Name Drain

| CA, USA | Employees, Extra Stupid

(I’m calling to cancel my department store credit card.)

Me: “I’d like to close my account, please.”

Agent: “Can I get your name, sir?”

Me: *gives name*

Agent: “Now, Mr. [My Name], to whom do I have the pleasure of speaking?”

Me: *face-palm*

Captcha’d Too Late

| UT, USA | Bizarre/Silly, Technology

(I work as a PCI compliance consultant-in-training. Essentially all I do is make phone calls to businesses; if anyone is interested in becoming PCI compliant, I have to transfer them to a more experienced coworker. Most of the calls I make typically end up being wrong or disconnected numbers, but in one case, this one happens when I make a call and reach a gatekeeper, or the person in charge of accepting phone calls for a business.)

Me: “Hi, this is [My Name] from [Company]. How are you doing today?”

Gatekeeper: “Are you a robot?”

Me: “What? No.”

Gatekeeper: “Are you sure? You sound like a robot.”

Me: “I assure you, I am not a robot.”

Gatekeeper: “How do I know you’re not one?”

(I pause for a moment to think.)

Me: “Okay, ask me something that only a human would know.”

Gatekeeper: “Okay, okay, you win.”

(The call continues, and it becomes obvious that they were just bored and joking, and they explain that their company tends to do that whenever someone they think is a telemarketer calls. I end up leaving a call back number, and we both hang up. A few minutes pass. My coworkers and I are sharing a laugh about it, when suddenly I remember something.)

Me: “Oh, no!”

Coworker: “What?”

Me: “I should have told them that I could read Captchas, instead!”

(We all agreed that, indeed, that would have been funnier.)

Shutting Down Your Attempts At Shutting Down

, | USA | Bad Behavior, Bosses & Owners, Overtime

(Our city is going through a particularly bad winter, with weather that’s extreme for the area. The city decides to shut down for one bad approaching ice storm, and recommends that other area businesses do the same for a long weekend. I get up on the morning of the first day to find my roommate getting ready for work.)

Me: “Aren’t you guys closed today like everyone else?”

Roommate: “Nope. When I asked my supervisor last night, she said, and I quote, ‘If an earthquake occurs, and the ground opens up to swallow [Call Center], then you will still report to work to find out which center we will reassign you to.’ So I get to go in today. Hooray.”

(She goes to work, and the storm arrives exactly at 11 am, as predicted. My roommate sticks it out, but her coworkers are getting fed up and leaving, risking not only bad driving conditions, but also being written up at work. Finally around three pm, my roommate is told that she is allowed to go home without the risk of disciplinary action. The center is going to remain open, thanks to one stubborn boss who refuses to close. My roommate carefully drives home, but just as she is arriving, her car slides on ice and she manages to do $3000 worth of damage to the undercarriage of her car. She is cold and frustrated by the time she walks in the door at four. She tells me what happened, and how she got a text from a coworker saying that other bosses finally overrode the stubborn one, and they closed the center shortly after she left. We are watching a movie a little later when she gets a text alert and snickers at the message.)

Me: “What’s so funny?”

Roommate: “Schadenfreude. The boss who refused to close the center got stuck sleeping there overnight.”

(The boss was fine. He had power and food to last him until he could safely leave. But the company magically changed their tune after that, offering cash bonuses to employees who opted to come in during bad weather, and closing the center much, much sooner. Funny how the employees can go hang when the weather gets dangerous, but when something bad happens to the boss, they fall all over themselves to change the policies!)

GPS: Great Practitioners Of Stupidity

| Australia | Employees, Extra Stupid, Technology

Customer: “My GPS works during the day; just not at night.”

Me: “Well, duh! It can’t see where it is; how is it supposed to tell you how to get somewhere?”

Throwing Names Around

| Beaverton, OR, USA | Bizarre/Silly, Employees

(I work at a call center offering white papers to IT people at other companies. Most of the time a secretary will answer the phone and transfer the call to the right person, and sometimes the person we’re looking for doesn’t work at the company, in which case we take their name out of our system of numbers.)

Me: “Good morning! I was looking to speak with [First Name, Last Name]?”

Secretary: “Which one do you want?”

Me: “Oh, no, ma’am, it was first name [First Name], last name [Last Name].”

Secretary: “Well I have a [First Name] person and a [Last Name] person. Which one do you want?”

Me: “I’m sorry, ma’am, I must have some out of date information here; I’ll update our systems.”

Secretary: “Well, which one do you want to talk to?!”

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