Gentle reader, the holiday season is upon us. I know you’re supposed to say “happy holidays,” but everyone knows that the big deal around this time of year is the birthday celebration of Jesus. Now I’m not a religious man myself, but I must say, many of the Telescreen customers come right out of The Bible Belt. They really love Jesus, and I’m sure they are getting all worked up over the big birthday bash this year. So in honor of His (you’re supposed to capitalize it because Jesus is that big of a deal) birthday, let’s look at some of the lovely sayings those folks in The Bible Belt have used in their efforts to make me a good Christian. If I go to church on Sunday, will it spare me from daily contact with ESP’s? If so, consider me a devout Christian from this day forward.
Customer: “Thank you so much, and remember, Jesus loves you!”
The chances I believe a sob story from some Angry Asshole or any other ESP is about 5%. When I first started at Telescreen, I was young, naive, and ready to solve problems. You just lost your house? Of course I’ll cancel your account. You paid your bill even though we don’t show it was received? No problem, I’ll credit everything myself.
Then what happened was I wised up. Management was on my ass for breaking protocol. The customers were saying things that just didn’t add up. They didn’t want a solution, they just wanted to tell a dumb fucking story to get their way. So I realized I was going to call a bullshitter a bullshitter and wouldn’t believe a damn thing. That whole process happened in about an hour by the way.
Since I know 95% of the ESP customers are lying about something, I really enjoy calling them out on their lies. They claim they made a payment, so we call their bank and confirm they didn’t. They claim they sent back their receiver box, but we track it on the postal service website and see it hasn’t been sent. It’s a nice way of calling “bullshit” without actually saying “bullshit,” which is frowned upon in a call center.
One customer wasn’t just a bullshitter, she was a liar. Like a pathological liar. I don’t think she could’ve told the fucking truth if she tried. So I had no choice but to call “bullshit” every five fucking seconds. I’d say it was great to be right, but when dealing with an ESP, you’re always right. Unfortunately, the more wrong they are, the more pissed off they get.
An extremely stupid person doesn’t listen too well. It’s like stupidity blocks a portion of their hearing or something. This is nothing new, because most ESP’s get all worked up over some dumb shit that can easily be solved. The problem lies in the fact that they don’t understand rationale, mainly because they aren’t listening to any solutions. Come to think of it, they don’t understand much of anything at all, because they’re fucking stupid.
There was one guy who was particularly stupid deaf. I like that term, “stupid deaf,” has a nice ring to it. Anyway, his story isn’t particularly stupid, nor is it particularly hilarious. Yet for some reason, it’s been spread around the call center, and fellow employees as well as supervisors enjoy asking me about it. If they only knew how to Google “Extremely Stupid People,” they would have way more than one ESP story!
Customer: “So why don’t you tell me about this here rebate y’all sent me.”
Winston: “So you purchased the receiver box at full price, this is the $100 off the salesman told you about when you purchased your service a couple of months ago.”
Customer: “Yeah, but where the Hell’s my money? Y’all gave me this dumb card.”
Winston: “Correct, the money is on there. It’s a prepaid debit card with $100. It will spend just like cash.”
Customer: “Um, no, it won’t. Ain’t no way in Hell I’m opening up a card in my name. I’m watching my credit score.”
Because Telescreen caters to the “rural” individuals, the channels they provide are Redneck by nature. You can’t miss shows featuring country music, truck driving, Conservative politics, fishing, guns, Nascar, and all that other worthless stupid shit Rednecks love. Side-note: Why in fucks name do they love Nascar? I mean, it’s just a bunch of assholes driving in circles. What the fuck?
Anyway, Telescreen released a new package called “The Heart of America” package for those individuals in the American Heartland or some shit like that. Translation: all of your Redneck channels in one convenient location. It has the fishing channel, the stupid fucking car racing channel, the shitty country music channel, I mean, all the dumb shit. Because Rednecks are so poor, they made it available for the low price of $5 per month. You would think this would be Redneck’s dream, but no no, they still can’t quite handle it.
Winston: “If you’re wanting the fishing channel, I’d recommend The Heart of America package. It has tons of great stuff.”
You can see my salesman skills at work. By “great stuff” I mean stupid pointless shit that Rednecks love, like Glenn Beck.
Customer: “Now what else is gonna come with this ‘Merica package?”
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.”
In the initial job description for the call center rep job, it didn’t really elaborate on what “educating customers” meant. I assumed that meant telling people about billing policies, showing them how to use remotes, etc. Only years of hard time at Telescreen would teach me what that really meant:
Winston: “Do you remember the agent’s name you were speaking with yesterday?”
Customer: “Ah heck, Bobby? Barry? Ben?”
Winston: “Was it Bill?”
Customer: “Oh yeah, there it is. Yeah, get me over to Bill.”
Winston: “He’s on a call right now, but I can get you his number.”
Customer: “Okay, hold on now. Let me grab a pen. Alright, Bill. How do you spell that? B…l, right?”
It was then when I muted my phone so he didn’t hear me say, “You’ve got to be fucking kidding me.”
Winston: “No sir, you’re missing a few letters. B…i…l…l.”
Customer: “That looks right, now what’s the number?”
Fortunately he learned how to count to ten, but the alphabet remained a mystery. At least now I know why they sell alphabet soup in Mississippi dollar stores.
I shudder to think about what goes on in these ESP’s homes. Fortunately, there are many miles between me and the back woods of Mississippi, but in a way, when they’re talking to me, it’s like I’m there. With one ‘hello’ I am suddenly transformed into the evil, disgusting world known as their double-wide. Here’s an example of what I’m talking about.
Customer: “What ya mean there was damage to the receiver?”
Winston: “I’m showing the charge on your most recent bill was due to damage on the returned receiver.”
Customer: “No, I ain’t break that thing. It was broke already, that’s why I sent it back to y’all.”
Winston: “Well let me check the inventory note and see if there’s a reason for the charge. Hold on for a second, would you?”
Insert shitty hold music here.
Winston: “Alright sir, I checked the inventory note, and the reason for damage is marked as ‘infestation.’ Does that ring any bells?”
Customer: “Oh Hell, it’s those damn cockroaches. Been messing with them for months.”
Ewww. I had heard horror stories from those in the warehouse about the crazy shit that’s been found in receivers. There is even a section on our Intranet where you could look at pictures of that nasty shit. There’s a picture where a returned receiver is filled with cockroaches, one with a little fucking snake, and how, I don’t know, but one with a goddamn mini octopus inside. I’m not fucking around, honest!
Wowza! It’s been quite a week in the world of ESP. To all of you faithful readers, I am proud to announce that the blog was featured on Freshly Pressed. If you’re not savvy in blog lingo, that means ESP was chosen for the WordPress home page. I know, that surprised me too, I didn’t think they liked blogs with the word “fuck” in them, but, well, fuck me, they chose it anyway.
The Freshly Pressed feature led to a deluge of activity from the blogging world. In a matter of a few hours, ESP had more viewers than it had seen in its entire existence. True, that’s kinda sad, but I was very happy to see so many new folks. So to all of you bloggers that are new to ESP, thanks for following, reading, and sharing all the great comments. Now enough with the mushy stuff, lets get to what we do best around here: making fun of stupid people.
A call gets transferred my way because a customer is requesting a refund, and for some reason, that normal procedure is too complicated for the frontline agent, so the call is sent to me. I meet Loving Husband, who sounds like he came straight from a goddamn NRA convention.
Customer: “Yesir, I canceled that account, now I need my money.”
Winston: “I do see the account was cancelled as of today, and it looks like there will be about a $30 credit on the account after the equipment is returned.”
Customer: “No way man, I want all the money that was paid last time.”
Winston: “Well the last payment made was for about $70, but that went against the last month of programming. I can only refund a credit balance on the account, which again will be around $30.”
Customer: “Fine, I’ll take the $30, but Hell, y’all owe me all of that money. Stealing bitch.”
Was he calling me a stealing bitch? Or someone else?
Winston: “Can you read me the name on the card so I can make sure the refund is going to the right place?”
Customer: “It’s in my wife’s name, might as well say Dumb Bitch.”
At this point, all I could do was pause, revel in what was said, and repeat my same question. Kind of like, lather, rinse, repeat, but with stupidity instead of dirt.