I think that it’s a unanimous consensus that call centres are a bad thing that everybody hates. Even call centre reps hate calling call centres, which makes them liars when they claim some people like them. Most automated systems have a short cut to skip all that crap and go right to a person who knows what they’re doing, but it’s hard for any one person to know what that short cut is because, if someone finds out what it is and posts it online, it’s generally changed quickly. So, because you probably don’t have that as an option, I’ve decided to make your call centre experience a little easier by translating some of their language into English.
The Automated System Dialect:
“Please listen carefully as our menu options have changed” Press zero now because I’m about to spout ten minutes worth of crap that has nothing to do with your call. Besides, you’ve heard it all the last twenty times you had to call us.
“I’m sorry. ‘Zero’ is not a valid option.” I get my erections by wasting your time. Just start hitting numbers randomly until someone picks up the phone. Then yell at them about how it’s a bug that zero doesn’t work. If they say it’s not supposed to work, argue with them.
“We are experiencing unexpectedly high call volumes.” In this phrase, volume refers to the volume of the customers’ voices. They expected the customers to be dumb enough to accept their bullshit, but they’re all yelling louder than expected.
“All of our representatives are currently assisting other customers.” We don’t care about you, so we have one person in the call centre and he’s on break right now. He’ll answer your call when he’s good and ready and he’ll probably hang up on you.
“Your call is very important to us.” Your call is the last thing on our minds.
“Please continue to hold.” Please hang up. It will save us the trouble of having to lie to you.
“And the first available representative will be with you shortly.” And somebody will be short with you… In an hour or so, when they’re good and ready to answer the phone.
“Many customers find our website to be more helpful and faster.” We don’t want to talk to you. Hang up.
“Would you like to take a survey following our call?” We get so many complaints that we set up an automatic junk box for them. We hope you will give your complaints to our survey so they can be more easily ignored and waste more of your time.
“Thank you for calling.” Fuck you for calling.
The Representative Dialect:
“Thank you for calling.” Same as automated dialect.
“To whom do I have the pleasure of speaking with?” The person who wrote my script is not only a bad writer but can’t even write a grammatically correct sentence. Also, I consider it a pleasure to do this to you.
“We don’t have a script.” We’re trained to lie to you. We really have a script.
“I understand your concern.” Who gives a fuck about your concern?
“I would be happy to.” I’m going to do everything in my power to make sure I don’t.
“I’m trying to help you.” (Or, “I want to help you.”) I’m trying to piss you off so I can blame your yelling on you.
“Unfortunately.” Unfortunately for you. Sexually arousing for us.
“The charges are legitimate” We don’t even have a fake excuse for the charges.
“I can have a supervisor call you back.” I’m trying to get you to hang up the phone.
“There isn’t a supervisor on the floor right now.” The supervisor might have enough of a conscience to do the right thing and has trained us to say he (or she) isn’t here.
“I’ll pass that along to my supervisor.” I’m not even listening to you.
“Do you mind holding?” I don’t give a fuck what you think. I’m going to put you on hold whether you like it or not. If you say no, I’ll waste more of your time arguing with you. Shut up because resistance is futile.
“Can I get your first and last name, please?” (Or, “How may I assist you today?”) I’m only pretending to care now so it hurts more when I prove I don’t later.
Something that you may notice about Call Centerian is it’s always spoken in a chipper voice. This is to make it all the more insulting. Condescension is a powerful tool that Call Centerians use frequently. They don’t think you buy their crap. They know you see right through them. They tend to laugh when you tell them everyone does.
They like to blame the technology for not being able to dig up calls, not having your case transferred from the last person, hanging up on you, sending you back into the automated system, etc., but this is rarely the technology’s fault. They deliberately designed the technology in such a way where they could blame their deliberate insulting practices on it.
Call Centerians are not real people and don’t have feelings like the rest of us. It is okay to insult them, hurt them, or even kill them. Not that I’m advocating that. Just saying that, if you ever have, you don’t have to feel guilty. Their ultimate goal is to make you destroy yourself with your own anger, so don’t let them do that. I used to let them. I have literally had concussions by yelling so hard at call centre reps, and the last thing that I heard before losing consciousness, in both cases, sounded like joy.
So, how do you deal with them? Learn the language and use it against them. They may not have feelings of guilt or remorse, but they still hate it when when you speak Call Centerian to them. Be all fake nice and condescending. Lie as much as possible (using the phrase, “See, what ha-happen was” at least once in every conversation). And always end every threat (which you have hopefully carefully worded in a fake nice and condescending manner) in, “Have a blessed day!” They hate that. Bonus points if you scripted your side of the conversation in advance and don’t deviate from your script.
When they realise that you aren’t getting upset, but only doing what they do, and doing it better than they do it, their first reaction is silence. They can’t believe you’re doing it. But, when they realise they can’t get to you to flip out, and that you’re just going to play this game too, they’re more likely to ultimately submit. And, if all else fails, don’t get angry. Get even. You can easily find the CEO of any company and harrass him about it. That usually works.
And remember, this is their slogan: