This story was originally posted on May 19, 2011.
Hey there all my fellow retail slaves out there in Retail Hell! Someone run me over with a Mack Truck and pin my fur to the wall already, tan my hide, I’M DONE!
Long time reader, first time poster (you’ve heard that before, right?).
After trying to think of some names for myself, I decided on BrianTheWerewolf, (BTW for short) simply because I used to be a call center slave and, heh, everything is better with werewolves (vampires suck..literally). Now then, after working in customer service, especially in call centers for over two and a half years, what on earth could drive me to finally post?
Perk your ears this year my retail hellions and I’ll let you in on the story.
First some background.
I worked for AT&T (don’t work there anymore so I don’t give a discount rat’s behind about naming them) and I worked for a company, with green flowers that links time together. At both I received death threats, sexual harassment (I’m a guy so it mostly the ladies who did it …they said it was the Southern accent (this is important later!)… never gonna happen ladies…sorry…this werewolf flies the bear pride flag… got cursed daily and treated like scum.
Now that we have had our heads primed, here's the first hell-story.
The day that this occurred on was a very good day and I raked in some pretty good sales, had a few laughs with my customers and helped a few people out with their bills.
Then SHE came on the phone…(cue low rumbling thunder and storm clouds)
… The call originally started with me talking to an older gentleman who, while seemingly concerned over his bill, was still very polite and well mannered. When he began to tell me what charges were in question, I hear the phone get ripped out of his hand and some shrieking that sounded vaguely like harpies on the rampage and then, there SHE was. She was one of those people who can never get enough credits and calls in month after month after month, and complains about EVERYTHING. If the complaining doesn’t work, she starts to bully the rep and if the rep doesn’t cave, she escalates to a manager, who often caves when she begins to bully them and thus she gets free money or service and the cycle repeats…
So I shall this fine specimen of a beastie “Credit Rat” or CR for short. Here’s how the call went down.
BTW: (warmly and politely—seriously, I did like my job and enjoyed it---) : “Thanks for calling ____________, my name is BTW, how can I help today?”
Old Nice Man: “Well, I was wondering if I could have you go over the bill with me here. There are some charges here that I don’t understand and need you to explain them to me…what’s this one for ESBI?”
(the moment he said ESBI, I knew they at least had third party billers billing them for some kind of service through their phone bill…I hate third party companies and go out of the way to make it difficult for them to bill my customers and get my customers credits back as much as possible so I make a note of it on my scratch pad).
BTW: “Well it sounds like you may have a third party biller on your statement. I do apologize for the confusion over that charge. Third parties companies are---
CR: (shrieking as if I can’t hear her): “ HELLO?!!”
BTW: (surprised and trying to recover from the sudden and hostile take over): “Ye—Yes, mam? Who am I speaking with?”
CR: (huffily): “You, sir are speaking with the account holder if you read your screen if you can read English. Do you read English?”
BTW: (tries to let the insult slide off): “I assure you, I can read English. (I say sickeningly politely)
The account holder is a Mr.______. Are you Mr.______?” (I did this to just get a stab back. I don’t like rude people and my tolerance for them is pretty low. Plus she was NOT the account holder.)
CR: (even more angry…as if I care? You practically assaulted your husband dumbass with a phone reciever!): “No, I’m not Mr.______. I’m his wife!What are you, stupid? And I want to talk to you about this bill. First, of all…
(WTF…Oh…hell no she did NOT. I wanted to stop her right there, but I resisted. I am a full time college student, psychology major. I am also a published author, a member of the Parapsychological Association, a member of the Institute of Noetic Sciences and soon to join the American Psychological Association as a student member…I’d like to think I have a modicum of intelligence in my furry little skull…she then goes and launches into a complete and solid diatribe and rattles all of the next part off without breathing. How she didn’t pass out I’m not sure and here I am still trying to take notes as fast as possible while hoping an anvil falls on her head quickly….)
CR: (still pissed and very condescending, entitled): “….first of all, why is my “Local and Options services 29.99? I want it all removed right now. I never asked for any of that. What is this “ call waiting?” Who the hell needs “call waiting”?! Secondly, my Internet bill is too high. Its 14.99. That’s so ridiculous it isn’t even funny. I want to look at that closer and you will have to credit some of those charges. Oh, and DISH network, my God, they are just the the pits, just horrible, bad customer service, they show Gunsmoke on this channel every day for days on end and that’s all it is. I want a refund for that as well. What are these taxes? The taxes are too high, I’ve been a customer for thirty years and your taxes are horrendous, my God what are you trying to do, rob me? Credit these taxes off, I’m not paying them. I’m a valued customer!”
(meanwhile my little wolfy self is trying to write all this down, my pen flying nine million miles an hour, even in shorthand and trying to bite my tongue and not tell her off flat out).
BTW: (taking a deep breath and plunging in like a fool): “So, just to make sure we are on the same page, you have an issue with your monthly services, with your price for internet, with the programming that DISH network has and with your government fees and taxes? Is that correct?”
CR: (mocking my accent deliberately…she was from Connecticut so she had a distinct northern accent that suddenly vanished and she sounded like Jethro, speaking slowly as if what she was saying was quantum physics being explained to a kindergartener): “That-is-what-I-just-said-okay. Did you un-der-stand me?”
BTW: (wondering why someone hasn’t yet assassinated this worthless sack passing for a human being and contemplating how often her husband must think of offing himself or divorcing her)(still professionally polite): “Great, I’ve got everything then. Well, I’m sorry that your bill seems to be so messed up for you. I’ll be happy to review the bills with you in full so we can get this resolved for you today, okay?”
CR: (aside to her husband presumably who was probably wishing to just vanish): “All those damn foriegners and stupid people, always messing up our bill. You just have to tell them straight. I know you and I put those ESBI charges on there from the computer but they don’t have to know that.” (she was apparently under the impression of several wrong conceptions…one, that people from Tennessee are stupid, two, that Tennessee is a foreign country, and three that I could not hear her..trust me folks, our headsets are some of the best…we can hear mouse fart sideways in the wind and when you think your on a silent hold, you arent. WE CAN HEAR YOU!…some one failed world geography, wheee!!!)
...to be continued...