Kansas City Bastards

On the Front Lines: The Call Center, Part Deux

by on Jul.06, 2010, under Blogs, On the Front Lines

As promised, the next ingredient in the day job shit sandwich is the callers.  They come in a few different varieties:

Normal People – these people legitimately have a problem and are willing to work with the representative.  Quite rare.

The Entitled – this brand of caller typically beings with “You need to help me [insert thing they fucked up on their own here].”  From there, if you tell them that even one ounce of effort needs to be put forth on their end, they are unhappy.  These are the kinds of people that would get pissed off at the stock boy at a grocery store, after he’s shown them exactly where an item is, for not putting the item in their cart and then paying for their entire purchase.

The Neurotic – these overly nervous types don’t want a single thing to go wrong and they want to tell you why, then consistently interrupt any instruction one would give them as they remind you exactly why they don’t want anything to go wrong.  A typical exchange goes this way:

REPRESENTATIVE:  Ok, I see what the problem is – it’s easy to fix, you just need to [insert action] first, then –

CALLER:  I don’t want to mess anything up – what do I need to do?  Help me!

REPRESENTATIVE:  You just need to [insert first action], then [insert second action] – when you get to [point in process], then finish it by –

CALLER:  [insert their culture’s version of “Sweet Fucking Christ”], why does this have to be so difficult?  I don’t want to mess anything up, since [reason].  What do I do?  HELP ME!

The Neurotic Entitled – admittedly rare, these beasts are a combination of the above.  Tread carefully.

The “I ALREADY TRIED THAT AND IT DIDN’T WORK” – whatever the process that’s being explained, these assholes will interrupt the representative in the middle of the first step to say they “tried it and it didn’t work.”  One literally has to spend several minutes convincing these people to do what is going to fix their problem.  Usually more time is spent debating whether they should follow the steps than actually following the steps.  I’ll give you three guesses as to whether they had actually tried the steps or not.

The Word Player – this caller will attempt to get a representative to circumvent policies by attempting to use the Jedi Mind Trick.  An example:

REPRESENTATIVE:  I can’t help you access anyone else’s information.

CALLER:  I’m not asking you to help me access it, I just want you to give me the steps I need to obtain the information I desire.

From there, I wish I could just tell them that sticking feathers up their ass does not make them a Jedi and call it a day.  As it stood in that case, at least I was within my bounds to tell them that clever wordplay doesn’t make something any less illegal.  It wasn’t even that clever, but I figured I didn’t need to fight that fight.

The Scrabble Winners – in an effort not to make themselves feel like complete idiots for failing at a simple task, these people will use as many big words as possible (incorrectly at that) to try to trick the representative into thinking they’re smart.  They really love to explain their thought processes leading up to them fucking things up.

The Dense – if you tell one of these people that you need a piece of information to access their account and find out what is going wrong, they will counter with, “should I give that to you now?”  No, caller, you should give that to me in a half hour, long after I can do you any good.  Using the grocery store example from before:  I wonder if, when the cashier tells them their total at the grocery store, they ask the same question.  Then ask if they should take their change.  Then ask if they should bring their groceries with them when they leave.

The Stallers – these people are usually experiencing some sort of technical problem, and inevitably exit out of the program or turn off their computer before they call.  When you are informed of this and try to get off the phone since there’s nothing you can do for them for a solid ten minutes anyway, they’ll ask a series of completely unrelated questions whilst praying to their god that whatever technical problem clears up before you have an excuse to hang up… because the zero second waiting time is too much for them, so they’d rather waste your time.  Sons of bitches.

Of course, in all of these different varieties, you have two variations – average intelligence, and dumb as a sack of hammers.  The most common variation of any is the latter.

Well, that’s about all the information I can give without violating some sort of ethics policy, so until next time be mindful of the Bastards’ golden rule – don’t be a dick, be a bastard.


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