This is a story that happened a while ago, but I just recently remembered it. This is one of those times that I think back to when I need a little pick me up because it never fails to make me smile.
I work at an emergency roadside service hotline, the kind of place people call when they’re broken down on the roadside. We also provide service to people at their homes, for example of someone needs a tow from their home to a garage we’ll send someone to help them. But those are low priority calls, meaning if someone on the roadside places a request after someone at home does, we prioritize the person on the roadside since their the ones who could be in a dangerous situation. As such home calls routinely get their ETAs extended if the area they’re in happens to be busy.
Caller at a home address calls in, he’s upset because his ETA got extended, he’d placed his request earlier in the day but his area had a lot of highway breakdowns in it so there contractor had to take care of those first.
Caller: This is unacceptable, I called for service hours ago! It should not take this long to get a tow truck to me.
Me: I apologize for the inconvenience, the area your in is just busy at the moment. We have people in priority situations that we need to attend to first. I assure you you will get a tow truck today.
Caller: How long is that going to take? Hours? I can’t wait that long.
Me: it will not take hours. I can see here that your current ETA is for 7PM, you’ll likely see the driver before then. (Sidenote: at was about 6PM when we were talking)
Caller: but I’ve already been waiting 3 hours! Now you want too make it four? What company is this driver coming from anyway?
Me: we gave this call to Contractor A, I assure you that they will get there fairly soon. I can see that they do have a driver en route now, they’ll likely get to you long before 7.
Caller: why didn’t you get Contractor B to do this tow? I know their not busy now, I see trucks in their yard. They could probably get here in 20 minutes.
Me: that’s simply not true sir. Contractor B is also busy with other calls we have given them. They’ve been giving us hours long ETAs as well, so I doubt they can get to you in 20 minutes. They may have trucks in their yard but theirs no one left to drive them. It’s common for tow companies to have spare trucks in case one of theirs breaks down, that’s likely what you’re seeing.
Caller: I just don’t believe that, give my call to Contractor B I know they can do it promptly.
Me: if we diapatch your call to Contractor B you’ll be at the bottom of their wait list, your better off sticking with Contractor A since they already have a driver en route.
Caller: Well I guess I’ll call Contractor A myself and give them a piece of my mind. Click
A short while later, we get a call from Contractor A. Apparently, this dude made good on his promise to call them and give them a piece of his mind. He must have really hurled some abuse at them, because they were now refusing to do the service. That driver who was on the way to the caller got rerouted to their next call when he was 10 minutes away. So we were forced to re-dispatch the call and dude got what he wanted in the end, Contractor B had his service call. They gave a 3 hour ETA.