I use to work in a call center for a large computer/software company. Employees would call if they had an issue with the time entry system or payroll questions. In this story it was the wife of an employee who called with questions about her husband’s paycheck. She will be known as HW (housewife).
Me: Thank you for calling *** today. This is cspot. How may I help you?
HW: I just got my husband’s paycheck and it looks short. I need you to look into this.
I did the usual verification and pulled up the husband’s account and pay stubs. The first thing that I noticed was the size of the check. It was almost $35k. At that company we got paid twice a month, so the dude was making over $800k a year.
Me: Ma’am, the check appears to be for the correct amount. What issue are you seeing with it?
HW: The amount us all wrong. It’s less than the check we received earlier this month.
I looked at both pay stubs and I did see a difference.
Me: Ma’am, I see a difference of 5 cents. Is that what you’re referring to?
HW: Yes, of course it is. Why is the check I received today short?
Me: The 5 cent difference in the check is due to the way the company distributes funds. Instead of 24 even checks every other check will be for 5 cents more. I’m not exactly sure why it’s done that way, but every employee’s check will either end with a 0 or a 5.
HW: That doesn’t make any sense. I want my 5 cents.
Me: I’ve gone through the last two years of your husband’s pay stubs and they are all correct. I can see that the value of every other paycheck changes by 5 cents.
HW: You’re wrong.
Me: I assure you ma’am that I am not. I’ve also added all 24 checks up and they equal your husband’s annual salary.
HW: That can’t possibly be true. I want my 5 cents.
Me: If you have the pay stubs you can verify what I’m telling you.
HW: Who keeps those things? What possible reason would I habe for keeping them.
Me: A situation like this is a possible reason.
HW: Just give me my 5 cents.
Me: Ma’am, your husband is not owed 5 cents. I’d be happy to mail copies of his pay stubs to you, so that you can see exactly what I’m looking at.
HW: No! All I want is my goddamn 5 cents!
At this point I realized that I had been on the phone with HW for over 10 minutes and my patience was running low. I had already given my two weeks notice, but I didn’t see that as an excuse to be rude to people. However, it wasn’t lost on me how much time I’ve wasted over 5 cents. I took a deep breath and continued trying to explain why her husband’s paycheck was correct. After several more minutes she had become increasingly belligerent and my patience was gone.
HW: Send me the fucking 5 cents or I’ll have your job!
Me: Ma’am, you’re welcome to my job, but in the meantime if I promise to send you a nickle out of my own pocket will you hang up the phone right now?
Without another word she hung up the phone. I never sent her the pay stubs or the 5 cents. I also never heard about any complaints from boss. Even though I have very little pity for the people making over $800k a year I would have fixed the problem had there been one.