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    Password Overheard

    | Boise, ID, USA | Bad Behavior, Employees

    (I work in a call center doing tech support for a popular cell phone company. We often get calls from stores that sell the carrier’s phones, asking for help with phones or customer accounts. Since these callers are employees of the stores they are working for and not our company, we must verify the customer’s account with the customer before making any changes.)

    Me: “Thank you for calling. This is [My Name]. May I have your name, please?”

    Employee: “This is [Employee]. I’m with an authorized retailer, and I need to get call forwarding set up on our customer’s phone.”

    Me: “All right, I can definitely get that going for you. Can I go ahead and speak with the customer?”

    Employee: “You’re on speaker.”

    (I introduce myself to the customer.)

    Employee: “The customer’s name is [Customer] and his password is [password].”

    Me: “I’m sorry, ma’am, I do need to hear that information directly from the customer.”

    Employee: “Well, that’s completely unnecessary, but all right.”

    (The customer gives me the information.)

    Me: “Thank you. I understand it’s a bit of a hassle, but it is part of our security policy to verify directly with the customer.”

    Employee: “What call center are you located in?”

    Me: “I don’t feel comfortable disclosing that information.”

    Employee: “Well, then can I get your ID number or the name of your supervisor?”

    Me: “Can I ask why?”

    Employee: “So I can report you. You embarrassed me in front of my customer.”

    (I repeat my spiel about the security policy and tell her that, no, I will not be giving her my information. She relents, and I get the call forwarding set up.)

    Me: “Is there anything else I can help you with today?”

    Employee: “No. Now you’ve made the customer upset.” *hangs up*

    Job Hunting Is A Joke

    | Wales, UK | Bizarre/Silly, Bosses & Owners, Job Seekers

    (I had an interview and the manager was unable to attend, but wants to meet with me and calls me up the next day to arrange it.)

    Me: “Too Many Hamsters R Us.”

    Manager: “Er, can I speak to [My Name], please?”

    Me: “Speaking.”

    Manager: “Hi, this is [Manager[ from [Centre]…”

    Me: “Oh, God, sorry about that. I always answer the house phone in a jokey way.”

    Manager: “You wouldn’t answer the work phone like that.”

    Me: “No, never.”

    Manager: “Chuckles.”

    (I hope I get this job. It wasn’t even a good joke!)

    Find Anything To Wine About

    | Nottingham, England, UK | Bad Behavior, Bosses & Owners, Food & Drink

    (I work in a call centre that sets up appointments and work schedules for IT engineers. My supervisor is horrible and always tries to big herself up to the manager by getting the staff in trouble. She hates me in particular as I’m a pretty cheery person and get on well with the engineers and management. In addition to this I have always bought the nicest food I can afford and frequent some of the more expensive delis in town where I sometimes get treats for the office that are a bit posh, and she gets quite jealous.)

    Manager: *sternly* “Can I speak to you in my office, please?”

    Me: *confused* “Okay.”

    Manager: “I think you know why I have brought you in here today.”

    Me: “…No?”

    Manager: “[Supervisor] has advised me on many occasions she has seen you drinking wine at your desk. We take these matters very seriously and I’ve come to advise you of our intent to discipline you for gross misconduct which, if found to be true, could lead to you instant dismissal. Do you understand and have anything to say at this point?”

    (At this point I am understandably upset as I have never touched alcohol while working.)

    Me: “I don’t understand. I haven’t ever brought wine to work let alone drunk it at my desk in full view of the office. When did [Supervisor] say I did this?”

    Manager: “She observed you many times this week openly pouring wine from a bottle of wine into a glass on your desk and drinking it. Are you saying you deny this despite [Supervisor] saying she has multiple witnesses?”

    Me: *brain engaging* “Wait? Did you say a bottle at my desk… It’s not wine! It’s on my desk now if you want to go and see.”

    (My manager follows me to my desk – sitting in plain sight us a glass bottle of raspberry and vanilla cordial I bought from the posh deli. Note at this point we are now yards away from my Supervisor’s desk.)

    Me: “As you or anyone else can clearly see this is fruit juice, not wine. I’ve been adding it to water for the last week. If anyone had actually bothered to look rather than drag me into an office or accuse me of something so serious we wouldn’t be in this position!”

    Manager: “[Supervisor], a word in my office…”

    Cooking On Autopilot

    | ON, Canada | Bizarre/Silly, Bosses & Owners

    (I work for a call center for a hospital. I have to answer with the same greeting every time I hear a ‘beep’ in my headset letting me know a call is about to be connected. I am sitting in the break room, reading and not paying attention to my surroundings. My manager walks in and puts something in the microwave. The microwave dings.)

    Me: “[Major Hospital], [My Name] speaking. How may I help you?”

    Manager: *looks at me like I just sprouted a second head before bursting out laughing*

    Don’t Commit The Crime If You Can’t Do The Overtime

    | Greenville, SC, USA | Awesome Workers, Bosses & Owners, Overtime

    (We’re in training at a call center for a large, national corporation, working directly for the company rather than through an outsourcer. Of 18 people in the training class, 7 of us came from another local call center, this one run by an outsourcer known for their less than quite legal practices, but being in a ‘Right to Work’ state, the employees don’t speak up about it out of fear of losing our jobs.)

    Supervisor: *addressing the class to go over some information on our new schedules once we get out of the training class* “So, any questions?”

    Coworker #1: “Will we be able to get all of our hours every week here?”

    Supervisor: *clearly confused* “Well, we hope that you’ll come in and stay for your regular shifts. If not, then we’re going to have a problem.”

    Coworker #2: “No, what he means is, at the place we worked before, they had this thing called voluntary time off, but it wasn’t voluntary.”

    Me: *seeing that the supervisor still seems confused* “What they would do if it was slow, they’d log us out and not let us back in. They called it VTO but—”

    Trainer: *misunderstanding* “Oh, no, if you accidentally log out during your shift here, they’ll come find you and—”

    Coworker #1: “Oh, no, we didn’t log out accidentally; they’d log us out and send us home because they didn’t want to pay us.”

    Supervisor: *now looking a bit shocked* “No, we won’t send you home early unless you volunteer.”

    Coworker #1: “Do you guys cut our lunches when it gets busy? Or move our shifts around all day?”

    Supervisor: “No, your lunches don’t get cut back. If you’re scheduled for a 45 minute lunch, you get the whole 45 minutes. That’s the law. We have to do that.”

    Coworker #3: “What about overtime? How much can we work in a week?”

    Supervisor: “Oh, you can work up to four hours a day, but your stats have to be up to par. It’s a privilege, not a right.”

    (I can see him cringe, as hands go up from the group of us from the other call center.)

    Coworker #4: “Only four hours a day? What if we’re used to working more?”

    (At this point, all of us are staring at Coworker #5, who was known for working open to close seven days a week at our previous call center.)

    Supervisor: *leaning towards our particular group, and emphasizing* “You can’t work more than four hours of overtime in a day. Only 12 hours in a shift, because THAT’S THE LAW. And you get three breaks on a ten hour shift, because THAT’S THE LAW, TOO. I don’t know what kind of sweat shop you people came from, but we like to do things right around here.”

    (At this point the group of us from the other call center are staring at each other in shock.)

    Coworker #1: *in amazement* “You mean… [National Company] actually takes care of their people?”


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