I had some stuff pre-written, which is probably good since I think it'll be a while before I feel like writing anything now.
I think I'm going to be writing a lot of posts in dialogue format; it just makes sense, since my job is all talking now. If you guys find it gets confusing, let me know, and I'll start color coding things or try to otherwise make it more clear. But I think I'll probably end up writing it much like I do when I write creatively, with details and markers to try to break it up. So we'll see how it goes.
"Thank you for calling TV Company, my name is (wouldn't you like to know), how can I help you today?" I always open my calls the same, with my best polite and soothing voice.
"Well, I just got my bill," the Southern lady on the other end of the phone drawled. "And there's this nice lil letter in there that says 'great news, we're not increasing prices this year.' But my bill has gone up by two dollars and I wanna know why."
"I can definitely take a look at that for you, ma'am. Can you get your name please?"
"Yes, my name is Shirley Anderson."
I had already clicked over to her billing information and I knew what the problem was. Here's how it should have gone: she gives me her name, we verify the account. I apologize and say the letter does say we're not having increases on our primary packages, but she has an additional channel package that did have a $2 per month increase. If she was still pissed, I had authorization to credit her $2 per month for twelve months. Her bill goes back to normal, she's happy. Total call time: maybe three minutes. Back to reality though ....
"Thank you, Ms. Anderson. I do need to securely verify your account. Are you at home with access to your television?"
She hesitated. "Why?"
"To verify your account I just need to get a piece of information from your equipment."
"Ugh!" she sighed. "What if I just put my husband on the phone, since his name is on the account."
"I see that ma'am, but you're also an authorized user. Either way I'll still need to get the information." I explained. "All you'll need to do is press your menu button two times and read me a number."
"No! No, I don't want to do that. I just want to know why my bill went up."
Fuck, I thought. "I'm sorry, Ms. Anderson, but without verifying the account I can't give out any information. We do this to prevent unauthorized changed on your account."
"Well! I want to talk to your supervisor! She wants me to do somethin' on the tv," she hollered to somebody in the house.
I smiled so it would show in my voice. "If you'd like I can absolutely get you to my supervisor, ma'am, but he won't be able to give you any information without verifying your account."
"I want to talk to your supervisor!"
"Okay ma'am, may I place you on hold while I get him on the line?"
"Yes." she started jabbering to whoever was home with her while I pressed the hold button, took off my headset, and turned around .... to find my supervisor wasn't there. Frat Boy has a habit of wandering off. So I went to my computer to access the supervisor thread for the building, and found it had been deleted. Son of a bitch. I was going to have to run all over the place finding a free supervisor to take a call. I turned around and to my relief, someone had arrived to fill in for Frat Boy.
"Hey, Allen. This woman wants to know why her bill went up but she won't verify the account and wants a supervisor."
He shook his head. "Tell her I can't give her any information either."
"Oh, I did. She doesn't care."
"Well, I'm not even logged in, try the sup thread." he sat down and started logging in, which takes three to four minutes.
"It doesn't exist anymore."
He stared up at me blankly. "Okay, put the number on our chat and I'll tell you when I've logged in."
Great. Now I got to spend several uncomfortable minutes on the phone with this bitch, who could have already ended her call if she would have just taken literally ten seconds to get me an equipment number. Okay, please thirty more seconds to set up a password so next time we wouldn't have to get that number. But instead, I got to get back on the phone and attempt to keep her engaged while waiting for Allen to log in.
"Thank you for holding, ma'am. I have talked to my supervisor, and I'll have you on the line with him shortly. He's just logging in to the system after lunch."
"Okay." She still sounded pissed.
Thing is, we're not supposed to just sit there in silence. If the quality assurance department had been listening, I'd have gotten in trouble. So I had to try to talk. Asking her about her day or the weather would just make her more angry. I couldn't try to upsell anything, even if that wouldn't piss her off more. So I did my best to fill the silence.
"As I said ma'am, I can't give you any specific information, but I can give you general information. That letter that says we aren't experiencing prices increases does say for our primary packages, but--"
"Well, I want to know why mine went up then!" she snarled.
"Yes ma'am, as I was saying that letter covers our primary packages, but you may have another service that did have a slight increase." I may have been typing "*headdesk* to K2 at that point, but my voice was perfectly pleasant.
"Then why did I get this letter, if my bill went up!"
"I apologize for that ma'am, I know if can be confusing."
She hmpf'd at me and went silent. I stopped trying at that point, even though what was running through my head was Bitch, you have extra channels. It's two dollars. And if you weren't being so freaking stubborn, I could tell you exactly why and you'd be off the phone already!
After about 45 seconds, I apologized for the delay and said my supervisor would be with her soon. Meanwhile, I'm watching the call timer click on and on, watching my call handle time being affected by something this fucking stupid, and I'm getting more and more irritated. My bonuses depend on my statistics being at certain levels, and I get yelled at if they're not--in addition to losing money. And dumbass fuckers like her are the reason that I spent all month freaking out and having my ass ridden over call handle times.
Another 45 seconds or so later, Allen finally logged on and I was able to transfer the call to him. Total call time: 7 minutes 50 seconds. We could have handled her issue two or three times in that length! People are just so motherfucking stubborn! It's not like I asked her to climb a telephone pole and check her connection or something. It would have required expending .5 calories. Dumbass bitch.