You’re Not In My Will

No stamp collection is complete without the “Bread Forever.”

A call came my way with a woman disputing a 300 dollar charge. After searching high and low, I told her I didn’t see the charge in our system. Maybe it was from competitor Telethon and not Telescreen. Maybe her eyesight was going. Maybe she just couldn’t fucking read. Either way, she was being a pain in the ass.

Winston: “Again, I’m sorry ma’am, but I don’t see the charge in our system. The only thing that will help us track down whether or not this was in fact a charge from Telescreen would be if you could send in the bank statement you have in front of you showing the 300 dollar charge.”

This made her mad because she was old, she was dumb, she was lazy, and apparently she was fucking Amish since she “didn’t have a computer.”

Winston: “I wish there was more I could do, but there’s no charge that I can reverse.”

This made her even more mad, but she kept pressing. I told her no again. She got really mad, but kept at me. I told her no again and then she pulled the pity card.

Customer: “I have cancer! I’m going to die! You’re killing me right now!”

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The Mysteries of the Remote Control

“Where’s the call button on this damn cell phone?”

I’m sure you’ve gathered by now that elderly folks and technology don’t mix very well. A large portion of my tech calls are simply telling them to press the TV button on the remote. These should be easy calls, but getting to that button pushing moment usually takes about ten minutes. To the clueless and elderly ESP’s, the remote is some sort of mysterious device that should be feared. And you know when ESP’s get confused (all the fucking time), they get pissed…at me.

One of my biggest problems with angry old assholes and the remote is the lack of pressing the select button. Yeah, actually selecting an option instead of staring at the screen waiting for something to happen. This is especially frustrating when you’re troubleshooting, because you assume they’re following along with you, but they’re miles behind. If you say go to the TV menu, you would think that means pressing the menu button or selecting the menu option, right? No, apparently it’s a real fucking toughie. I’ve had a lot of confusion over this one over the years, but one was pretty bad. Old Dumbass could not unravel the mysteries of the remote for the life of him.

Winston: “Go ahead and push the menu button.”

Customer: “What?”

Winston: “The menu button.”

Customer: “Where?”

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Sherlock Holmes

I always wondered what the Internet looked like in real life.

There are plenty of mysteries in the world. Stonehenge. Atlantis. Nascar. One thing that doesn’t need a fucking investigation is the quick fix of a Telescreen router.

An angry old asshole called in and got super pissed because he couldn’t understand technology. Yes, this is a daily occurrence. I mean, the guy got confused about absolutely fucking everything. I was surprised he could carry on a conversation at that matter. Well, by conversation, I mean him just complaining about the “damned Interweb.”

He couldn’t figure out why his “Interweb” suddenly “vanished.” Why? Because he’s a fucking moron. The mystery of the vanishing Interweb solved in four seconds.

After talking to him for a whole 20 seconds, I could immediately tell he was fucking stupid, caused this whole fucking problem, and that he was really just an asshole. Don’t blame me because you’re stupid, gramps.

Winston: “Okay sir, we need to reset the router. What you’ll do is unplug the power from the box…”

Customer: “Wait, what? You mean this damned Interweb machine?”

Winston: “Correct, you’ll need to pull the power from…”

Customer: “Damnit, slow down! What do I pull?”

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You’re Gonna Hang!

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.

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My Legs Don’t Work

Do they really think old people are going to run in the street? Those electric wheelchairs are pretty fancy…

I guess you could say I’m a problem solver. When someone calls into Telescreen, it is my duty to find a solution to whatever dumbass, bullshit problem they’re having. Not that I give a fuck about the customers that call in, I just want to fix their shit and bid them adieu so I can get back to watching the nice TV displaying Sports Center a few feet from my cubicle. Yet every once in awhile, there’s a problem that I can’t for the life of me fix. That’s generally when people get super pissed, but hey, I’m not a fucking magician. Here’s an example of what I’m talking about, following the four step problem solving process.

Customer: “I still don’t see anything on my screen and I don’t know what to do!”

Winston: “We’re going to need to reset the receiver. All you have to do is unplug the power from the wall…”

Customer: “No, no, that’s not going to work. I can’t do that.”

Actually you can do that. So can a monkey.

Winston: “Well it’s really easy to do, the power cord has a little red flag on it…”

Customer: “No, I can’t get out of bed. I’m 85 and my legs don’t work.”

Step 1: Identify the problem. What the Hell? Who says that? I’ve never heard of a handicapped, oh I’m sorry, handi-capable person saying their legs don’t work. That right there is a sorry excuse. Hasn’t this guy heard of, you know, a wheelchair? Has he ever seen Lieutenant Dan kick some major ass in Forest Gump? So the problem is the old man is too feeble and worthless to move four inches. I would then try coercing him to move five feet.

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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.

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I’m Gonna Stick It Where The Sun Don’t Shine!

Now that I’m in Super Department, I don’t get the same tech support questions I used to on the “frontline.” Funny how the tier of our employees has the same nomenclature as a battlefield, isn’t it? Tech support is obviously so goddamn frustrating because people really are pathetically idiotic, but it does make for some […]

I’m Not Just Suing Telescreen, I’m Suing You!

I’m all about respecting our elders. They had to get up to change channels on the TV. They had to open a phone book to find where the fuck they were going. They had to live through two different George Bush presidencies. That’s all some pretty wild shit, so old people get some love. I just don’t like when old people feel like they are entitled. Have you ever been in a grocery store midday? Get the fuck out of the way because Grandpa Joe is driving the Little Rascal through the prune aisle. If you try to get by them they give you the look that says, “I’m old, go fuck yourself.” I would highly recommend giving them the look back that says, “Well I’m young, so enjoy those prunes, asshole.”

An agent transfers a call over to me because some asswhipe is threatening to sue. No one ever sues Telescreen, they just think that if they threaten to sue they’ll get someone who cares. Unfortunately for them, I get on the line, and if you haven’t guessed already, I don’t give two shits about anyone calling in.

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The Big Trip To Applebees

You know when shitty parents shove their kids in front of a TV and call it parenting? Like they always say, “TV is the best babysitter.” Apparently, this rule isn’t just for kids. Once a parent hits the 80 year mark, the kids are going to topsy turvy that shit and plop them in front of the fucking TV. This is how I encountered Grandma Mabel.

This poor old lady calls me and can’t figure out a god damn thing on her TV. Well of course she can’t figure out a fucking thing, she’s clueless and elderly. All old people, I mean all old people, succumb to helplessness before they even call me. I know they can’t fucking see, which is why they probably shouldn’t drive. I know they can’t fucking walk, which is why they probably shouldn’t travel. I know they can’t fucking think, which is why they probably shouldn’t gamble. Yet when they’re at home, the TV is no excuse for cluelessness. All they have to do is press the power button, change some channels, then turn it off. Congratulations, now go take that afternoon nap.

I can immediately sense Grandma Mabel’s loneliness over the phone. My company with her was so welcomed that I began to actually think she was having a great fucking time. Every step we completed in our troubleshooting was greeted by shouts of glee. Every space of dead air was filled with chit chat about her overtly Republican beliefs and her love of The View. No, I didn’t make that up. It was Grandma Mabel’s activity of the week, like when the old folks home makes the big trip to Applebees.

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I’m Going To Die And You Don’t Care

For three months at Telescreen, I had successfully avoided one terrible type of call. Yet I knew it was coming and that I would eventually meet my fate. Yes, ladies and gentleman, I experienced my first crier. We’re not talking about someone getting a bit choked up, we’re talking about tears running faster than fucking Niagara Falls. I would have felt bad, but the customer was an asshole. I never feel bad for assholes, that’s one of my golden rules.

Before Waterworks was crying, she was yelling, obviously. Bitching is a favorite pastime of my friendly customers.  She was complaining about a cancellation fee. I hate to break it to you lady, but when you sign a contract, I can’t magically waive a cancellation fee. You probably shouldn’t have signed the contract in the first place, but unfortunately, I wasn’t there to tell you that Telescreen was a piece of shit company.

Customer: “You take my money, you are bad, bad man!”

Winston: “Ma’am, as I explained before, the cancellation fee is implemented when you break your contract.”

Customer: “What do you mean? I sign nothing.”

I should have probably refrained from using words like “cancellation” and “implemented.” In the future, I’ll stick with simple words repeated over and over, such as, “Money, pay, now, dipshit.”

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