I need an ivy league phone monkey, stat!

I’m still in call centers, but in a very different field from the one I started in. I find it impossible to feel intimidated by my new day to day, though, when I think back to my very first call at my very first call center:

I started on phone work with a company that sold third party contracts to major US companies. This meant there was a 1/3 chance I’d end up doing tech support for tax software, online banking for a well-known veteran’s bank, or selling computers and phones for a popular electronics retailer. Since I could explain what a cookie was and how to connect a router in my interview, I ended up in that last group.

The real problem with our contract with Good Purchase was that they publicized the phone number to our team–a sales line–as their general “we’ve got the answer!” line. This meant a lot of tech support questions from people who thought they’d called Nerd Crew, or from people who didn’t want to pay Nerd Crew to fix their computers. My first caller was one of these.

He’d bought a “new” computer, only to find it wasn’t running as well as he’d hoped. I discovered quickly the difference between “new” and “new to me”–it was an ancient Dell desktop that had come out in the range just after my first computer. Eight years before. At this point, I recommended more RAM, because the specs said he could expand a little, but I explained that not only was the type he needed so old that Good Purchase didn’t sell it, this would be a stopgap that possibly extended the life of a very old, very obsolete computer perhaps another six months. It was suggesting he save the money and buy a new device that broke the membrane of civility in him and let the pus of his real self out.

C: I want to talk to someone else. Anyone else.

Me: Why?

C: Because I do. Get someone else on the line now.

Me: Okay. I have to ask why, though, since my supervisor won’t take the call without a reason.

C: It doesn’t matter to you. Hey, I want to ask you a question, though.

Me: Yes?

C: Did you graduate from an accredited four year university?

Me: Er, yes, but personal questions–

C: Because you sound like you went to fucking clown college.

At the time I was too stunned to laugh, and it took a little bit of time to get over the nerves after that, but now I wish I could demand satisfaction for professor McDonald’s reputation; my certificate says I’m perfectly qualifies to flip those burgers, thanks!

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Calling people stupid apparently makes them apologise?

But you called me….