Saturday, May 10, 2008


It's funny how when somebody gets angry, they’ll continue being angry with other people until they completely let it out. Or at least some people work like that. Rational people will dissolve the anger in some positive way, like evaporating negative thoughts or calming themselves.

When somebody is angry with an event linked to their credit card, and they’re also irrational, they’ll fuel their anger (with whatever misguided intention) by posing some retarded rebuttal against every logical remark I make. For example, aujourd’hui I answered the call of a very disgruntled customer who was told her card was declined. Well, actually the machine gave some indecipherable code that she assumed meant “delined”, but this was only revealed once I checked the recent activity and failed to see a record of any charge.

She said she used another card of ours and everything went through perfectly fine. I checked it and verified that that was true (I can see a charge before the merchant can even verify that if it’s approved, and our system is eerily 100% accurate), so it became evident that one of two scenarios have come into play; either the first swipe was a fluke and didn’t get read or the strip has become demagnetized.

Now, if the case was that it was just a fluke, why had she not rerun it and tried a second time? Why would she just assume, “Oh, this card isn’t working, Goddammit, now I have to use another card!” Why? Why?! I’ve swiped my credit cards before, and there have been instances where the first time I swipe it, it doesn’t go through. Do you know what I do? I swipe it again, at a different pace, and it works that time. Wow!

But aside from that, after I explained to her the two possible reasons why the card did not work, she irrelevantly noted that she’s only had the card for a month. OK, but again, this is more likely what’s happened. She blindly responds that the card is in her pocket, it’s not stolen.

“Well, I didn’t say it was… I’m not sure if you understand, either the machine misread it or the stripe has become demagnetized. Of course, we have no reason to decline you,” I told her.

“Oh, OK,” she said almost to my relief, until she made the obscure comment, “but the card isn’t cracked or anything.” Has she ever looked at the back of a credit card? Does she not know there’s a magnetic stripe? Then why doesn’t she understand that that’s what I’m referring to, I don’t literally mean the card is damaged like it’s gotten caught in a bike spoke. I would be so bold as to say she’s not an idiot, she just let her fury get in the way of her logic, as it will inevitably do, but then I guess that very defective trait is what makes her an idiot.

(Shaking my head.) Idiot.

Sunday, October 21, 2007

Frankfart, Doucheland

Today a customer called and said he wanted to book a hotel. I asked him if he didn't mind holding a minute while I transferred him to our travel services. He said, "Well, actually, yeah, if it's gonna be longer than a minute, then I'm just going to hang up."

WTF? He can't afford to wait to be transferred for a single minute, but he plans on sitting down and going through the elaborate process of making a hotel reservation?

"Sir," I said, "that really won't be necessary," and I sent him on his way. What a douche.

Sunday, October 14, 2007

So what you're saying is I'm a fucking retard?

Sometimes the things these customers say to me are so aggravating I would not be able to fight the impulse to hurt them if they ever said it to my face. For example, today for some reason I'm being forced to communicate with complete idiots who sound like they might actually be let down if I tell them that whatever it is they want to do can actually be done! I never understood those type of people (then again, I never understand why any of these rude assholes are the way they are), the type who want to have something done, ask if it can be done, and complain about not being able to do it right in the face of someone who just told them they could.

To be more specific, I just spoke to someone who asked if they could make a payment. I said, "Sure, all we need is your bank info." I'm sure anyone reading this who happens to have a brain will think, Well, logically, the statement that would follow should go something like, "Great, let me give you that information." Right?

Actually, what this particular idiot said--frantically--was, "So what you're saying is I can't make a payment?!?" Sound crazy? Not only is it not crazy, it's not unusual! It would seem that people call and anticipate being told they can't do something no matter what they actually hear every Goddamn day. For you slow folks who call me and do this, that means you completely ignore me, wait for me to stop talking, and get ready to do your whole spiel about how what you want can't be done. It also means your parents long forgot their "Teach My Kids Respect" lesson plan.

Earlier than that call, I had another customer who wanted to get some cash. I said, "Sure, all we need to know is such-and-such information."
"So what you're saying is I can't get any cash?!? What's the point of doing business with you people? Blah blah blah!!!" And so it goes on in an angry tirade that I just wait to end so I can repeat myself. For some reason, this time, they behave as if I said something different and we can finally get on with our lives.


Friday, July 6, 2007

Massacring A Horse Graveyard

Please just answer the question!
"Can I please have your first and last name?"
"Yeah, the call is for Sandra O'Day, that's my wife."
"Oh, okay, and can I please have your first and last name?"
Slowly: "Sandra... O'Day. That's my wife."
"I know, and thank you, but I really just need your first and last name, please."
"Yeah, I'm just calling for my wife, Sandra O'Day, she wants to know..."

I need to know with whom I'm speaking so I know how much I can and can't tell them, and sometimes I explain this, but it doesn't really matter. You're just going to go on and repeat the same sentence over and over again until someone tells you in a polite baby voice, "Okay! I guessed everything you needed done and I did it!!!"

For instance, a customer will most likely always be told they need to present their question to another one of our dreaded departments, but they will fail to ever accept this. I think a lot of people loathe being transferred but need to realize that, naturally, the more convoluted a company's reach and capabilities get, the more departments there are going to be. Also, because most people only think about themselves (because it's human nature and American splendor, that Narcissism), they don't take the time to consider that logically one telephone representative cannot be in the billing department, a travel agent, an insurance agent, and in the fraud department all at the same time. If you can't understand that, then the mathematical formula 1+1=2 might seem pretty silly to you.

Here's where the confusion will arise when you neglect to think outside of your needs:
"Well, our Such-and-Such Department can fix exactly that for you. Do you mind holding while I transfer you to them?"
"Well, I'm just calling because such-and-such happened to me, I need such-and-such done, I don't understand why I had to such-and-such."
"Yeah, I know, that's why I'm saying, do you mind holding while I transfer you to Such-and-Such Department?"
"I just need to have such-and-such done, I don't understand why I need to such-and-such..."
And the call goes on for quite some time before they finally realize that I'm actually offering to help them. This is no exaggeration, and by no stretch of the imagination happens more often than not. It sounds hyperbolic, but I do even come across situations where I can never get a customer to acknowledge what I'm trying to do for them, so I have to at some point cut them off and transfer the call right through, though I imagine they'll be disoriented at a new voice coming on and asking how they can help. And I'm sure they'll hear nothing said to them even then as they blindly repeat themselves, until they hear a "DING!", like a timer in an old oven, when someone says, "Okay! I guessed everything you needed done and I did it!!!"

Thursday, June 14, 2007

Beating A Dead Horse With A Horse You've Already Beaten To Death

Repetition. Repetition. Repetition. Repetition. Repetition. Repetition. Repetition. Repetition. Repetition. Repetition.

I've come to understand that when anyone is upset or disturbed about an incident, they like to repeat the story at least 3 times. No matter how convoluted and complicated the story is, almost everyone will go over it thrice. And I accept this; once I see that there is some consistency to the way clients behave, I don't hold it against them. Why be upset over the way humans are designed to react?

But some go for the overkill, repeating the story seemingly to no end. For example, I spoke with a woman who was upset with a mutual client and told the story 12 times. I counted. The call lasted half an hour, which is 15x longer than the average 2 minute call. I didn't have to do anything to help her, she didn't have any questions, and the call ended where it began. Nothing accomplished because nothing needed to be.

Now, I'll lend a sympathetic ear, but going over a story 12 times is completely unwarranted, unnecessary, and unproductive. Customers don't even realize how unproductive they are and how they restrict the progress of resolving their own conflicts.

I couldn't understand what it was this woman wanted me to do, so after enough empathy was expressed, I asked her. And I asked her again. And then, again. Every time I asked her what she wanted, what she needed to feel better (over something beyond both our control to begin with), she would only respond with a scattered response, mixing vague and common phrases with her story until she could segue back into the sequence of events again. And I've been through worse! I once spoke with a woman for 2 1/2 hours about NOTHING. I thought I was never going to get out of that one, but by some miracle she grew tired of hearing herself drill a trivial issue into my head.

It's not the crazies, though there are plenty of those: the guy whose dad is always just having died, the guy who calls and talks about nothing but wrestling for 20 minutes, the guy who calls and asks random questions like, "Who invented the credit card?", but asks nothing about his business with us. But it's not the crazies who repeat stories over and over again, these are just regular people. And they're retarded. And you're probably one of them.

So if you call any customer service, and you have an issue:
1) There is no need to repeat your story a million times; if I got it the first time, it wouldn't make sense that after repeating it 10 more times, I just won't get it anymore.
2) There is also no need to repeat your story a million times; if I got it the first time, it wouldn't make sense that after repeating it 10 more times, I just won't get it anymore.
3) There isn't any need to repeat your story a million times; if I got it the first time, it wouldn't make sense that after repeating it 10 more times, I just won't get it anymore.
4) There is even no need to repeat your story a million times; if I got it the first time, it wouldn't make sense that after repeating it 10 more times, I just won't get it anymore.
5) Lastly, there is no need to repeat your story a million times; if I got it the first time, it wouldn't make sense that after repeating it 10 more times, I just won't get it anymore.

Do I have to repeat myself?

Wednesday, June 13, 2007

Let's Get Retarded In Here

To kick this thing off, I'll begin by expressing how disheartening it has been to realize that almost everybody in America these days is without manners. Before I began working in customer service, I figured most people in this country were probably like me: very courteous, raised to respect everyone, and civil in their discourse. After having been doing it for 2 years, I have lost all faith in the upbringing of at least the last 3 generations of Americans.

Not everybody is a hothead. Not everyone I talk to is argumentative and unpleasant. For the most part, people are nice, but it is such a poor reflection on them when their manners have diminished to almost completely nothing.

Some of you may have long suspected that this has become the case just in dealing with people you interact with in public everyday. But how many of you have the opportunity to work 60 hours a week taking call after call after call, speaking with people from random cities all over the country? It is when you experience this kind of constant interaction with today's brightest and crudest that you will confirm that it is indeed the case that Americans are mannerless.

"Do you mind holding?" I was surprised to find out that most people ignore me when I ask this. They don't have to respond, the little servant should go and do as I say, I talk to you when I chose to. Which reminds me, many people don't ask for me to do things either, they command that I do them. Why complain so much about the new voice response system when you only treat me like a robot, anyway? I have flesh over the blood that runs through me, you know, so throw "please" somewhere in there.

Why do I answer the phone, refreshed and ready to approach you with peace, only to be greeted with animosity? Oh, I've been cursed at, wished to be dead or put in jail, and more--and I don't even know who you are nor what's going on yet! What kind of awful person do you have to be to speak to some unrelated person with such passionate hate and venomous disdain? You may respond, "Hey, you're supposed to represent the company!" To that, I reply, What kind of awful person do you have to be to speak to some unrelated person with such passionate hate and venomous disdain? Whatever the problem is, I bleed and breathe like you, so treat me like a human being. What kind of person do you have to be to unload all the shit in your life on an innocent stranger? A monster.

The list goes on--and on... But the post is already getting too lengthy and I feel I've made it clear that for the most part, Americans lack respect for everyone and expect everything back from them. And I say it's at least apparent in the last 3 generations because I come across the same thing from the youngest, to the older, to the elderly (who are already notoriously rude people). If the 2 of you out there who are reading this understand how lackluster our signs of respect and dignity have become, please stop calling, yelling at me, and cursing me out! I don't know who the fuck you are, and if you saw me on the street, I'd kill you.

Mind your damn manners!