mouth. It was him, the same guy!

He says " there something wrong?" Ummmm, well...yes there is...I felt like screaming "You're a jerk who shouldn't be allowed to use a telephone!", and hanging up on him.

But of course we can't do that, so I quickly recovered and asked how I could help him. Although he was still his rude self, he wasn't as bad as usual that day.

I think maybe he realized why I had turned into a mute upon hearing his name.

Tuesday, January 03, 2006

And that's the end of that!

The reason I haven't been blogging is simple....I am finally out of that rat-trap.

I just couldn't take it anymore. My health was suffering emotionally and physically.

I have enough of a financial cushion to ponder for about 6 months over the direction that my life should take now. I'll tell you, although I may end up in some type of customer service position, it will not be the same one I was in. I will never again work for a company that makes you ask permission to go to the bathroom, or tells me to "train myself" to go on my scheduled breaks.

At first I was scared, and questioning if I had done the right thing. But over the last two months I have seen my health improve. My family actually enjoys being around me now. My back pain is getting better. My doctor has decreased the dosage on my medicine, and I don't take Xanax anymore.

I'm working on my resume, and I have a bright outlook for the future.

Yes, I did the right thing.

Sunday, October 16, 2005

You know you hate your job when

You know you really need to start looking for a new job when certain things start happening.

Walking down the hall towards your desk in the morning feels like a death march.

You have to take a very deep breath before you push the 'auto-in' button to start receiving calls.

You wish there would be another natural catastrophe, so that people would be riveted to their TV screens and nobody would call customer service.

You fantasize about having a bad car accident on the way to work so that you could take some time off, or even better, become disabled.

You keep a bottle of Xanax in your desk.

Your stomach turns every time you hear a beep tone.

I could go on, but I think you get the idea.

It's time. Or it's just been a really rough week.

Saturday, October 15, 2005

I remember now...

Today was the day for wierd calls, but this one took the cake...

I think someone stole my account number. There are five airline tickets on my bill and I don't know how they got there!
Have you ever bought a ticket from FlyByNight Airlines?
No, I never bought any tickets from anywhere.
The passenger name on the first ticket is Joe Schmo. Do you recognize that name?
Where did they go?
All five are round-trip tickets on the same flight from Thiscity to Thatcity on Sept 19.
Ohhhh, yeah....I remember now. Those charges are OK.


How can someone "forget" that they bought five airline tickets? This is not a person who charges a million dollars a month, or who buys a lot of plane tickets. Even one ticket I could understand, maybe you let someone use your card if they don't have one of their own, and you forgot. But five?

Whatever drugs these people are on, they're better than any that I have. ;-)

Thursday, October 06, 2005

I'll get you over to....

One phrase that really bugs me when I hear it, is a rep saying, "Let me get you over to (such-and-such department)", while transferring a call.

It sounds so harsh and cold. Doesn't it sound kinder to the customer if you phrase it something like "Let me bring my colleague from (such-and-such department) on the line with us to assist you further", which also serves the purpose of letting the customer know that you aren't going to drop the call blindly somewhere else. Or even "I can connect you with a specialist in (such-and-such department)" sounds better.

But, "Let me get you over to"? I even hear training instructors teaching people to transfer calls that way. Yikes! As a customer myself, hearing that would make me feel like a non-person.

Maybe I'm just too sensitive. Does that phrasing bother anyone else?

Error? What error?

It's been a long vacation. Well, not really that long, but I've been too tired to blog ever since I returned to work. This job is sucking the life right out of me.

Got a call today that I couldn't not blog about though...

I'm trying to pay my bill on your website, and it won't let me. Why?
What error message are you getting when you click the link?
When I click, it won't let me pay the bill.
I understand. If you tell me exactly what the error message says, I can tell you why and I can fix it.
It just says 'you can't do this'.


Friday, September 16, 2005


Ahhh....finally! I´m on vacation, I get to forget about that place for a while.

I´ll see you all when I get back!

Thursday, September 01, 2005



I gave a longtime customer $25 today. Not only did she deserve it, but it was for interest charged on.....well, you don't want to hear the whole long story.

My "trainer" (I use the word loosely) cancelled the adjustment, and told me to call the lady back and tell her she had to pay it.

First of all, because I know you are such a hardass, I wrote a book explaining why I gave her the money.

Second, I already told her she had it, and if you won't approve it, I'll go over your head. (I know how)

Third, the whole thing was OUR fault, and we could lose a whole lot more than $25 if this lady really thought about it.

Soooo....stop giving me a hard time. Every time I offer someone money, I feel like it's coming out of my own pocket. And if they don't deserve it, they aren't getting it.

So, stop making me explain everything twice, and just approve my adjustments the first time.


Wednesday, August 24, 2005

user ID

Today a guy calls and says he's having trouble registering on our website, it won't accept his user ID. I tell him I'll register for him.

What user ID would you like to use, sir?
Brian. (oh, no, I can see where this call is going already)
Just Brian? That may be already in use. Do you have a second choice?
Already in use? By who?
Another website user named Brian probably.
OK, BrianR.
I tried both of those and they're already taken. Do you have another one?
Wow, I can't believe it. Try RBrian. (You can't believe it? I can't believe you're such an idiot as to think that on a website with over a million users, you'd be the only Brian)
That's in use also.
OK, use my whole name, briansmith. (no joke, the guy's name was that common)
That one has also been taken already.

And so it goes, he reels off a list of choices...brianrsmith, 2brian, brian2, even brian123 when I told him he should try to use something more unconventional to decrease the chance that someone might already be using it.

What a waste of my talk-time! We finally ended up settling on something that didn't include his name at all. He'll probably forget it and call back tomorrow.