Wasting Away Ten Days At A Time

| UK | Ignoring/Inattentive, Lazy/Unhelpful

(I called up a month previously and was told my issue would be looked into and I should receive a letter within 10 working days. I am calling to chase this up and find out what is going on. It’s a Monday.)

Me: “Hi, I called previously about [issue] and was told I’d hear back in 10 days, but it’s been a month. Can you tell me what’s happening, please?”

Agent: “I can’t see any notes on your case. Give it a bit longer.”

Me: “Oh, okay. Well, how long is it normally? Because I was originally told 10 days and it’s been twice that.”

Agent: “I don’t know. They haven’t got to it yet. You just have to wait until you hear back.”

Me: “Oh, is there a backlog? Do you know what date they’re working on?”

Agent: “No, they don’t tell us that. You just have to wait until they get to you.”

Me: “Why would [Previous Agent] say 10 days? That was what I was basing things on, and I’ve even allowed plenty of extra time. Is there any way you can check if they have it, just so I know it’s definitely there and not been missed or lost or something?”

Agent: “If [Previous Agent] said they sent it, they sent it. They have no reason not to. It’s their job.”

Me: “I’m not saying it would be deliberate, but sometimes mistakes happen or things slip through the cracks. I just want to make sure it’s not forgotten”

Agent: “There’s no way to check. You just have to wait”

Me: “Well, how long should I wait?”

Agent: “I don’t know. It’s not due yet. You have to wait.”

Me: “How do you know it’s not due yet if you don’t know what date they’re working on or what the normal turnaround time is? I was told the turnaround time was 10 days, so mine is past due.”

Agent: “Look, you’re in a queue. You can’t jump to the front. You have to wait like everyone else.”

Me: “I don’t want to jump to the front! I just want to make sure I AM in the queue!”

Agent: “I can’t check. You just have to wait.”

Me: “Yes, but for how long?”

Agent: “I don’t know. You just have to wait til they write to you.”

Me: “How long is a piece of string?!”

Agent: “Exactly!”

Me: “Six months, then. Should I leave it six months?”

Agent: “No, that would be ridiculous.”

Me: “So how long should I wait, then?!”

Agent: “Call Friday and they can chase it for you.”

Me: “Why will they be able to chase it on Friday but you can’t chase it for me now?”

Agent: “It might be your turn then.”

Me: “But you have no basis for that because you don’t know what date they’re working on or the turnaround time! I’d like to speak to a supervisor, please!”

Agent: “No, they’ll just tell you what I’ve told you.”

Me: “You haven’t told me anything!”

The Not-So-Smartphone Generation

| Toronto, ON, Canada | Extra Stupid, New Hires

(I work in a market research call centre as a training supervisor. Trainees have old-fashioned telephones with wired handsets instead of headsets like they’d have doing “live” calls.)

Me: “We’re using old-style phones, the kind with a handset, coiled cord, all attached to a phone body base with buttons you push for the numbers to make calls, so you don’t get put on the automatic dialer. Just dial any phone number like you would on any regular phone. Now pick up your handsets…” *pause as everyone does so* “Good. Now I’m going to give you my home phone number so that we’re not dialing an actual random person for a training survey. Please dial [number]. One of you will get my answering machine or a very surprised husband and the rest of you will get a busy signal. Feel free to leave a weird answering message or mess with my husband, whoever gets through.” *trainees chuckle*

Trainee: “Miss! Miss!”

Me: “Yes?”

Trainee: “My phone does not work.”

Me: “Your phone doesn’t work?”

Trainee: “No. My phone does not work.”

Me: “Are you sure?”

Trainee: “Yes.”

Me: “Okay. Try dialing again.”

(I then get distracted by someone else needing help. When I’m done, I ask her again.)

Me: “Did it work this time?”

Trainee: “No. It did not work.”

(I scratch my head and head over, looking at the phone.)

Me: “Let me try.” *take the handset from her and dial my number, phone rings once and I hang up* “Hm. It seems to work for me. Can you show me what you did?”

Trainee: “Okay.”

(The trainee takes the handset from me and holds it to her ear. She then reaches up and… punches in my phone number ONTO THE COMPUTER KEYBOARD NUMBER PAD. I look at the screen and see on the input line that she has typed my phone number into the computer no less than SIX TIMES.)

Me: “Um, that’s not how you dial a phone.”

Trainee: “It’s not?”

Me: *mental facepalm* “Do you see how the handset is attached by a cord?”

Trainee: “Yes?”

Me: “What is it attached to?”

Trainee: “A phone?”

Me: “Yeeees. What’s on that phone?”

Trainee: “Buttons with numbers on them?”

Me: “Yeeees. Do you know what you do with those buttons with numbers on them?”

Trainee: “You push them?”

Me: “Yeeees.”

Trainee: “Oh! I understand!”

Me: *trying not claw my own face off and to remain polite and understanding* “Good. Now try again.”

(She got it right that time but was let go three weeks after starting because she was simply too incompetent to do the job. I tried telling her she wasn’t right for the job but she begged me for a chance and I gave it to her. When she was let go, I then got called in and fussed at for allowing a trainee I could see was CLEARLY incapable of doing the work, out onto the live dialing floor. I learned my lesson.)

Makes You Want To ‘Walk Out’

, | England, UK | Coworkers, Extra Stupid, Technology

(At weekends, I run the very small call centre for my workplace, usually just two people. This day, one of our newer members of staff is rota’d in with me. It’s worth noting she’s been in the industry nearly as long as I have, and is studying at university.)

Coworker: *on phone* “We don’t have any appointments for that time, but if you just come in we can see you as a walk-in.” *muffled reply* “Okay, so that will be 2.30 tomorrow, for a walk-in appointment.” *hangs up*

Me: *stares in abject horror*

Coworker: “[My Name], I think there’s something wrong with the system. It won’t let me book a walk-in appointment for tomorrow.”

(After twenty minutes of me trying to explain that a walk-in appointment can only be booked when a patient WALKS IN, I convinced a manager to take her off the phones, and never let her work them again. I’m still not sure she understands why.)

Depositing Some Intelligence

| San Antonio, TX, USA | Employees, Technology

(When I first got this job at the call center, I found out I’d be working for a bank. As employees, we get a few special benefits, like discounts on accounts opened with the bank, BUT, we are not allowed to even so much as look at our information (legal issues). To see what and when my direct deposit will be in my new account, I have to call customer service.)

Rep: “Thank you for calling [Bank]. This is [Rep]. How can I assist you today?”

Me: “Yeah, this is [Full Name], and I need to see when my direct deposit will go into my account, and how much it is going to be.”

(They take my account number and security details, before there is a long awkward pause.)

Rep: “Ma’am, I can’t seem to find where your direct deposit would be listed? I don’t think you can see it until it’s posted to your account.”

(I sit there, dumbfounded. I had learned how to do this simple look up during my first week of training.)

Me: “Sir, how long have you been working here?”

Rep: “Six months, ma’am.”

Me: “Okay, wow… Do you know what [Database] is?”

Rep: “Oh, yeah, of course! How do you know what that is?”

Me: “I work for the San Antonio center. Okay, I’m gonna walk you through this.” *I take them through the instructions* “Then tell me the amount on it, and the deposit date. Okay?”

Rep: “Okay, done. You will get [amount] on [Date] deposited into [account].”

Me: “Excellent, thank you.”

Rep: “Thank you, miss, and I do have one more question for you.”

Me: “Yeah?”

Rep: “If you knew how to do it, why didn’t you just look it up yourself?”

Me: “Oh, my f****** god. Bye!” *click*

Should Be Clean Of Windows

| Scotland, UK | Coworkers, Extra Stupid, Technology

(I work for a call center that gives technical support to people who have difficulty printing. This is one of the comments I hear from my coworker when he is trying to establish the compatibility with a device and the printer.)

Coworker: “So, what Windows edition do you have on your iPad?”

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