Customer who cannot understand me saying the word “before”

Obligatory “I’m on mobile so sorry for any formatting issues, spelling errors or grammar issues.

Anyway, this call took place around this time last year when I was working strictly day shifts instead of my usual overnight shifts. Because it’s day shift we obviously get a lot more calls then at night which also means we get a lot of older women who have a heard time hearing and understanding what we are saying unless we yell.

I answer the phone and it’s an older woman who right away had an issue hearing me so I just spoke louder, practically yelling as she could hear me other wise. She was asking how to use one of our styling products, specially one that you put on before you style to help reduce frizz. I try to explain that you put the product on before anything else but she could not understand the word “before.” Were gonna call her Linda for simplicity.

Linda: “bees? What I don’t want bees?!”

Me: “no, mam. I said before. B e f o r e.”

Linda: “What? Bells? What the hell are you taking about.” We we’re both getting frustrated at this point and I raised my voice just a little bit so she could hear me better, not because I was angry and wanted to yell at her for not understanding. She continues to not understand that one word for a good twenty minutes now and I’m honestly about to lose my mind, I can only explain something in so many ways and for so long.

Me: “I’m saying before, like in bingo B4!”

Linda: “I’m not playing bingo! What the hell is wrong with you.”

Me: “I’m just trying to explain it so you can understand what I’m saying.” I proceed to spell the word “b as in boy, e as in elephant, f as in frank, o as in ordinary, r as in Richard, e as in elephant” like I have done numerous times at this point.

Linda: “What the actual hell is wrong with you! I don’t want any of those things, I just want to know how to use this product and you wont tell me if I put it on before or after!”

Me: “mam, as I’ve been trying to tell you for the last thirty minutes you put it on before you style your hair.” I wasn’t trying to be rude or mean but I had a slight tone in my voice as I was very frustrated and I let my “customer service” voice drop. I know I was in the wrong for doing that.

Linda: “you’re horrible at your job! You should be fired! You can’t even explain something simple to a customer!” And she hangs up. I put my self on make busy so I don’t get another call and let out a very long sigh and just put my head down on my desk. My other coworkers heard my side of the call and asked what she said so I told them. They laughed and so did I as I had already calmed down and let it go. She called back a few minutes later and had the same issue with the other rep, resulting in her hanging up again.

I don’t know why after both of us spelled it out and explained it multiple times how she just couldn’t grasp what we were saying.

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