My first customer service job was working for Wal-Mart for 9 months of hell back when I was in college. I don’t know what was worse – dealing with the customers, or dealing with the management and my co-workers. Actually, yes I do… in that job, the customers were honestly the lesser of two evils. Although I was on the cash register for a couple of months, I mostly worked as the “fish girl” back in Live Pets, which was a smallish area that didn’t get much traffic compared to the rest of the store.
I wound up having a terrible department manager who was never there, so I did a lot of his work. I built modulars and I ordered stock. I also was the only person who ever took care of the fish. I cleaned the tanks, fed the little buggers, and learned about the store policy to pull fish it deemed unhealthy to let them die before their warranty was up so we could get a full refund from our supplier.
Yeah, so that job sucked.
But in my current job, I’m truly getting exposed to the scum of the earth. People are real assholes on the phone. And I’m not a telemarketer by any means – I don’t call them – they call me. And for as many nice customers as I get, I have mean ones who just seem to want to dump all over someone else.
I actually walked out of my job last week because I got a call from some woman who called me every profane word under the sun within the first 3 minutes of talking to her. Her tv wasn’t working, and that was all she would say. As I tried to get her to explain what exactly was wrong, she just kept screaming at me that I had no grasp of the English language because I didn’t understand that “it ain’t working.” BITCH I GOT AN ENGLISH DEGREE. YOU DONT EVEN KNOW THE DEFINITION OF THE WORD “DESCRIBE.” She was, however, fluent in any and all 4-letter words and took great delight in also telling me how much of a whore I am. When I transferred her to a supervisor rather than hang up or go off on her, the supervisor yelled at me for transferring and told me I’d “lose points” for that. What the fuck ever.
My real supervisor apologized for the treatment but also told me that I violated policy by doing that. I don’t really care. The job I love starts back shortly, and if I get fired – or if I decide to walk out for good – there are no regrets. I can only take so much.
A couple of weeks ago, I had a real “ladies man” on the phone. He delighted in telling me that he’d moved to Hollywood to further his job “working with bitches and hoes.” He also told me that I had the fastest and “most seductive typing” of any “ho” he’d ever heard, and asked me if I’d consider leaving my job to fly out there to become one of his “hoes.” And the sad thing is, I’m almost positive he wasn’t joking.
I had another guy who was obviously a punk teen pretending to be his mom to fix their tv. I let him slide with it because we don’t require the user to be authorized to do basic tech troubleshooting. After he talked a bunch of shit about the person who’d try to help him before he got me, acting like I was probably too stupid to help him, he was really shocked when I fixed the problem in a few minutes. That of course made me invariably more attractive, and when we finished the call he asked me “Do you like dick? Because I’d really like to give you my dick.”
Dude, you’re like 13. That’s so gross.
Then – and I’m going to sound really racist here – I get a lot of billing calls from old guys of different ethnicities. They are always raging mad that their bill went up $1, and they do not speak English very well, and I have to go line-by-line over their bill slowly and clearly like 5 times until they understand me. Then when they understand where that extra dollar came from, they yell at me about how I raised their prices… oftentimes in their first language. This is so frustrating to me because I’m getting counted down for spending so long on a call and because I obviously have nothing to do with raising their prices. I’m also shocked that I’ve never had someone who is obviously a US national call for that purpose. I guess that shows the value of a dollar to naturalized vs homegrown Americans!
Oh, and last night I talked to a crazy lady who yelled at me for making her DVD player not work. Let’s not even mention the fact that my company has nothing to do with DVD players… oh, and there was also the dude who was enraged that I couldn’t send him a technician because his TV died. Like seriously, his TV popped and scorched a little and died and he wanted me to send someone to fix that and about had a conniption when I explained very patiently to him that our technicians are not normal handymans or television repairmen.
Like seriously guys, you know my sense of humor and my temper by now. I should win an award for not making anyone cry. Actually, Department of Homeland Security, if you’re reading this… can I have a job as a negotiator? I’d prolly be really good at talking terrorists down after all my time on the phones.