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FTOS: Stand Outs

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Last time I very, very briefly wrote about how callers try to distinguish themselves by saying outrageous things during calls. Because customer service agents take dozens of calls a day, most people—irate or not—blend into one another and or are quickly forgotten. Most. Here are a few that recently have insisted on taking up brain space.

1) A middle-aged woman called in a refund request. She told me she wanted all of the money she had paid thus far back, because, as she put it, “I am dead broke. I’ve got absolutely no money to spare for anything. I need to save every penny, because otherwise I won’t be able to pay my bills. I need to pay my electric bill!” There was a rustling sound on the line, and her voice grew fainter. “Yeah, I want a number four with extra cheese. And an apple pie and parfait. Upgrade that fry to a large, and substitute the soda for a large strawberry shake. You got that? No, wait, stop: I’m not talking to you. I’m talking to the girl I got on the phone.”

2) A thirty-ish man called in with no specific request. He simply wanted to boast about himself, saying things like, “Yeah, I’ve got a pret-ty important job” and “Take a look at my photos. Pretty hot, huh?”

Because we’re not allowed to be honest on sensitive matters like the latter—even if, say, we ever do find someone incredibly attractive, which I didn’t at the time—I replied, robot-like, “Yes, sir.” Then he said, “Well maybe I should just date you,” and I snorted into the line, prompting a “What was that?”

“Uh, what?”

3) A forty-year-old woman talked at length about the “soul mate” she had met on the service, detailing the messages they had exchanged on the site, the Christmas present she had bought him, and their history together. She added that she had lost his contact information and could she please have it? We never release that information, so the request was denied. Later, as I wrapped up her account and finished completing my call log, I saw that she and the “soul mate” had never once exchanged any sort of communication. Hmm.

4) A man without an account mistook our customer service number for some sort of singles chat line. I told him that our service is internet-based, and that he wouldn’t be able to meet eligible singles by calling in. He said, “I’m not big on the internet. I just want an easy way to meet a woman. You sound all right. How ‘bout you?”

5) A seventy-ish woman complained that it isn’t easy enough to arrange one-night stands on our service. She didn’t actually use the words “one-night stand,” but after listening to her for a minute, it became very clear that that was she was looking for. She wasn’t the first senior citizen to express to me her sexual desires. But if she practices what she described, hers are among the most sexually liberal practices I’ve ever heard of. From anyone. Ever. (Is a “You go, girl!” in order? A teensy part of me feels it is, even while I insist on clinging to the primitive People Who Are Old Enough to Be My Grandparent Do Not Have Sex notion.)

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