Welcome To ESP, your portal for everything stupid. My name is Winston and I work at a call center for a large media company known as Telescreen Inc. Each day, I am baffled by the sheer stupidity of the population. This blog includes my stories, diatribes, and analysis from my daily encounters with idiots. So join me as I slip into the realm of extremely stupid people...
If the supervisors at Telescreen weren’t such a bunch of fucking Nazis, we would probably be allowed to listen to some tunes while rotting away in our evil cubicles of doom. Sadly, they insist that all of our cell phones be put away, and of course we can’t access Pandora or anything on our ancient shithole computers. Instead, we are stuck listening to the sweet sounds of toothless Rednecks trying to count beyond ten. For the record, they generally can’t.
Agents from other sales affiliates aren’t prone to the same strict protocol, since they don’t work in a fucking sweatshop like us Telescreen employees. Occasionally we can hear music in the background when they call in. One agent in particular was not so discreet with her music choices or the volume.
Winston: “Thanks for calling Super Department, this is Winston, how may I help you?”
I immediately hear music blasting in the background.
Agent: “Hey Winston, can you help me build an account? I’m getting an error with the credit card.”
Winston: “Not a problem, let me bring up the account here, one second…”
As I was bringing the account up on my screen and no one was talking, I finally caught what song she was listening to.
Music: “Fat bottom girls, you make the rocking world go round…”
“Calm down Grandma. Those kids definitely didn’t walk through your petunias.”
When Telescreen customers don’t pay their bills, Telescreen turns off their service. When customers think TV is too fucking important, they have a shit fit when they can’t watch something worthless like “Dancing With The Stars.” When they can’t watch worthless programming, they call customer service to bitch and complain. When customer service tells them they should pay their fucking bill, they lose their shit and end up talking to Super Department. When customers get to Super Department, they try to give bullshit excuses as to why they didn’t pay their bill in hopes of getting their service turned for free. When I get a bullshit excuse, I laugh and then post about it unbeknownst to the customer on this blog.
Customer: “Man, you gotta get my service back on, I ain’t going nowhere ’til you do.”
Winston: “I’m sorry sir, but the service was shutoff due to nonpayment. I can’t restore services until the $46.77 is collected. I’m happy to take that payment for you over the phone.”
Then there was a long pause followed by a deep sigh.
Customer: “Listen man, I had some stuff happen to me, aight? I got shot. You hear that man, I got shot!”
If you’ve ever seen The Big Lebowski, you know that John Goodman’s character Walter loved bringing up his experiences in Vietnam. We now know that his buddies died lying face down in the muck, but most of the characters in the movie didn’t want to hear any of that. Similarly, I don’t want to hear about some Redneck asshole’s experiences in Iraq. That won’t stop them from telling me all about it though.
Winston: “Well sir, last summer the services were shut off due to non payment.”
Customer: “I already told you I wasn’t home. I was out of the country!”
Winston: “That may be, but since the account was still active, the charges continued to accrue on the account.”
Customer: “Let me ask you something. Have you ever heard of Iraq?”
No, I guess I slept through Geography 101 and have never watched the news in my entire life.
Winston: “Yes sir I have, but we need to get back to the matter at hand…”
Customer: “Last summer, I was in Iraq. Fighting in Operation Iraqi Freedom. I was fighting for democracy. For your freedom. For your neighbor’s.”
Well, they have pizza for lunch, so it must be safe…
Sometimes I get a call from someone, and all I can think is that the person must be a raging psycho. Like the fucking movie Psycho. Really. How thankful I am that people can’t murder me over the phone line. That is what I thought when I encountered a man we’ll call Norman Bates (the main character from Psycho, movie knowledge drop).
Winston: “Thanks for calling Telescreen, this is Winston, how may I help you?”
Customer: “Winston? Yeah, I was trying to get a hold of Jenny. Can you transfer me over to her?”
Winston: “Unfortunately it doesn’t look like she’s in today, but I can give you her direct extension if you’re ready for the number.”
Customer: “No that’s okay, can you just leave a message for her?”
Winston: “Not a problem, I’ll get an email right over to her.”
Customer: “Great. Could you please ask her why she’s so fucking stupid?”
I shit you not, verbatim, this fucking happened. A normal person would have been speechless, but to me, this was just another day. Little did I know what else lay ahead.
Free-range, organic chicken, available at Whole Foods.
As you’ve probably gathered, I’ve had plenty of threats against my life over the last couple of years. There have been too many to count and even too many to mention all of them on the blog. I can only justifiably mention the creative and original threats, like this one:
Winston: “I’m sorry ma’am, but I can’t get the refund back to you sooner than three to five business days. It has to clear with your bank first, but we have no control over that process.”
Customer: “Na-na-na-na. You think you can get away with this?”
Winston: “Ma’am, we made sure the refund was sent to the bank yesterday…”
Customer: “Na-na-na-na. You’re gonna hang for this, you hear me? You’re gonna hang mister! You’re gonna hang!”
Hmm. I can’t make money magically appear so I’m going to be executed? By way of a noose? No, this isn’t the fucking 1600′s and I’m not a fucking witch. It must have been a figure of speech or something, because that made no sense whatsoever. Even literally speaking, I don’t think the death penalty is sentenced to people who can’t get a refund sooner than three business days.
As you can probably imagine, gentle reader, customers rarely take no for an answer. If there is nothing else ol’ Winston can do for them, they throw in the “or else” threats. Most of the time, they will threaten to call a lawyer, the Better Business Bureau, the Attorney General, etc. Yet sometimes, they’ll go to even more extreme measures.
Winston: “I’m sorry sir, but I simply can’t reverse the charge. If you received the services, we must charge you for them.”
Customer: “Are you sure you wanna do this, pal?”
Winston: “Like I said, I wish there was more…”
Customer: “No, no, no. Lookee here. You’s in trouble now, ya’ hear? All I have to do is make one phone call.”
“Listen, you’re not gonna look cool unless your binocs match your shirt.”
Wow, these searches just keep rolling on in! I have more searches than brain cells left in my noggin after spending a couple of years chatting with ESP’s. Let’s get cooking with the stupidest of stupid searches before I lose the few braincells I have left.
“Rednecks From Mississippi Are So Dumb”
Yeah, no shit. Did you really need to search the Internet for confirmation? A pet rock could have told you that.
“I’m A Master of the Custodial Arts”
No, you’re a fucking janitor. I am not a master of the intelligent arts; I work in a fucking call center and am forced to interact with idiots all day. Let’s quit sugarcoating it, okay?
In my daily job searching and periodic interviewing for better positions (such as a guy that drives around town picking up dog shit), I was reminiscing of the wonderful interview process undertaken at Telescreen Inc almost two years ago. Good thing I’ve written down every ESP interaction and Telescreen misstep since my first week on the job, or else I’d forget all the finer details. If you happen to be in a rush and want me to skip over the details, I can do that too. I’ll sum up the Telescreen interview process in two simple words: Fucking stupid. There you go, now get onto more important things like making origami animals or something.
I fatefully drove by the massive Telescreen call center one day and saw a hiring sign. I was unemployed and needed a job, simple as that. I knew it was a shitty company and the the job would probably blow, but I thought it could get me by “for the time being.” Little did I know that meant two years and counting…
That night I went online to apply, and was immediately greeted by a whole bunch of bullshit. You don’t just send them your resume, you’ve got to earn the honor to apply, or at least that’s the way it seemed. You can’t just send your resume, you’ve got to fill out pages and pages of additional information instead. That’s standard with a lot of applications, but it wasn’t a real job. I mean, it’s a fucking call center.
When a customer calls in, I assume they’re stupid. I know it’s not right to judge, but I’ve done the research. I’ve spoken to thousands upon thousands of extremely stupid dumb assholes, so by now, my assumptions can be treated as facts.
Some of these dipshits simply don’t want to admit they’re stupid. It’s the ones that refute their lack of intelligence the most that end up being, well, the stupidest. Usually they argue and accuse me of implying they’re stupid (which I do) or thinking they’re stupid (which I do).
Yet only one man was brave enough to provide me with the proper credentials to prove his intelligence:
Winston: “Well sir, I’ve looked at your bill and everything seems correct. I’m still showing you owe $75.68.”
Customer: “Let me ask you a question. Do you understand who you’re talking to right now?”