Friday, March 10, 2006

Caller go ahead

I had a fun time the other day. I'm working for the regional president of a major downtown company, and every once in a while, a person will want to speak directly to the president instead of handling a complaint through the proper channels. I understand this, and therefore will happily take customer calls. There have only been 3 in the 6 weeks that I've worked there, and the first two were more than understanding. Someone's using our name on a phishing e-mail, and our security center is doing everything they can to find the perpetrator(s), but until then, there's nothing we can do about it. This woman was calling about something more sinister by a long shot, and was ANGRY about it.

Names are changed to protect the innocent.

Me: Bob Smith's office, may I help you?
Her: Who is the president of your company?
Me: The regional president is at this office, the president of the whole company is John Jones, he's at our other city office.
Her: I'd like to speak with John Jones. (VERY snotty tone, mind you.)
Me: Okay, let me get you the number to our other city office. (It's long distance.)
Her: Well, let me tell YOU what's going on. For the past HALF AN HOUR I have been gettin' calls from what sounds like a fax machine, and they're coming from your number, and I want it stopped.
Me: What number was it coming from? Was it (Here, I name the switchboard number that shows up on all outgoing calls, therefore making it impossible to determine the origin of the call)?
Her: YES.
Me: Ma'am, I'm sorry, there's no way to determine where that call is coming from. All of our outgoing calls
Her: I KNOW that. I want it stopped.
Me: I understand, I know it's frustrating. It's happened to me before. The fax will resend about 3 times before giving up-
Her: I WANT IT STOPPED.
Me: -at which point the person may have tried it again to see if the number would work. The person sending-
Her: What am I supposed to do when my husband comes home and goes to sleep? (Launches in to why her husband isn't home right now, and that he will be FURIOUS BEYOND COMPARE IF HE'S EVER WOKEN UP.)
Me: (turn off your phone??) The person sending the fax-
Her: It had better be stopped within the hour.
Me: The person sending the fax will realize shortly that their number is wrong and will try the right one. I apologize very sincerely for this, as I know it's frustrating. Please be patient, it's just a wrong number.
Her: WELL. If MY HUSBAND gets home and goes to sleep, and is woken up by the phone, I will sue you.
Me: (well, we're SOL if one of your bridge girlfriends calls you, aren't we. Turn off your freaking phone. This lady just wants to vent, she won't sue us, this conversation's pretty much over.) I understand, ma'am. I apologize for the inconvenience.
Her: I'm giving you an hour. If this isn't stopped by then, I'm calling my attorney.
Me: (Don't leave him a message to call you back, then.) I understand. The person sending the fax will soon realize that they have a wrong number.
Her: ONE HOUR. (Voice of doom.)
Me: Yes ma'am. I am very sorry about this.

Some people aren't cut out for this. Some people are shaken by such calls. I know that she wouldn't sue one of the biggest companies in the state for an annoying wrong number. I also know that she's lonely, and power hungry, and woke up that morning wanting to bring SOMEONE trembling to their knees. That's okay with me. I'll let ya vent, but generally, once you bring up the law suit, you're just throwing a tantrum anyway - not to mention you busting out the "s" word won't change the fact that we can't determine where the call is coming from. She never called back. Have some whiskey, though, lady. Life is more important than this.

3 comments:

LaCasey said...

Haha! Little taste of what I do everyday - you're right - she just wanted to vent

(also if it ever comes up again - which for your sake I hope it doesn't- if you hit 7 digits into the phone while the fax machine is doing it's thing it won't try back again)

shiksa said...

How ridiculous, all of this shouting for no good reason. Has this woman never heard of turning off her ringer? Do we need to send her a friendly-gram asking her to get a clue?

Anonymous said...

I hate the people who are SOMEBODY and expect instant results, rules bent or waived and/or subservience because of their exalted status in their own minds. We get quite a few of those.
In my experience most genuine 'somebodies' are very polite and considerate.