No, I Have Lunch That Day

“No Grandma, I can’t call you because you don’t know how to use a phone.”

Old people are so fucking difficult to troubleshoot with because they never want to do a thing. You ask them to press the power button on the remote and they act like you asked them for their first born child. This is exactly what happened when I encountered Social Mabel.

The call came in because she was refusing to troubleshoot her TV issue. Once Social Mabel came on the line, she was the typical clueless and elderly customer. She didn’t know her TV remote from a damn pencil sharpener, and the last thing she would be caught dead doing was troubleshooting.

Winston: “The first thing we’re going to need to do is reset the TV receiver.”

Customer: “I can’t do that! I’m an old woman, there’s no way I’m bending over to grab that stupid plug.”

Winston: “Okay, well how about we try pressing the power button on the remote. It’s the little red button on the top.”

Customer: “Are you kidding me? The remote is all the way across the room. I’m not getting up to press some dang whatever.”

All the while, I’m shaking my head, and I know she probably went through this for an hour with at least two other agents. CSR’s aren’t allowed to send technicians until they have followed all of the troubleshooting steps first. As I could see, there was no way anyone was going to get past step one with this old pain in the ass. Social Mabel was stonewalling everyone like a fucking pro.

Winston: “Well we need to try troubleshooting if you want to fix your TV.”

Customer: “I’m not trying a darn thing, you get someone out here to fix this, and you get someone out here right now!”

I argued for another five minutes and decided, fuck this, there was no way she was going to get off her old wrinkly ass to do anything.

Winston: “Okay, I’ll send a technician, but it’s going to be $30.”

Another argument ensued, and out of sheer exhaustion, I decided, fuck this, there was no way she was going to spend money on anything other than Walker: Texas Ranger VHS tapes.

Winston: “I’ll waive the tech fee, but I’m just doing it this as a one time courtesy.

Then I slung a few fucking banners across the office for the pity party.

Customer: “That’s right you will. I’m an old lady. I can’t get around the house without help. It hurts to move. I need my TV since I have nothing else.”


Winston: “When would you like the technician out? I have Monday available.”

Customer: “No, I have lunch that day.”

Wasn’t she an old, feeble woman that only had her shitty TV?

Winston: “How about Tuesday?”

Customer: “No, I am meeting my friends at the community center for bridge.”

We continued day by day, and I shit you not, we had to schedule a tech visit a week later because Social Mabel was so damn busy and popular. It turned out that she wasn’t feeble, wasn’t on her deathbed, but instead was fucking lazy. In looking back on her eventual hour long battle with customer service, wouldn’t it have been easier for her to just try pressing the fucking power button?

9 thoughts on “No, I Have Lunch That Day

  1. As much as I feel sorry for you, I feel more sympathy for the technician you’re sending out. Imagine the horror of having to interact with this wrinkly abomination in person. He’s desperately trying to fix her TV, and she’s hovering over him like some hideous, gibbering mosquito, critiquing everything he does.

    • That’s a very good point. I always feel sorry for the techs that have to interact with these idiots, but in the case of clueless and elderly customers, sometimes the techs get by easy. Since they get paid per job, they probably love walking into the old folk’s house, walking up to the TV, pressing the power button, then walking away five minutes later. Now if it were a complicated tech issue, well, those poor bastards.

  2. I work with the elderly and I am going to say something terrible. I am patient, compassionate, all the stuff you have to be to be a CNA. But what I have learned is that the personality of a person during their life gets CONCENTRATED as they age. If they were lazy, they get REALLY lazy. If they were angry, they get REALLY angry. If they were controlling, wanted to tell everybody what to do-you get the idea. Often, they bitch about not being independent, then refuse to do the little things we all have to do to run our lives…like turning on the fucking TV. They will do ANYTHING for company, then wonder why people don’t want to stick around while they bitch about the way their company is doing whatever they asked them to come over and do for them.

    • You summarized the “Clueless and Elderly” category of ESP perfectly.

      I try to help the elderly because I actually respect my elders. If they can’t figure out how to use a simple remote, hey, I’m there to help. I get annoyed when they refuse to do things they’re completely capable of. Nine times out of ten, I will send a technician to fix an old folk’s TV, when all they had to do was get up out of their chair and mess with a button or a plug on the TV. I try to rationalize that by remembering that the long-suffering technician is getting paid for a very easy job, and that setting up the whole thing is costing the corporation of Telescreen quite a bit of money. I guess it’s a win-win then.

  3. Hello there, my heart goes out to you and your colleagues. I live above somebody just like your typical old person who is stubborn and ..(other things). This individual has used foul language at her own relatives so I can empathise a little with what you described. Among my traits are fussiness with details so I hate to imagine how that may escalate when I’m older. Thanks for a great blog. Loved the deaf one as well. Kind regards (greetings from England). Sb.

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