Doth she not bleed?

The other day at work, an old lady rang up because she’d paid her car registration and then realised she could get a rebate from the government for it.  Could she claim the rebate back now, she wanted to know – or was it too late.  She’d rung the authorities, but couldn’t get through.

So I offered to ring on her behalf and find out.  After listening to about half an hour’s worth of ‘hold’ music, I finally get an operator, with a chirpy, tinny little teenage voice.

‘Can I help you?’

‘Yes, thanks..(and I explain the situation)..Do you know who I need to talk to?’

‘Just a minute..I’m not sure, I’ll just see if I can find out.’

More hold music.  Gotta love it.  Ten more minutes and she comes back with ‘Apparently it’s the XYZ team that deals with that, I’ll just pop you through to them.’

‘Thanks,’ I say, ‘But I’m ringing on someone else’s behalf, so they’ll actually need to speak to her.  Is there a direct number I could give her for the XYZ team?’

‘Oh no, we’re not allowed to give out direct numbers, she has to come through the call centre.’

‘Oh. Well, could I tell her to ask the operator to direct her to the XYZ team, then? Just to save time.  You see, I don’t want her to have to wait..’

‘Sorry, no I can’t do that.  It might be a different operator, and we always have to ask for a full explanation before we put anyone through.’

‘Ah. Well, maybe she could just explain briefly,and THEN ask to be put through to the XYZ team.  Just to save the operator the additional ten minutes of looking up who the enquiry should go to?’

‘No, I can’t do that either.’

‘But it would save you time!’

(In hurt tones) ‘You need to realise that it’s not very nice for a call centre employee to answer a call and then just be told ‘put me through to so and so please!’.  That’s not a very nice experience for us.’

(Silently) ‘Right. And the point of your job is that YOU get to feel appreciated?’

Sometimes high self-esteem can be BLOODY ANNOYING!



  1. I LOVE OFFICE SPACE!!!!!!!!!!!! Oh lady, you had yourself a MOOOONDAY. A rather harsh case of the Mundays. So sorry.

    Re: The movie. Why do people have to dress up to do stupid jobs!? Also, the actor, is he not the FUNNIEST face-maker of all time?!?!?!

    THANKS for the laugh, however i know your grief from the phone center.

    OK, video OFF, i’m having a Chinese Water Torture moment! xo

    1. I LOVE office Space too! I’ve seen it ten times! I don’t know why people have to dress up to do ANY job – neat should be ok. And yeah, Kevin Spacey’s great – I like just about any movie he’s in.

    1. Yeah, that’s a point. I don’t so much mind if they fulfil themselves on my time, but I was ringing for someone who was old and frustrated and a bit confused – so I was a bit annoyed on her behalf. In the end, the girl said she’d get someone to ring the customer direct – so I really can’t complain too loud.

  2. I’m on vacation right now and am realizing that the best part of my holiday is escaping cubicle hell! I can’t watch the video for 14 minutes….

  3. Apropos of possibly nothing – don’t you love it when you contact a call center which is obviously in Manila or Bangalore and the guy on the phone says “hello, this is Jeff speaking, may I…” and you know, you just know his real name isn’t Jeff so it becomes your mission to find out what his real name is and it’s Rajiv or something and you go “oh Man That’s an awesome name” (because, face it, all Indian names are awesome) and he’s like all “oh thank you – I hate using the fake name – it is an insult to the ancestors I was named for and shames me in my community” and you feel all righteous because you have helped break one little link on his cubicle chain. Well, I do anyway…

  4. Rose, is it just me but isn’t the point of a call centre person to provide assistance to people? I sometimes feel that they themselves don’t get that purpose. The ACT government call centre arrangements are irritating as are the take a number a wait centres they call ‘shop fronts’. I hate that people are so script driven that they can’t think outside them and see logic. One plus however is they haven’t sent our call centres offshore (yet), CS

  5. Wow. That’s amazing service that call center offers. 🙂 Is the object to help someone reach the correct person or just be tossed around like a hot potato?

  6. There you go, Beautiful, helping on behalf of someone else! You were just trying to save someone else some time and confusion. I can be very impatient on the phone with folks like that….and I detest being left on hold forever n ever n ever….

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