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.”
In honor of the birthday boy’s big day on the 25th, I thought I’d drop a fun little story about the importance of Sunday, the sabbath. Take note, don’t miss church, ever.
A woman called in because a technician didn’t make it out to her house that day and it had to be rescheduled. Something had fucked up in the scheduling system and by the time I talked to her there were no techs available. Sure it’s frustrating waiting for someone to come to your house and then not having them show up, I get that.
What I didn’t get is why this broad had to call ten times before she got to me and ignored everyone telling her they couldn’t get a tech out. If they could get someone out, they would, but man, she just didn’t like hearing the word “no.”
She spent most of the time threatening legal action against both Telescreen and myself because she was “a paralegal.” Oh shit, watch out everybody.
Customer: “I ain’t missing work no more, you hear me? Remember, I said I was a damn paralegal!”
Winston: “Well I can get someone to come out this Sunday so you don’t miss work again. If you’d like, I can also call the local office to make sure you’re first on the list.”
Customer: “Ah Hell nah! Don’t you know what day that is? I go to church on Sunday!”
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.
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!”
Some ESP’s are in such extreme denial that they refuse to accept the truth. This happens quite a bit. For example, their bill says they owe 75 bucks. They think their bill should be free for some fucking reason. I explain why their bill is in fact 75 bucks, then they lose their shit. They yell, hang up, get their service disconnected, get sent to collections, and lose their shit again like two years later. I think the idea is that if they hang up, their bill magically goes away. Telescreen loves money too much to let that happen.
Other ESP’s like to jump on the denial train immediately. One in particular was quite skilled at blocking what he didn’t want to hear. He explained that he cancelled the service because it was a piece of shit. Understandable, Telescreen service is in fact really shitty. But then I had to explain a little issue with that. I kind of had to break some bad news. Since there’s a charge for breaking a contract, and Telescreen sure as shit doesn’t let us waive it, this psycho had 200 big ones on his bill. I started breaking the news slowly, but he was ready.
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.
Some people are just such raging assholes it’s ridiculous. They call up customer service and bully the reps into giving them what they want, all while verbally attacking and putting down the people that are helping them. I at least have the satisfaction of knowing that when they call me, I could give a fuck about their general existence on this earth, let alone their stupid fucking TV problems.
A call came in and must have been a cell phone, because it broke up a bit. I thought it sounded like some sort of salutation, but I wasn’t completely sure.
Winston: “I’m good, how are you?”
Customer: “What? I didn’t ask how you were. I asked if you have my account in front of you. Is that too much for you to handle?”
Winston: “I have your account here, what can I help you with?”
Customer: “Well then why don’t you look over my account and figure it out yourself?”
Apparently bitching is easy, but explaining is far too difficult.
Winston: “Well I see you’re trying to order a replacement remote.”
Customer: “No, I ordered a remote five times and five of you idiots failed. If they were working for me, they would all be fired. You are in a position of authority and you need to get this done NOW!”