Thursday, April 10, 2014

Them Phone Types

That moment when you have a perfectly fine phone interaction--

Me: Company blah blah blah, this is Hope, how can I help you?
Customer: Morning Hope, how are you?
Me: Oh, doing well, thank you, and yourself?
Customer: Living the dream.

But I swear to you if our tones had faces it would be that of Grumpy Cat. There was a glorious unspoken connection between our polite exchange of uninhibited "I hate my life".

I couldn't help chuckling morosely as he went on to explain what he needed and I transferred the call. No more than a minutes worth of interaction.

It's amazing how much you can tell/infer about a person from a phone call. From the minute they begin speaking you can usually tell how the rest of the conversation will end up going. The telemarketers will always sound overly chipper and excited, asking how your day has been and how you are doing like the sun shines out their happy bum and there is nothing else in this world they care about more than hearing what your absolutely mundane and trivial life is like. Actually, them and the Canadians. It's a toss-up.
It used to cheer me up when I'd get a phone call and the person on the other line did not sound like they automatically wanted to murder me but then I realized that 80% of the time (that's a real actual statistic that I calculated with my cleverness) (I am currently lying to you) they only wanted to sell me or the company something generally useless.
I exercise an inordinate amount of patience and compassion with telemarketers and solicitors because that job must suck. Talk about automatically wanting to murder someone over the phone, that is basically their life's work. So usually I try to be really nice and entertain their spiel and then I realize I'm just leading them on and getting their hopes up only to dash them to bits so really maybe I'm a maniacal sadist.

Then there are the angry ones that hardly even bother with the formalities and just want to get right to complaining. The best coping mechanism I've come up with for this is to just let them rant and rave and fume and engage in all kinds of wailing and gnashing of teeth and then diplomatically tell them that I am sorry for the trouble they've been through. Which is totally true. I'm sorry that you got the bad end of customer service because now I have to deal with it, too. Also that's just never fun. So I can empathize.
But seriously, don't shoot the messenger. I have zero power to make anything happen, yelling at me isn't going to change anything about the situation, it only makes me sad and turns you into a bit of a bully.

There are the optimistic ones, who call pretty much always usually in the mornings before everything has gone to crap and just want some information. They make the day go faster. Bless them.

There are the jokesters. Unfortunately, they are all identical.  "I hope you can help me out with eh? <chuckles self indulgently>" It's been almost a year guys. I am allowed to be bitter at this joke by now.

There are the slightly sexist ones, "Oh! I wasn't expecting a girl to answer...uh, should I ask you about the tools or is there someone else better..." and the accompanying quip when I related the experience (in a comic light, mind you) from my coworker, "Rude? or funny cuz it's true?"
It's only true because it's not my job to know. Not because I have boobs and a baby portal. So shutup.

There are also the talkative ones, who seem to want to give me their entire life story before getting a chance to ask what they're calling about. I always listen because they're generally more interesting than emails. And often elderly, which makes them just cute and fun to listen to.

It's funny what you can tell about a person without ever meeting them. It's even crazier what you can't tell about a person having never met them.

People are crazy.

For the record, I do not actually "hate my life" as stated above. I am merely using the colloquial phrase generally hyperbolized in internet meme-ing. Also I think I just made up a word. Which probably means I'm using it improperly. #yolo

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