I have posted this years ago in a smaller sub, but since all of it happened in a Call Center Agency, I thought it was right here too.
This is more than one interaction, so it is kind of long. I have added the NSFW because obviously, some of this happenings can be triggering. Before any of you ask: I have long since changed teams and do not anymore have to talk to customers directly.
Please excuse any mistakes in spelling or grammar, english is my second language.
I try to keep the background as short as possible. Promise.
See: The company I am working for is a service provider for several big mobile internet and/or landlineproviders. Inhousesupport is too expensive for them, so they outsource it to several providers, including my company.
I can say that I have worked in the customer support for two of Germany’s biggest providers in the recent years before I changed to my current team. Think AT&T for example, it’s probably a similar scale.
And in Germany, the normal support hotlines are free of charge, I think there was actually some law about that years ago. So, everyone and their freaking mother can call us at any and all time.So, there are some things to keep in mind:
1: the number of a hotline, presented in the internet and easy to find, free of charge and 24/7 service.
2: In Germany, if you have suppressed your phone number, there is no way for the called one to find it out, except the called one contacts the police. They, as far as I know, can only track future calls though… You suppress it, you stay anonymous.
3: The rules concerning taping the calls is similar to two-party consent states in the US. Taping without the customers consent would get us fired and the companies involved a pretty heavy fine. So big no-no. We would not do that. Never.
4: Yes, I am female. I am told that I have a pretty nice sounding voice. Helps with some of the customers, sucks with some of the others.
Now (finally!) to the story:
So while working for this AT&T like company, I found out that this company (and only this one, I still don’t get why) is prone to receive calls by people who think it’s fun to jerk of to a woman’s voice without having to pay for it. It’s not too often, but noticeable.
We had one caller who was actually somewhat fun. His way of flirting was… weird.
He would call us, wait for a female coworker and tell her that he wanted to work for us as our cushion. So we could sit on him while working. And of course, while sitting on him, he would massage us and make sure we had an “enjoyable work environment”. We told him to write an e-mail to marketing, but I don’t think he did.
He was nice, but it was somewhat annoying because the calls were pointless. We were there to sell stuff and the more non-selling calls we had the worse our call resolution rate was. It sucked. And while I didn’t really care about being what some would consider harassed – I was but mildly amused – I knew that some of my coworkers thought and felt otherwise, rightfully so.
Unfortunately, nothing was ever done. While he had his number suppressed, a coworker managed to charmingly get his name, phone number and even address. She forwarded it to our teamleader who again forwarded it to AT&T like company. That was half a year before I left the project. He still called on my last day there.A
nd while nothing really happened and the only explicit things he said concerned us sitting on his not so soft cushion, this made me really angry. You can’t do anything about occasional freaks calling, but they could’ve done something about him and they chose to do not. Yeah. Thanks. But no harm done…
Another one called occasionally and said he wanted to buy something for his mother as a gift. If you haven’t had him before you where all happy and giddy because “Oh, new Smartphone contract, those bring in the money!” and you of course start to ask him what he is thinking about.
Answer: “A string tanga. I’m just not sure if striped or with leopard pattern. What would YOU like to see on me?”
While I didn’t want to think about this picture (he sounded quite old), I could live with those occasional calls.
What really got to me was the last one and I still think about it a lot, which made me write this post.
The following is paraphrased, of course, for it happened a few years ago.Me: Welcome to AT&T like Company, my name is Futureme, how can I help you? \*cheery as ever\*
Caller with suppressed number: \*sounding like a young man, but with a very quiet, hushed voice\* I need your help.
Me: \*not so cheery, rather concerned\* Okay, stay calm. What’s happening? \*already thinking about emergency protocol and ready to inform one of my supervisors\* (Yeah, this company has an emergency protocol. Like for bomb threats and such…)
Caller: It’s… I… I don’t know what to do… It’s about my little sister… \*still quiet and hushed, heavy breathing, he sounds like he’s on the verge of tears\*
Me: \*more concerned\* Okay, what’s wrong with her? Shall I call emergency services for you?
Caller: She’s eight, you know… and she’s crying. She’s crying so much. \*more heavy breathing, voice hard to understand now\*
Me: Okay… \*starting to get a little confused\* Why is she crying, then? \*by now, I am wondering if he might be a special needs person and has trouble explaining what’s wrong, so I try to sound extra comforting\*
Caller: She’s crying because of… the things that I did.
Me: …?! \*now alarm bells are ringing and I get up to tap my supervisor on the arm. he’s sitting like a meter besides me\*
Caller then starts to explain in great detail what he did to his little sister. With his d\*ck. Rather cruelly. And the heavy breathing now is obviously him jerking off, what I mistook for him maybe crying was just the constraint to keep a calm voice.
My supervisor by this time listens in, I hold one part of my headset to his ear. I had no time to get an extra switch for him to link his headset. I stare at him with wide eyes, unable to end the call while this asshole goes on and on until supervisor gently leads me back to my computer and ends the call for me.
I stare at him and to my own shock I start crying. “I know the number’s suppressed, but isn’t there some way…? What if this guy HAS a sister? What shall I do?”And he looks at me, as shocked as I am, and shakes his head. “No way for us, I’m afraid. Did you get his name?”
I had to negate.
He shakes his head again. “Then there’s really no way. We don’t even have anything to forward to the police.” He then had me take a break on company time because I obviously wasn’t able to get to work right now, so I did. It took half an hour, around four cigarettes and a considerable amount of hugging by a coworker to calm me down.
See – as I said before, I do not consider myself abused. He didn’t touch me, he didn’t even see me. It was just my voice and my time. That’s not what troubled me. What troubled me and made me sick was the thought of this maybe or maybe not existing girl he described as his sister. Because if this person does have contact with children, they are in danger. And I had no fucking way of even letting the authorities know. It was and is a shared “secret” by this supervisor and me because we just had no way of doing anything about it. And at times it makes me feel guilty, because fuck, I feel I SHOULD have done something. Because if there is this little girl, I might have been the only one to know back then. And I couldn’t help her. Ya know what I mean?
I think I’ll never understand what’s on some people’s mind. But since the \~11 years I’ve been working in this trade I got the feeling that calling an anonymous hotline person brings out the worst in some people…
I hope this post is okay here. If not, please let me know, I didn’t find anything in the rules concerning this stuff. It’s just… the other side of the tales.
Edited because I screwed up the formatting.