One of the many problems with ESP’s is that they’re so fucking sure of themselves no matter how dumb they are. For some reason they always think they’re right and simply can’t be reasoned with. That’s why unfortunately you sometimes have to humor them and stoop down to their level.
Customer: “Could you do me a favor and call me back at a different number? It’s 555-5555.”
Winson: “Um, actually it looks like we’re talking on that number right now. Do you have another number you’d like me to call?”
Customer: “No, we’re not talking on that number.”
Winston: “Well, I see it right here on my phone. 555-5555.”
Anyone who’s ever worked in tech support knows the first thing you have to ask is always, “Is the machine on?” The funny thing is, ESPs kind of know this by now, and in most cases, they get pretty pissed off and confused when you ask them. To make things go a little smoother, I started asking ESPs if there are lights on their receivers because “machine” and “on” was just a bit too much for your typical ESP. That still wasn’t foolproof, as they wouldn’t just get pissed off and confused, but also would just say “yes” without fucking doing anything.
Now I ask them what color the lights are on the receiver to not only avoid pissing them off, but also to make them get off their fat asses and actually look. When they say, “None” that means it’s off. When they say, “What lights?” that means they’re lost and staring at the back of the fucking microwave. When they say, “You mean them blinky thingies?” that means there’s no hope in Hell of troubleshooting so I just need to send a tech.
Even though I find my sneaky method of finding out just how dumb people are in not being able to press power, there still is some pushback.
Customer: “I keep telling you the thing is on! Are you trying to ask me if I turned the damn receiver on?”
Winston: “Ma’am, if you could just look at the front of the receiver box and tell me what colored lights are lit up, that will give me a better idea of the state of your receiver box.”
We’re required to sign off from each call in a specific, stupid fucking way. No “goodbye,” “have a good day,” or “go fuck yourself.” It always has to be, “Thank you for calling Telescreen, have a great day.” When Big Brother and company listen to our calls, they mark us down for that shit. That in turn drops our performance ranking and means we don’t get our measly, shitty bonus. But that’s a story for another day.
Needless to say, we’re always about dropping our sign-off even after the customer hangs up, no matter how irrational. Since we get hung up on so frequently, you’d think our dipshit outro wouldn’t be needed. Not the case. This is what a call like that sounds like when customers get pissed and hang up.
Customer: “Well screw you and your damn company, I’m not paying a dime!”
Winston: “Thank you so much for calling Telescreen, have a wonderful day!”
Now that’s how you do a call right, at least according to the creeps listening in on us. I mean, you’d think it would suck getting hung up on all day, but it’s the best thing ever. When an ESP is losing their shit, you’re tired of hearing their stupid fucking voice complain about the dumbest shit, and then they hang up. Amazing.
Even though the employees can’t be creative in their sign offs, the customers sure can. Here are some of my favorites:
Talking to one ESP is bad enough. If you throw another ESP into the mix, you’ve got a fucking problem. As was the case when I was talking to some dumbass about sending a tech out to his house. The only caveat was that his wife was in the fucking background telling him what to say. Apparently he couldn’t think for himself. Or maybe his wife didn’t allow him to think.
Winston: “I’m happy to get someone out there to look at the issue, but I’m not able to waive the fee.”
Yelling Wife: “Ask him how much it’s gonna cost!”
Customer: “Yeah, how much is this gonna cost?”
Winston: “It will cost 50 dollars to send a technician out to your home.”
Customer: “He said fifty bucks.”
Yelling Wife: “Tell him to go to Hell!”
Customer: “Yeah, that’s not gonna work mister.”
Apparently he wasn’t very good at translating. He was supposed to tell me to go to Hell.
Yelling Wife: “Damnit, give me the phone! I want to give this son-of-a-bitch a piece of my mind.”
Well I guess we know who wears the pants in that household. Obviously she made him call Telescreen, but didn’t think he was doing a good enough job, so she took over. Lucky me.
In order to succeed at a job and make it a career, and employee needs a desire to advance. They need to believe in the company and their position therein. The employee must understand that with some effort, they can not only benefit the company, but also themselves.
Having said that, I could (obviously) give a flying fuck about Telescreen. That’s why I sleep on the job.
Actually, it’s been awhile since I had a little nap in the cubicle. On the morning shift in Super Department, calls are one after the other for nine frantic hours straight. When I was on the late night Tech Department shift however, I had the opportunity to doze off from time to time, and even once, passed the fuck out.
Allow me to explain. When a customer gets a new receiver, if they can’t figure out how to set it up, they call us and we have to walk them through the process. It’s decidedly simple, very rarely deviating from the tried and true step-by-step process. But it sure does take a long time. We’re talking about Telescreen equipment here, so the stuff is pure monkey shit.
The agents are supposed to lead the customer only to a certain point and then end the call because they have to be available to answer more and more calls (the sweatshop mentality remember). Yet I know that if we stay on the line waiting for everything to download it will make our lives a lot better. I know customers appreciate having someone make sure everything works. I know that everything will usually work without any issues. I know that our Q and A team (Big Brother) stops listening to calls after 30 minutes. I know the call will last more than 30 minutes. I know I don’t have to follow any bullshit guidelines. I know I can chill the fuck out for a few moments in the otherwise crazy call center.
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!”
If you were to picture the Telescreen call-center, I’m sure you can imagine it’s as big a piece of shit as the company itself. Over the years, I’ve noticed a few things in particular that continue week after week. At this point, I can’t say I’m not surprised.
The janitors (or masters of the custodial arts) have a little system for cleaning shit up. If anything spills, leaks, etc, they just put a wet floor sign up and fucking leave it. Every damn time. Shit, I want their fucking jobs.
The cafeteria area looks pretty nasty, but when you get up close, you really get a better idea. Everything is sticky. The floors, the chairs, the tables, the counters. Not sure how or why, but I really don’t want to know.
The bathrooms look like a war zone, I mean, really goddamn disgusting. Hey, I went to college, it doesn’t bother me too much. Then I saw one day how they clean up. I was in there on my break of course (see Who Said You Could Go To the Bathoom? for further insight). Then a janitor came in, grabbed a wad of paper towel, wiped everything into the trashcan, and left. Boom, done, 10 second clean up. If you’re going to cut expenses, you might as well cut out cleaning supplies. I’ve seen that multiple times now, so it’s not a one off, but another one of their cleaning systems.
When shit breaks, shit stays broken. Lights that go out stay out, so we get bitched out by toothless trailer trash in the dark. When a toilet breaks, a plastic bag is put over it for an average of a month. The cooling system fucks up every spring and fall like clockwork. We have broken desks, chairs, and tables. The only things that are promptly fixed are the computers and phones, because God forbid we wouldn’t be taking calls every second of our shifts.