Saturday, December 04, 2004

Now Introducing Larry!

I asked in the recent notifylist update for tales of your customer stories. I've had two responses. One is from Larry (AKA Firebear). Larry also works in a call center and has had some interesting experiences that he's shared on his blog. You can imagine my joy when I found this in my email inbox today.

The following is all from Larry. Check out his blog. We, the powers that be at Moron Mouth, are quite fond of him. I love referring to myself as a power that be. It's kind of fun. Untrue but fun. Okay, I'll shut up now. It's Larry's turn to talk (or write, whatever the case may be).

Paging Doctor Firebear!

Like a hospital emergency room, the call center services hundreds of people a day with different degrees of situations. Some are red alerts, some are yellow, but mostly they are just ordinary, run of the mill, easy fixes. The call center, also much like a hospital emergency room, has a handful of regular clients.

These frequent callers are always calling us. Some every month, some every week, some every day, heck some every hour. They are easy to break down into categories. Some we actually like, much like an affectionate puppy. Most are just annoying. Please do not be one of these people. We often know them by first name, and laugh at you after the call. As in:
"Mitch called again, I think I talk to him more then I talk to my neighbor, and I’m sleeping with her!"

I have to note that about two years ago we got an upgrade in our computer system at the call center. Now every time someone reaches out to our center it gets noted and recorded. So when a person decides to call us 5, 6 or 137 times, we can see that. It is great to see how many different ways some one can describe their awful situation. Some can spin a new version in just the 10-15 minutes it takes to get through our telephone system. We don’t always share this tidbit of info with the callers. It is more fun that way.

The Noisy Wheel – Mr. NW has a problem. If he calls again and again and again, the problem will be fixed. He knows for a fact that if he does not call every single day, that his paperwork will be put on a desk and forgotten. I wish I could say this does not work, but it does. Just so that he stops calling.

Ask the other Parent – Mrs. AP wants something. Let’s say she wants to get credit for those five years she worked as a lost dog finder. She calls and talks to Steven. Steven explains that she can not get credit for that. Mrs. AP then waits an hour and calls back. Now she gets Winston. Winston explains that she can not get credit for that time. She calls again. She gets Steven again. Mrs. AP does not realize she has already talked to Steven about this. Steven explains that no, she can not get credit for that time. She calls again and gets George. George is tired and tells her yes she can get credit for her lost dog finder work. Now she believes him! Yes, it is the wrong answer, but it is what Mrs. AP wanted to hear!

Lonely Person – Mostly just looking for someone to talk to. And will talk about anything and everything. Makes up reasons to call more and more. This people are the toughest to deal with. They are just nice, lonely people looking to talk to someone.
"Hi Ms. LP, did your dog have those puppies yet? Great! Wow 9 in the litter? Must be great. Ok, and no Ma’am, the slight drop that the stock market took yesterday did not cause you to lose your pension."

Hello, I’m Crazy! – A real mixed bag here. Two stand out though. The lady who claims that she is John Kerry’s illegitimate daughter. Of course, this woman is actually older then John Kerry, but I’ve never told her that. Someone did put an emergency note on her file, stating that whenever she calls tell her she has to call 555-1212. That is the number to information in our area.

"If you don’t give me that money right away, I am going to have my dad, John Kerry come up there! Have you heard of John Kerry? Yeah, he will kick your butt, my dad will!"
The other "Hello, I’m Crazy!" Is Roosevelt. Roosevelt calls three or four times a month. He always makes my day. The conversation always goes the same way.

"Mr. Larry, Mr. Larry! My check, its coming on the 25th this month right? It will go in the mail on the 24th after 3:00 PM right! Good good! You got my address there right Mr. Larry? 1313 Mockingbird Lane, right Mr. Larry? Good, good, got to get my check to buy my medicine! Mr. Larry, you know, I need that money. Can you send it out a couple days early? Just so I get it sooner? No? Oh that’s ok, Mr. Larry. Now that check is coming out on the 25th this month, right?"

It is also funny when I see notes from when he talked to someone else in the call center.
"Explained to member he does not need to call every month."
"Suggested member sign up for direct deposit, member declined."
"Same ?’s, same answers.

Roosevelt is not going to change, and I will miss him when he stops calling.

I am sure there are other regular callers. These are just the ones I know and love!

Thank you, Larry, for your guest post. We appreciate it! We also have a post from Darlene to be added to the site but I do not remember her blog address and want to make sure she gets full credit.