Newbie Hell: Techtyger's Double Nightmare On the First Day of a New Job



Referring to made me think of my first day at my new job, and the reply ended up being long enough for a submission, so... :P 
The first day I was on the phones by myself at my current job, my very first call was one of our worst repeat customers. No patience, barks a phone number at you and expects you to know which of the 22 different stores that comes up with it is, etc. 

My LAST call of the day was the other repeat offender, who is all sweet and happy until you tell her she can't have something she wants. Then out comes Satan's wife...

All on my first day by myself. :P Fortunately they were reasonably simple problems I could handle myself, aside from her wanting me to pull my magic wand out of my ass and do something we specifically can't do. 
The last time I talked to her, she had a problem where she was supplying credit terminals to what appeared to be a major tennis tournament in a nearby city, and they were having a problem where the terminals were batching out automatically, and not waiting for tips to be added. The reason for that? The front end bank can't handle batches larger than 999 transactions, so the software dumps it when it hits that to prevent overloading and corrupting the transactions. 

This was happening 5-6 times a day. In each of the 15 restaurants. That each had between 3 and 6 terminals... ALL of them were doing it. I later did some figgerin' and figured out that that was around 100k transactions a day... Unfortunately, it was a limitation of the bank itself; nothing we could do. I offered to and did conference her with the bank, and the level 3 tech support (Unicorns are less rare than that...) told her that yeah, he could disable the limit... but for every transaction over 999, there was a bigger and bigger chance that it'd fuxxor8 the whole batch and lose everything. Starting at about 95% and going up from there. She spluttered a bit, and he suggested the same thing I'd said half an hour earlier, do the tips at the time, rather than waiting, so they'd only lose the last few tips in each batch and have to have them manually entered. So for the rest of the week we got snippy little emails about 'these transactions need tips'... and because of the volume (ie money) coming in from it, they bypassed all the usual 'verify this sheet, sign this legal release so we can pretend to be you' stuff, and management did every one of the transactions... 



TechTyger's 4th of July Weekend Hell Caused By Ill-Prepared Firework Stand Owners




From TechTyger:

The credit card processing company I work for has cellular modems that include encryption and such to allow credit cards to be run through registers with no land line connections. Our biggest customers for them are seasonal businesses, like firework stands. It's Saturday, July 2nd, and I've just had several people call and bitch at me because they didn't contact us to have their seasonal accounts reopened, and the people who can do it are not available on this holiday weekend for some reason. 
There are three occasions a year where firework stands make most of their money, New Year's, xmas, and The Fourth Of July. It's not like it sneaks up on you, the date is right there in the name! How is it my fault you waited until the last possible second to test the thing that allows you to make money? We have limited access to the stuff at the best of times, and this is not only a weekend, but a holiday weekend, so how is it my fault you didn't allow for problems? You've had an entire year to plan for this, and you failed... 




Waiter Attempts to Save Lobster's Life



 GrandOpening's story here reminded me of one... 

Went on a not-date with a friend; we flipped, I bought dinner and she paid for the movie (Red Lobster, and Catwoman. I didn't pay for it and I wanted my money back...). As we were coming out of Red Lobster, past the live lobster tank they used to have in the lobby, I noticed one wasn't moving, and pointed it out to a waiter in the lobby.
He gets a look of horror on his face, and yells "Pinchy! Nooooo!" and rushes over, pulling the dead bug out of the tank, and starts trying to give it CPR. Squeezing it's thorax and saying "Live, Pinchy! Live!" 
Definitely the highlight of the evening, I tipped him five bucks... 



Doofus of the Unspecified Time Period: Acronyms And Lingo

TechTyger had a website (known as The Doofus of the Unspecified Time Period) where he posted stories from Call Center Hell. At our encouragement, he's submitting his stories for RHU's enjoyment!

From: TechTyger

Sadly, that's all of the stories. Here's the last thing I haven't sent.
Tech Support acronyms and lingo: 
MCSE Minesweeper Certified Solitare Engineer
Must Consult Someone Else
BKA Brain to Keyboard Adapter, ie 'user'.
India Delta One Zero Tango error Translates as ID10T, ie 'user'.
Loose connection between
seat and keyboard
Gazinta Plug or socket, or receptacle of some sort. 
The plug from your headset goes into the gazinta.
IUHC Insufficient User Head Capacity


Doofus of the Unspecified Time Period: Why Are You Censoring Me?

TechTyger had a website (known as The Doofus of the Unspecified Time Period) where he posted stories from Call Center Hell. At our encouragement, he's submitting his stories for RHU's enjoyment! We've now progressed to the AOL Years.

TECHTYGERFrom: TechTyger

This bozo. Furrfu. It isn't an AOLuser but it sure has the personality.

Ima Dumbass: "I'm Ima Dumbass and I send a lot of mail to people," (for some stupid newsletter thing that nobody probably wants anyway) "and I'd like to know why AOL is censoring me."

TechTyger: "AOL isn't. It doesn't do that. Why do you think it is?"

Ima Dumbass: "My emails are being returned with 'mailer daemon' errors."

TechTyger: "Ok, that's not censorship, that's a problem with the mail. Probably because you send a lot of it at once, AOL will block an address if it sends a large amount of email at once. To fix the problem go to the website and follow the directions there."

Ima Dumbass: "I want to talk to your postmaster department directly about this censorship."

TechTyger: "It isn't censorship, and we don't have a phone number for them." But, if you're not a dumbass, you can find one. But if you're really not a dumbass, you don't need one. "All you need to do is follow the directions on the website and they can add you to the whitelist so you don't get blocked."

We go around this ring a couple more times, then it starts with, "I'm going to call my friends in DC and tell them --"

[Click]. I hang up on it. It isn't an AOL user. It's been given the information that it needs; it wants to whine about it. It's an idiot, not being able to tell the difference between 'your content is objectionable' and 'you're a spammer'. And it tries the argument from authority and to threaten me at the same time.

It felt wonderful to hang up on that asshole.



Doofus of the Unspecified Time Period: You Have To Fix It Even Though It's Not Your Company!

TechTyger had a website (known as The Doofus of the Unspecified Time Period) where he posted stories from Call Center Hell. At our encouragement, he's submitting his stories for RHU's enjoyment! We've now progressed to the AOL Years.

TECHTYGERFrom: TechTyger

Look, I understand that AOL is your entire world and if your AOL isn't working, then you don't exist. It's stupid, but I can understand it. But if the phone company cuts your phone off for you not paying your bill, you not being able to connect to AOL has nothing to do with AOL. I don't care if you ordered it through AOL. It comes from the phone company. And if you don't pay for it, they take it away from you.

Customer: "Then you have to call them and have them turn it back on! It's your responsibility!"

TechTyger: "Sorry, sir. We only handle the AOL software. You are responsible for maintaining your equipment and for the functioning of your non-AOL connection. You will need--"

It interrupts and goes back into how it's AOL's fault that he didn't pay his bill and it's AOL's fault that his connection isn't working because he ordered the DSL connection through AOL and we didn't tell him that he'd have to pay the phone company for it and wah waah waah. He knows it's SBC DSL and phone service because he told me to begin with, as in, "SBC turned off my phone because I didn't pay my bill. I want you to turn it back on."

Actually, yes, they did. Sit Useless By Phone has a setup where they can order connections for people through the phone company's systems, but it is made very clear to them in a recorded announcement that they have to listen to and press a button to indicate their acceptance of that it is not in any way an AOL connection. The box that they get says 'SBC' or 'Bell South' or 'Verizon' on it, not AOL.

We go around this circle three or four more times and now he wants a supervisor. My supervisor has gone home sick for the day, and I wouldn't bother him with this anyway.

Custy phone 2So, "No. My supervisor is not available and would do you no good anyway, as the problem is not with the AOL software. You need to get the connection working--" It interrupts again and starts trying to threaten me about how it'll cancel if we don't fix its problem.

TechTyger: "Sure. Would you like me to transfer you over now?"

Customer: "No! I want you to fix the problem like I pay you a lot of money for!"

TechTyger: "Actually, you're paying SBC the money, or you were until you stopped paying them. Your problem is not with AOL--" It tries to interrupt again at this point. I just ride it down,"Your problem is with your phone line which you told me is not working because you haven't paid your bill. Since AOL has nothing to do with SBC, you will need to talk to SBC to get it fixed. Unfortunately I don't have a phone number for them. Would you like to call them, or would you like to talk to the cancellation department?"

Incoherent sputtering... Silence. Click.

Happiness. Another AOLuser gets what it deserves, even if it's not what it wanted.