I don’t think I’ve ever had such a bittersweet interaction with a rude customer like today


So I’ve worked at different call centers, from auto insurance, to pharmacy, to furniture… I’ve developed a pretty thick skin and really, there’s very few things that bother me. I can usually work an entire shift without getting upset. Usually.

Today I got a call where the lady managed to do every-single-thing I hate.

Mid-opening spiel the lady interrupts me “Hey, hey, stop. Just stop. I don’t need to hear this. I want to make a payment. My name is [Jane Doe].” (**Strike 1. I hate being cut off, on purpose, just for you to be, not even rude, just an overall asshole**).

Me: “Ok, I can help you with that. May I have your account number.”

JD: “No. I’m not giving that to you.”

Me: “Ok, well I need to locate your account to take the payment.”

JD: “Why do you need my number? I have you my name, that should be enough.” (Really? Are you being serious?)

Me: *In my calmest voice* “I’m afraid I would need more information. If you don’t want to give me your account number that’s ok, I can look it up with your SSN or phone number.”

JD: “I’m not giving you either. I don’t give my phone out, and if I don’t give that you really think I’ll give you my SSN.”

Me: “Ok, I can try…”

JD: “Don’t tell me, just do it. And hurry it up, I don’t have all day.” (**Strike 2. You’re not going to rush me. I really hate that. Especially when YOU’RE the reason it’s taking so long**).

Me: “Can I have your address?”

JD: “Oh my f*cking God. What do you want my blood type? The names of my children? Fine, here’s my damn account.” And proceeds to read it as if she was speed-reading, it was all a blur onetwothreefourfiveyadayadayada.

Me: “I’m sorry ma’am it was breaking up a little (BS but I thought it the most “polite way” to tell her “slow the hell down”) can you repeat that?”

JD: “Oh. My. God. Are you stupid? Or just incompetent. Where are you? You’re in the Philippines aren’t you? You people are useless. Get me someone in the US” (**Strike 3. First, you don’t get so personal with me. You’re angry? I get it, but I’m not your punching bag. Now, this doesn’t bother me as much. But being insulting AND racist? Ohh… Yeah. That’s a definitive no-go with me. I won’t put up with you after that**).

At this point I’m about to hang up on her but I decide to have a little fun. If she’s going to be an asshole, I can be an asshole too. Now, I don’t usually do this, but… Some people just deserve it.

Me: “I’m in the US ma’am, in Arizona to be precise. Now, may I have your account number again?”

JD: “What’s the capital of Arizona? Quick, don’t Google it.”

Me: “Phoenix. Now, would you like me to help you?”

JD: *Exaggerated sigh* “Fine, I don’t believe you but I don’t have time for this anymore. Account is … Password is … Address is … I want payment out of … For … Withdrawn on …”

*Again, she says all that in three seconds flat, the account hasn’t even populated. It indeed has a password*

Me: “Ok ma’am you said you wanted to use the account ending in ****?”

JD: “Oh my God, Jesus, I hate this company. Yes, that’s what I said, I told you already dumbass are you even listening to me? Do you understand English?”

Me: “Ma’am for accuracy reasons I need to verify this information lest we take the money from the wrong account which would cause you unwanted fees.”

JD: “You’re damn right, you’re not charging me any fees. I’ve been a customer for X years, and if you want to keep my business, which I’m probably going to take elsewhere anyways based on how poorly I’ve been treated, you’re not penalizing me. Are we done here?” (**Strike 4. Entitlement. I hate these “I’m the best thing that ever happened to you, I’m your boss, I’m your god” people**).

At this point I’m just having fun with her before I unplug my Ethernet cable, I found out that when I do this (I work from home) it shows as a connectivity issue with the virtual desktop, on the company’s end, not mine. I never use this (Ace in the sleeve and all that) except in situations like this, or when I’m at my shift’s end and have to leave and customer won’t hang up.

Me: “Well just so you know said fees are not ours, we would be charged these fees by your bank and we wouldn’t be able to waive them.”

JD: “Really? Well you would! I am a great customer and you would be idiots to let me go…” *Ha! She took the bait! She then proceeds to rant for a couple minutes wasting more of her time. I don’t care, my AHT is gone to hell anyways, we’re at 20+ minutes by now*

JD: “I have to go, did you do your job and take my payment?”

Me: “One second, I just need to read a disclosure” (We actually do have a disclosure)

JD: “I’m already over my lunch, HURRY!” (I did mention how I hate being rushed right?)

Me: *Starts reading the disclosure and unplugs the Ethernet cable, which, since I didn’t finish the disclosure thus didn’t get her approval, means I can’t take the payment which means she has to call back.*

I know, I know, I’m an asshole… But… I just hate people like this with all my might. Literally. Especially that part of her being racist, as a foreign born, US citizen who lived outside the US for half my life but moved a decade ago, and some of my best friends aren’t even permanent residents yet, and sometimes gets yelled at by these racist customers because my accent slips up or I mispronounce a word, this really gets on my nerves. Not so much for me, or my ego, but because how narrow minded these people are, and how they berate and insult others just because they were born elsewhere or don’t speak “perfect” English. I once had a customer lose his sh*t when he heard my coworker talking in Spanish, using slurs and all (I’ll share that one later). I really hate these people, and this is definitely the biggest faux-pas with me.

So, it was a bittersweet call in that I really wanted to punch something after that call, I had to log out for a minute to take a breath, but I also felt a twinge of happiness just imagining her face and attitude when the call dropped.


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