Call Center Follies, or Monkeys with typewriters

Working at a call center has taught me one thing, it is a universal trait of human nature to deny responsibility. I want everyone who ever reads this damn blog to understand something. You are responsible for your own actions, and there is a ‘normalcy’ baseline for everything all men do. This baseline comes from God, but is seated in decency, morality and faith. It is not normal to wear a tail and be a furry.

A person has to accept that he is fat because he will not exercise and because he will not eat even slightly healthy. So it is with phones. There are many different kinds of customers who call, and you tailor, like a popular, middle class courtesan, to their tastes. Some like to talk, and so you talk. Some need firm hands, others can only be handled tenderly, like fine china. Take some examples. Of the two genders, I am most wary about women. They are crazy.

It’s a two-fold problem, they are paying for services, but expect things I can’t give, also, they refuse to realize what’s their fault and what’s not. More subtly, entitlement follows through, but men are more naked with it, while women have the ‘not my responsibility’ flavor. Men do get angry, but they want solutions. The best way to ‘De-escalate’ a man is to bring solutions in a respectful manner. Get right down to the troubleshooting. Doesn’t work all the time, but it’s the best solution, by far. Women are different. It’s a maze of sorts. Some are akin to men and are decent sorts. Others… not so much.

Women in call centers are to men in the market, 9.9/10 useless to pursue, despite high numbers. They have problems or they are crazy. A call center woman is unable to get a man to provide for her, or needs extra money. Any number of things. The women who call them do. It’s funny to deal with them, in that they know that the men around them are not high-quality, mostly, and that there is a life outside the call center.

Some stories.

A woman calls in. Turns out she has no service in the area because of a tower being maintained. The tower was discovered to have flaws that needed to be fixed. Mostly, services drop a bar or two when maintenance is going on, but this one needed to be shut down. They were in the outskirts of a decent city so they could get service, but not at their homes. She was already angry, but not at me, but at the other 3 agents she called, who instead of looking at the network indicator, troubleshot. I played it cool and she didn’t escalate, forcing me to bring a manager. She demanded recompense and I offered a paltry sum, expecting her to demand more, then I would give the upper limit and so barter. Instead she stated her husband would be calling about recompense, and she wouldn’t accept anything ahead of time. I told her it wasn’t policy to give a lot of money for services being down for maintenance, but she hung up.

Another woman got past me, the next manager, his manager HER manager. She was angry because she was going over data. Little known fact, Iphones use up a lot of data constantly. You really have to put them on wifi or you could run over your limit without realizing it. She refused to accept her son’s Iphone was using 8 gigs of a 10 gig plan (she was using 3, her husband, 2. This is all rounded up, as the system rounds up). She demanded to speak to the manager. I was not able to calm her down, and she got to speak to one. She was told she did go over and the charges were legitimate. She escalated. Same thing, Escalation. Talking to the manager does not get you what you want. If you are wronged, sure that’s different. But I’ll take care of it for you. Just need a little approval.

Of course, being wronged is by our definition. Being wronged is a charge you don’t deserve because you don’t have the service or your phone goes crazy for no reason is a perfectly good reason for recompense. A woman called a customer care (I am tech support) and, this is through the agent, told us that she had been told that a giant ass crack that looked like lightning and covered the bottom half and maybe a good 1/8th of the surface area over all was not physical damage. Oh honey, it is. I told him the charges were legitimate and she needs to cover them. When you warranty exchange the phone undeservedly (and we check and probe), someone pays for it. When it’s legitly broke by no fault of the customer, it’s the pleasure of my company to exchange them. But if it has water damage or cracks or broken bits, then sorry, we don’t exchange for free.

A man calls up, he has no service when he travels to the boonies of California, and so missed a call. Sorry chuck, but your phone dropping calls out there where there is a known tower problem, if there are any around, is not XXXXX fault, and you’ve already had been given money by other agents. You get squat. No I don’t care if you lost business. XXXXX understands you need service, but damn, you gotta stay in range of the towers to get it guaranteed.

Men do have a problem with anger. It makes them lose focus on the goal, that is fixing the phone. A man calls in. He was hit with some fees that were erroneous charges. Happens sometimes, insurance or our billing goofs and bad things happen. If the charges are not legitimate, it is nearly a rule to remove them… if the customer is willing to play the respect game. He lost service because of the charges. But he paid a little while they dealt with it. He had two phones but only one worked. I was perfectly fine with opening up service, but unfortunately, I was very unfamiliar with this particular process, and needed approval besides, and so called a manager. I told him, hey, I’m summoning up a manager, and then we’ll deal with this, right? But the guy was angry about it. He called me a ‘monkey with a typewriter’. I laughed. He got angrier. He wasn’t in control. He disconnected and didn’t get his issue resolved.

These are some stories. Parables in a way, as it reminds one that the alpha’s goals are more important than injustices, scratches or his own mistakes. I sit and handle calls. I wish to serve, and enjoy it, in a small way, soul draining though it is. I do not give you what you do not deserve or what is not in XXXXX’s best interest. (Btw, the number of Xs is wrong) That is alpha because it’s my job. I provide services to ensure that the money you spent on us is handled properly. I know my way around the stuff now, and rarely ask for help from the managers. But damn, I may be a servile, but I do not give an inch I should not give. Keep that in mind when you get a good call center worker. The best will give what you need.

Don’t get me started on stay at home call workers. I hate their guts. But that’s another post.

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