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A customer’s demand and a heart attack..

Hi all! long time lurker, first time poster here!

TL;DR: at the bottom..

So for some background to the story I work for an ISP in New Zealand, I’ve worked there getting onto 6 years and this is probably the most extreme thing i’ve had in my 6 years working there.

The characters of the story are as follows:

$Me – Our protagonist, and all round helpful helpdesk guy
$Mcfly – My Co-worker on the shift
$Mcmuffin – Helpdesk Manager (My direct boss and overall very nice guy!)
$Karen – Our antagonist / customer

We do a Wireless Broadband service that we handle in house though our own towers and stuff and the $Karen owns a pub / bar out in a rural area which is connected through this service with us. Essentially there is a unit which points to one of our towers and there is a cable from this unit which goes inside the establishment and gets connected to the router to provide internet service.

Also, we do not record our calls so the conversation wont be ‘exact’ and will be tainted by my poor memory but i’ll do my best to reconstruct things.

Anyway, lets begin!

Setting: Saturday, December 4th, 7pm; I am sitting at my cubicle in the office, logged in and answering e-mails / goofing off on reddit / youtube due to the phones being dead. Mcfly is one row over from me doing likewise and all is good. Its just us on the shift and we only have another 2 hours to go until its time to clock out and go home.

7:10pm and my phone goes off

$Me: “Welcome to <ISP> you’re speaking with Punder\_Man, how can I help?”$Karen “Yes hi its Karen here from <address> its the Complaint Pub out in the sticks, My internet isn’t working!” (I verify that i’m talking with the proper person and move along)$Me: “Ok Karen, i’ve taken a quick look and I’m not seeing anything from the unit out there. Can we try checking the cabling inside and see if we can get it to reboot?” I then walk her through on locating the right gear and unplugging and plugging the cables back in but none of this helps. At this point I see that there’s a fault in our system for this customer, apparently one of our techs had been on site a day ago and had put a joiner in where there was some cable damage, however now it seems either the joiner has failed or further damage to the cable has occurred.

$Karen: “I don’t have time to fiddle around with all this! i’m running a bar and I have a 21st Birthday party going on! I need the internet for my EFTPOS and Music!!”$Me: “I’m sorry about that, however i’ve tried all that I can do here from our end and it’s still not working, I can see that we have an active fault in our system. I’m going to update the fault and pass it through to our team to get onto this asap for you”$Karen: “That’s not good enough!! you need to send a technician out to fix this **NOW!!!**”$Me: “Unfortunately that just isn’t possible, firstly the tech who is on call is only for emergencies, secondly its a two hour drive from here to where you are, by the time he got there the sun will have set which then makes it an unsafe working environment and so legally we can not send them out at this time”

At this point her breathing was getting heavy as she obviously didn’t like me telling her ‘no’$Karen: “Well then I expect to see them first thing tomorrow morning!”$Me: “I can not make any promises on that either, as I said, I do not have any power on authorizing / organizing a tech call out / visit.”$Karen: Listen here you! I’m a **BUSINESS** customer! and I’ve been loyal to <ISP> for years! and I find it absolutely disgusting that you would treat a valued customer such as myself like this!!”$Me: “I understand but as I said I can–“$Karen: “I don’t care what you CAN’T DO! TELL ME WHAT YOU CAN DO!!!”$Me: “I am going to update the fault, pass it up to the senior agents and request they contact you in regards to a tech visit. I will request that they contact you as soon as possible”$Karen: “I’ll expect to hear from them by 9am tomorrow with an update!”\*Call is hung up\*

So I process that, do as I said and escalate the ticket and try to put the whole thing behind me. The call lasted for about 20 minutes or so..After that the lines remained dead so I went to watch some youtube videos to calm down.

Then it gets to 8:10pm and I get a weird feeling in my chest, followed by getting light headed, the light headedness fades and the feeling in my chest turns into a vice like pain, as though something is gripping my heart and is getting tighter and tighter, the pain radiates up into my left jaw and it is the most painful experience i’ve ever had.

I call out to $Mcfly who gets up and has a look at me, by this time my breathing has become irregular, i’ve broken out in a cold sweat and i’ve gone whiter than a sheet..I let him know that my chest hurts and I decide to call an ambulance while he goes to fetch the first aid kit from the break room.The dispatcher asks for my symptoms which I give through gasps as the pain is still an 11/10 and they tell me an ambulance is on the way.. They also ask if we have aspirin which we find out we do not.. but in any case I hang up with dispatch and await the ambulance.

While waiting I call the helpdesk manager Mcmuffin and let him know whats going on.. he’s completely shocked and I told him i’ll keep in him the loop on what happens and he simply tells me that he’ll sort out my next two shifts and go from there.

Anyway I head down stairs and meet the ambulance and they cart me off to the hospital where I get confirmation that I indeed had a heart attack at age 33.I’m fine for now for those concerned, I just need to talk with the cardiologists in the new year to try and work out what happened.

But yeah.. I have a feeling it may have been stress with the customer being the final straw.. but that’s just me..So yeah.. thank you for coming to my Ted X talk..

**TL;DR:** I had a stressful customer and less than an hour later I had a heart attack Not fun, would not recommend.

I’m writing this before heading for bed so If I don’t reply it’ll be because i’ve gone to bed but I will check on this in the morning and answer questions / comments!

**EDIT:** Thank you to all the well wishes! and trust me! aside from this incident this job has been the best job i’ve had!My boss is great, I get paid a very decent wage and they treat me and my co-workers like actual people!

I just happened to have a lot of outside of work stress going on at the time but i’ve been working to reduce that stress and everything is good now!

**EDIT2:** Thank you to the mysterious stranger for the gold award!

What do you think?

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My poor “husband”… 🤣

can you hear me?