Saturday, October 16, 2004

Who Reads Those Things???

I have to admit, I don't read everything I get after signing up for something, but after working for NABABNA, I realize that it is kind of important. Here are some of my favorites:

Young Customer (YC): I don't understand why my checking account is overdrawn. Can you help me?
K: Sure, let's go over your transactions since the last time you balanced your statement with the bank's balance.
YC: Statement? What's a statement?
K: hitting mute button and laughing hysterically

I would have to say that that is just as good as "I shouldn't be overdrawn, I still have checks left."

Ms. I don't Pay (MIDP): Why did you take money from my account?
K: NABABNA will take money from a related account if you default on your payments.
MIDP: You can't do that! I don't have to make payments on this loan. I've had loans in the past that never required that I make a payment.
K: That's interesting. Did you read your loan documents that you signed when you opened the loan?
MIDP: Who reads those things? I don't have to make payments. This loan doesn't require them.
K: Unfortunately, when you sign up for a loan, you are required to make payments to pay back what you've borrowed.
MIDP: No! I already told you I don't have to pay. Put my money back in my account. Right now!
K: As much as I would love to do that for you, our collections department took that money because you defaulted and I am unable to do so at this time.
MIDP: No! That's my money and you had no right to do that.
K: Well MIDP, when you borrow money from a bank, it stands to reason that you would be reqired to pay it back. I suggest that you read your original loan documents. By signing them, you agree to make your payments on a regular basis and that NABABNA has the right to take money out of a related account should you default on your payments.
MIDP: No! I want my money back. I want to talk to someone who can give me back my money!
K: I'd be happy to transfer you to our collections area. Since they took the money from your account, they can discuss this with you.
MIDP: Fine. Trnasfer me then.

Okay, I wasn't going to point out that there is a history of payments that were made in the past on the loan. What I really wanted to say to her is that I can see that you have made payments to this loan in the past. If you don't make them, then where did the money come from? Why are you now stating that you don't have to pay the money back? Give me a break! We aren't stupid.

Wednesday, October 13, 2004

Origami - the art of stuffing a piece of paper into a smaller envelope

Before I go to far, I need to come clean. I wrote this post originally in August, but the computer freaked out and I lost it. I kept putting it off and putting it off because of my own laziness. Tonight, I attempt to recapture the dreaded call that may go down in history as the "Stupidest Woman on Earth Calls NABABNA."

I did not take this call myself. I stood next to a co-worker talking to this woman. The cast of characters include: Asha, the banker who received the call; Timmy, the supervisor dealing with this woman; and Ms. Folding-Up-Challenged (ha! I'm not adding a fourth word to that!) or FUC.

Imagine the setting, the evening is winding down, bankers are watching the clock (the evil master dictating over all workers of the world) slowly creep up to closing time. Asha has just started at NABABNA and is not expecting to deal with this type of customer. Timmy is looking around, noticing people gathering up their belongings and smiling because he's leaving in one hour. It's been a pretty decent day at work, not many morons today, and he should have knocked on wood. He really should have.

A: Thank you for calling NABABNA. This is Asha. How can I help you? The sugary sweetness of her voice is apparent, nothing can get this girl down.
FUC: This is ridiculous. YOU need to help me right NOW! How do you expect me to get this payment in the envelope?
A: I am happy to help you ma'am. You are trying to put a payment in an envelope?
FUC: Well, that's what I said. How do I do this?
A: Did you fold it?
FUC: I can't get the address to show in the window! You need to help me with this RIGHT NOW!
A: Is it a payment to NABABNA?
FUC: That doesn't matter! You are trained in helping me with my payments!
A: Our payments do not have envelopes with windows. We are not trained in explaining this over the phone. I can try to help you.
FUC: You're stupid! Give me your supervisor!
A: I'm sorry, I want to help you.
FUC: Give me your supervisor RIGHT NOW!
A: Okay, can you hold?
FUC: Duh!

Asha placed Ms. FUC on hold. She dials the helpdesk and gets Timmy's friendly, calm voice on the other end.

T: Helpline, this is Timmy. How can I help you?
A: Timmy, this is Asha. I have a lady who would like to talk to a supervisor because I don't know how to help her in fitting her payment in the envelope.
T: What?!? She's escalating because she doesn't know how to fold paper?
A: As far as I can figure, this is correct.
T: Do you have any information on her?
A: No, she did not give me that.
T: Is the payment to NABABNA.
A: She didn't really answer that but I don't think so.
T: Alright, put her through.

Asha connects the woman to Timmy.

T: Thank you for holding ma'am. My name is Timmy and I understand you would like help folding your payment to fit in the envelope.
FUC: That girl is stupid! She doesn't know how to walk me through folding this paper and making the address show through the window of the envelope provided! If I don't get this mailed, I'll be late. How am I supposed to know how to get this to fit? This just doesn't make sense. Your people should be trained in directing someone how to do this. I KNOW you went through this training. You know and won't tell me!
T: I'd be happy to try and help...
FUC: Try??? TRY? You'll do better than try! You know how to do this. If you don't, YOU'RE stupid too! I tried over and over and I can't get the address to show in the envelope. I've been dealing with this for two hours now and I WANT HELP! I don't want you to TRY. You're stupid.
T: I'm sorry ma'am, I want to help you...
FUC: Don't you have the training? You should be able to tell me which side to fold first and at what point I should crease the paper. You have EXTENSIVE training in this. I KNOW you did. You're just an idiot!
T: I do not appreciate what you are saying ma'am. Please allow me to try and help you. Is this payment to NABABNA?
FUC: That doesn't matter. No, it's not.
T: I'm not trained in giving directions on how to fold paper over the phone, no one at NABABNA is. I can try to find options or a solution for you.
FUC: You're just stupid! You are TOO trained and you'll do this for me! I want you to give me the answer RIGHT NOW.
T: Have you tried just using an envelope without a window and writing the address on it?
FUC: Oh, now you're getting smart with me! You are dumb! You are stupid. You are lying to me. I know that you can give me the directions on how to do this.
T: Ma'am, NABABNA doesn't use envelopes with windows for payments. We have no training on how to direct someone over the phone. I can't see the paper, how would I know where you should fold a different company's payment to fit their envelope?
FUC: Whatever. You KNOW how to do this!

For the sake of not repeating over and over, this call lasted for 45 minutes. By the end, Timmy was just sitting there, staring at the wall with a look of shock on his face. The woman started just repeating and never allowed Timmy to interject. He never did get her to fold the paper correctly. She's really mad at NABABNA because another company uses windowed envelopes.

Now, my question is: How do you become an adult without knowing how to FOLD paper?!?!? This isn't like actual origami. It doesn't need to be shaped like a green duckie or anything.

Maybe Timmy was wrong and we are trained in folding paper. I must have missed that day of training.

My first Moron Mouth post from the new call center

Sigh. I was hoping to avoid these but, really, did I think I would escape the craziness that is customers?

Anyway, as you may or may not know, I am not working at the banking call center anymore. I am now working in the stock holders call center. I am still in training right now but, as part of our training, they have us answering the calls from shareowners that have questions about stock splits or other types of corporate actions. Now, we're not the corporations that the customers hold stock with. We are just the service area. But yet, we still get the brunt of their wrath over whatever is going on with their company.

I have heard a lot of people say "This is so stupid. Why are they doing this?" I have heard "Well, you better tell them to stop this (This is similar to suggesting that I call Donald Trump and tell him I don't like that he's firing all of these people. Not going to happen)."

But the best one, the reason why I am posting today, is what has been happening when old people and automated systems meet. I answer the phone.

DM: Stock Holding Services (yes, I'm still being tricky). This is Dana. How may I help you?
Stock Holder (SH): Beep. Boop. Long Pause. Beep (They are trying to enter in either their account number or their social security number).
DM: Stock Holding Services...
SH: Beeeeeeeeep.
DM: Stock...
SH: Beepbeepbeep.
DM: Stock Holding Ser...
SH: Beep. Boop. Beep.
DM: Stock Holding Services. This is Dana. How may I help you?
SH: I need some information.
DM: Okay, I'd be happy to help you. May I have your account information?
SH: Well, I entered it in. Didn't you get it?
DM: I apologize. It sounded like you were trying to enter that in so I didn't get the information.
SH: Oh.

That's what I say. What I really want to say is "I'm sorry. My ear is not able to translate beeps yet. I'm working on getting that training though."

And there is still the people that want to give you too much information. For example, Small Business changed it's name about twenty years ago to Larger Business. Now Larger Business is in the process of doing a stock split. All of our customers are now calling, frantic because their stock certificates still have the name Small Business on them. Usually you can explain that it's still the same stock and it's nothing to worry about it. But sometimes you get those people that just won't let you talk. For example:

DM: Thank you for calling Stock Holding Services. This is Dana. How may I help you?
Frantic Female (FF): I am having a problem. I went to the safe and I don't have Larger Business, I only have Small Business. What do I do?
DM: I'd be happy to explain that...
FF: Did you know that they had a name change?
DM: Yes, I'd be...
FF: I guess I didn't pay attention. I knew there was a name change but I didn't pay attention to it, I don't know what I'm supposed to do.
DM: Well, I can certainly...
FF: I'm not sure what I'm supposed to do. What am I going to do? Is my stock lost?
DM: If I could...
FF: Why aren't you answering me? Don't you know what happened?
DM: Ma'am, I'm trying...
FF: I stood in that little booth and I almost had diarrhea when I realized I had the wrong stock.
DM: Oh, you did not just say that. Ma'am, I'd like to help you. If I could get your account information, I can help you with this situation.
FF: Don't you have it?

Finally, I get her identified and explain the situation. Then I listen to her tell me how stupid she is and she feels so dumb and she has a PHD and she shouldn't be so stupid and gosh, she's really stupid.

This should be a two minute call. With her, it took 10 minutes. So, if any customers stumble onto this website, believe me when I say that I'm only telling you this for your own good. Shut the hell up! I'm trying to help you.

Anyway, hope you enjoyed today's post. I hope to have another one soon.

Grammar people! Grammar! It is important!

Why are there certain words people just can't say? Customers and bankers alike, there are words that when they violate my ears, I cringe.

I have heard this phrase before, "I wanna ax you a question. I got dis insignificant funds notice on my checkings account but I know I had monies in there. Someone must have stoledend my monies!"


"Ax" me a question? What? Are you threatening to chop me in two? I'm not a tree!

I am not commenting fuller on wanna and dis. I know these are more dialect than improper grammar.

"Insignificant funds"? Try insufficient. This means you didn't have the money, not that your money has no value. Big difference when said to a banker.

"Checkings account"? Not quite as annoying as "monies" and "stoldened" (I'll get to them, I promise), but still horrible. It is a checking account. Drop the 's'. You may have a "savings" account. Checking is not plural. It is a checking account because you use the funds by writing a check. Savings is plural because you are saving up funds. If there was only one fund in there, you are no longer in the process of saving!

"Monies"? Only plural when you are actually referring to different types of money. For example, if you said you had a collection of monies and it included dollars, pesos, francs, etc., you would then be correct. If you are referring to the funds in your account, they are all one type of money!

"Stoledend"? This is my absolute worst pet peeve at work. I have actually heard bankers use this term and I want to scream. Try the terms: stole or stolen. Stoled is not a word! I understand it is an irregular verb, but saying, "stoledend" makes you sound like an IDIOT!

Other terms I've heard but not in the phrase listed above:

"Benifixinary" instead of "beneficiary". This came from a banker. What image are we presenting as a representative of NABABNA when this is said? A BAD one. Yeah, that's right, an unprofessional one.

Not necessarily poor grammar, but just plain scary:
This was said to a third party calling in, "Hey, Mister Phone Guy on the Phone." When I spoke to the banker about it, he asked me what he could have used instead. I said, "Oh, I don't know. How about 'Sir'? Sir is a good choice. It's shorter even!"

As I come up with more, I will add new posts.

I dread spell check on this one.

Monday, October 11, 2004

A link to Firebear's World

Firebear also works in a call center. So he, on occasion, also runs into the crazy people, those who are also known as customers.

It is amazing that, no matter where you work, whatever you do, some of the calls you get are so incredibly stupid that you're glad we don't have video phones so the customers can't see you laughing at them. Or flipping them off.

Anyway, here's a link to his call center vant (except he called it a rant. But we're working on getting vant into his lingo). I think you'll enjoy it.