Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Ranty McRanterson

A few days ago I threw down my headset and said aloud to my workmates that I have no idea why I work in customer service any more. Because people just GIVE ME THE SHITS.

I don’t know if it’s because I’m getting older, or whether I have just had too many years in this industry, but it seems to me that people are getting ruder. I feel like I’m a complete whinger every day when I say to my collegues how much I hate impoliteness. And I think I have blogged before about my incredulity at the way that business owners speak to other businesses. Not even a skerrick of professionalism sometimes. I’ve heard grown men resort to name-calling when they get upset about something.

Here’s how a typical phone conversation goes at my work these days. It should demonstrate why my “Urge to Kill” meter is constantly rising.

Me: Thank-you for calling X Company Accounts, you’re speaking w-
Them: Yeah you sent me an invoice.
Me: Ok do you have a query about it or are you wanting to p-
Them: Yeah you’ve charged me the wrong amount. I’m not paying this.
Me: May I have you account number pl-
Them: 123456789 (delivered at machine gun rapid pace) and I want this fixed now.
Me: Can you please repeat that numb-
Them: 1-2-3-4-5-6-7-8-9 (delivered slowly, as if speaking to a child)
Me: Thank you, what I’m going to do is put you through to your account manag-
Them: Ok I’ll wait but it better not be long.
Me: (pause) The person you need to speak to is on the phone at the moment, would you like to hold for them or would you pref-
Them: Yes
Me: So would you like to hold for them or prefer a ret-
Them: Yes I will
Me: So which of those two options do you choose?
Them: What options?
Me: Hold OR a return call.
Them: Hold! Are you deaf?

Can you see how frustrating it is? I literally cannot finish a sentence. I’m CONSTANTLY interrupted and by people who NEVER introduce themselves. I get maybe one call a day where the person gets all three magical introduction points right – “Hello my name is X and I’m calling from Y about Z”.

So now when I’m interrupted on the phone I just keep talking. I finish the sentence I was saying, over the top of the customer if they are waffling on. Call me stubborn or bull-headed or just stupid, but I vainly hope this makes the person realize just how rude they are being.

The other work thing that irks me lately is the stupid names. As in, the stupid names people have and the dumb things they name their businesses. This morning I spoke to a lady named Petal. I made her spell it for me, just in case I was hearing incorrectly (whenever people do actually bother to introduce themselves it sounds like “Yeah this is Krihvoznmrew… “ because they MUMBLE). And I kind of wish I’d kept a list of all the idiotic businesses that we deal with, that have those silly spellings like Nootech or Hi-bryte. But those that amuse/annoy me most are the small concerns that mash the husband and wife’s names together. Like “Denchard Holdings” or “Chervid Racing”.

And some days getting information is like getting blood from a stone. I literally feel like I’m pulling teeth. Some people like to tell a story about all these amazing/strange/horrible things that have happened leading up to the phone call. And then they just trail off uncertainly, waiting for you to do something. I usually end up having to ask them directly exactly what the reason for their call is. And they seem surprised, like I should have known. This is the point where I usually mute the call and scream towards the ceiling  “I’M SORRY MY CRYSTAL BALL IS BROKEN TODAY!”

Ok. Rant over. I gotta get out of this place. If it’s the last thing I ever do.


  1. I totally get this. These types of jobs get you down after a while.

    I try really hard to be polite when calling places, at least to start with. It's only right to give people the opportunity to represent their company and be lovely and polite back. Most of the time it works.

  2. People think they are being so clever when they give names or account numbers at a super-fast pace, knowing you won't be able to understand it. But it's not clever. It's just rude. And childish. And helps no one. I used to get this all the time when I worked in telemarketing!



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