Because of my voice, I must be on a powerplay


In break mode furiously smoking a cigarette. I work for a state pandemic unemployment program as a level one rep. There are specific instances when we are allowed to transfer to a specialist, otherwise we are supposed to assist with the claims ourselves.

So I get a call from a woman immediately demanding to be transferred to a specialist. Cue eyeroll + internal groan. I try to decipher what’s going on, but the claimant is just agitated and wants to rant. Ok whatever, I let her rant.

The claimant keeps talking about how they have a heart condition and a doctors appointment and they don’t need their time wasted. Cool, me neither, so I try to diagnose the issue. I make the mistake of using the phrase “knitty gritty”, which incenses the woman because she doesn’t know what it means. I rephrase and she humbly lets me know she HaS a MaStErS dEgReE. She also makes sure to mention that customer service today is not up to par and that she was a customer service rep in the 80s. Eyeroll intensifies.

Throughout this ordeal she keeps bringing up how people don’t want to help her because of how she sounds/talks. In my head I was just thinking, Yeah, because you’re aggressive and won’t let anyone get a word in edgewise.

More ranting ensues, (she worked for the army, she has a top secret clearance, she gets things done herself everyone else is incompetent) until she finally says, “People that sound like you don’t want to help people that sound like me. You just enjoy being on this powerplay,” followed by something about my privilege and how she wants to talk to someone that sounds like her. That’s when it clicks and I realize that she’s accusing me of being a racist. At this point my eyes aren’t even attached to their sockets and I’m once again upset because I’m being accused of some very heavy shit (see my previous post on this sub).

Of course I’m upset and really want to defend myself, but I just tell her that I’m not transferring her to a specialist and she disconnects after hurling more insults. Browsing through her claim log I also see that she called another agent a “stupid white bitch”, so I guess my experience wasn’t unique.

I thought it ended there, but nope. A few minutes later a call comes on my line and it’s Ms. KnittyGritty. I disconnected immediately. First time I’ve ever done that, but I didn’t even think twice. Anyways that’s it, I fucking hate this job.


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