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Work stories

Postby Sparti » Tue Feb 05, 2008 10:33 pm

ITT: Stories from your workplace

I work for a telecomm company that shall remain nameless, save for that it begins with "s" and ends with "print". Actually, I work for a vendor site for said company, but that's neither here nor there; the point is, I do tech support for a major cellular distributor. I've been doing the job for about four or five months now, and I've gotten quite a few weird calls. I average 2-3 a week, actually, and that's pretty typical for anyone on the floor.

Weird calls can range from 'guy who likes to abuse our adjustment system' to 'drunk guy calls in and wants to know why he can't upgrade his treo to run on windows mobile'. Most weird calls are technical stuff that are only weird on, of course, a technical level. But some calls are just plain weird.

I got my first weird call on one of my first days on the phones back in october. I was speaking to a woman in Jersey. She called in extremely irate, wanting to know why we let someone else access her account. I checked the logs and nothing really corroborated her story, but we're not allowed to tell someone their complaints are invalid so I waited on the line and listened to her spiel.

She told me that she spoke to someone in our tech support systems who told her that you could purchase a plan to spy on people through their cell phones. She was convinced. She also went on about how she saw this on 60 minutes, and she knew it was possible. When I told her it wasn't, she became irate, accused me of lying, starting shouting at me, and then got her boyfriend involved.

Her boyfriend, who I feel an immense amount of sympathy (and a slight amount of disgust) for, comes on the line. He's audibly older than she is, probably in his early fifties, and starts asking about the plan - I try to explain to him that this plan doesn't exist and never did. I further explain why it's imossible that it could (mainly that the phone the customer had didn't even support any of the features that would enable it if it WAS something we offered) and he tried to calm his girlfriend down, who was shrewing it up on their other landline. It segued from here into a different conversation. Now she was convinced they were tapping her cell line; Our network runs on CDMA. CDMA was designed for the military years ago, it's a completely secure digital line that breaks up signals into millions of pieces so they're virtually impossible to intercept, unless you're also using military grade equipment. I explained this. She didn't buy it, neither did he. More talk of 60 minutes. Now they're talking about charges on their bill, and someone hacking into her phone and using her internet, and running up internet charges. And 56 calls this morning from a number they called in and had blocked.

The call gets more insane from here, of course. She had internet blocked on her phone. Her phone didn't have a username on our network, or an IP address. It was quite literally impossible for it to connect to the web. You couldn't 'hack into her account' and access her phone remotely because it was never connected to our data lines in the first place, and it hasn't been possible to stream data through our voice lines since the 2g days, which was about ten years ago. We still have 2g phones on her network, but hers was a pretty modern phone. I'm pretty sure it was an LG160 or a nextel 0-dollar special, either way it wasn't doing data through voice lines.

At this point they're both demanding to speak to my manager. One of my trainers, a kindly old cajun named Ernest sits down at my table, puts on my headset, and the first words out of his mouth are 'I'm only going to talk to one of you'. They argue a while until they can elect one of them as a speaker. Ernest asks them about the phone line that had 50-some calls on it and had 'blocked' the number that was calling them - well, for one thing, that's impossible. We don't block numbers. For another, it's extra special impossible, since it wasn't our phone. It was a bullshit prepaid phone they bought from wal-mart. Why they called in for support is anyone's guess. Finally, he got to the internet. Instead of pointing out the service was disabled, he asked her, 'Okay. can you get on the internet'. She tried. She said no. 'That's becaused it's disabled. If you can't get on the internet, neither can anyone else.' She hung up the phone in blind rage at this point.

Another call I'd get later on (a couple months - after I got promoted into advanced tech) was with a frazzled mother, calling in wanting to know why her internet wasn't working on her phone. This is basically the start of 20% of my calls. Bored housewives and overstressed mothers make up the majority of the tech support clinetelle. I hadn't really expected this to be the weird account motherlode.

I started looking into the settings on ehr account, trying to figure out why she was getting the error she was getting. The error was something really common, as I recall. 1012 or something like that, these errors are almost always easily squished just by toggling a few things, so I put her on mute, took off my headphones and started making changes to try to get things unstopped. Every couple of minutes I popped myheadset back on and asked her to test the connection .Every couple of minutes, it was back to square one. So then I was looking at more drastic options, and I went into the notes to make sure a previous tech didn't do them first.

What I found was, to say the least, shocking.

Our billing system is a pretty common system in the industry. I won't name it, because blah blah, trade secrets and I'm writing this from work, but it's a two piece system, with a mostly useless front end GUI for noting and 'maximizing' (offering the client something they probably don't need) and a back end, much less user-friendly GUI where all the changes are made. The front end is designed for heavy noting. It can hold hundreds of entries. This was the first time I'd ever seen it stumped. This lady had interacted with us so much that the front-end could not display all the notes. It chugged when I loaded the page, and when the page finished loading, the number of interactions listed was '1,000+' and they all cut off weeks before. They only went back as far as june 2006 and she had been a customer with us since I beleive 2005. She had called us so many times that the notes section was maxed out. To find specific notes I had to do date range searches.

When I looked at her account, I had only three possible answers for what I saw:

1.) Multiple Personality Disorder, ala Sybill
2.) Paranoid Schizophrenia
3.) Career Criminal.

She had called us nearly every day since she activated the account. And every day, she requested a phone number change. Sometimes she'd get a phone number change multiple times in a single day. I spent ten minutes looking over notes, special instructions given by other techs that had been ignored, even a few high priority numbers, she'd been calling in to do this for months, and months, and months. I went over the last few calls a half dozen times before I took her off mute and explained that the errors she was recieving was almost certainly due to a problem in provisioning, and that I noticed she had done a large number of PTN changes recently which could contribute to that. Just as I was finishing the sentence, I could hear her frantically pushing buttons trying to hang up the phone. The call disconnected.

And then there's the shorter, simpler, and funnier call I took today; "My mogul's frozen up. It's freezing.", I had him elaborate and the software had crashed. "Okay, sir. Pull the battery off the back of the phone." "You want me to pull the battery? really?" "...Yes sir, I can't garuntee that'll fix this issue, but I'd like to try it first." I hear him fumbling with the battery. The call drops. The only thing I can figure is that he pulled the battery off the phone he was speaking on. But he couldn't have been talking to me on the mogul. It was frozen! So now I have this mental image of a guy standing in his kitchen, holding his cordless phone battery in one hand and a frozen mogul in the other, wanting to know why he can't hear me on the line anymore.
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Postby Dunkan » Wed Feb 06, 2008 12:52 am

Holy shit, that is some funny stuff.
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Postby Thesupreme » Wed Feb 06, 2008 1:43 am

My friend has a similar job to the OP, just that he does it in Norway. He told about this one lady that called in to ask where she had put her shovel. Yes, that's right, a shovel. What does this have to do with phones? Nothing.

I don't think she had all the camels in the farm.
Superman tanks all!

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Postby kvark » Wed Feb 06, 2008 3:17 am

I work as a fireman in a small city, and I usually work with the emergency phones as it allows me to play with wow instead of refueling airplanes. I'm not gonna state where this is as it could put my job at risk =)

Belive me when I say I get a lot of WEIRD calls.

- A lady called and asked if we could get her kitten down from a tree, whereof I just had to reply.... "Madam, this is not Duckburg"

- A man called quite scared, when he had tried to start his car, he heard a man locked in the trunk of the car. He was naturally terrified, and obviously I sendt full alarm as the oxygen levels in a trunk can be quite limited, not to mention it's fairly cold in it (wintertime). Cops and ambulances arrived to the scene and discovered both crowbar and spare tire in his trunk. No person. Needless to say, the caller had a slight paranoia after a wicked party the day before.
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Postby Khepera » Wed Feb 06, 2008 4:32 am

Alright, I've got one for you gals and guys.

I work as an Aircraft Maintainer in the USAF. During my little stint in the desert, I ran into a completely retarded Aircrew.
I had been called out to a plane that was getting ready to launch for an emergency repair. As I walked up the stairs I was confronted by the Loadmaster (Glorified Flight attendant/Cargo handler). The conversation went something like this:

Me: Whats the problem?
LM: Umm..the stove wont heat up
Me: (annoyed) Sir, We're in the middle of the desert and your flying for only 3 hours, You dont need it."
LM: Could you at least look at it?

I pretend to look at it, but it was apparent there was nothing i could do and the engines were supposed to start in 30 minutes

Me: It looks like i would have to order one sir, Supply here doesnt have any.
LM : Could you Cann one of another jet?
Me: are you serious, Why?
LM: Please....you see, the Aircraft Commander really likes hot sandwhiches, and I dont want to make me mad by not giving him his sandwhich.

To shorten the story, I told the loadmaster in a respectable way to stuff it, and talked to the the AC commander. I was then yelled at the pilot because we doesnt fly anywhere without his warm sandwhich. At the point I was so pissed, I let loose on the officer. Letting him know that we were in hostile territory and if we wanted to get his sandwhich warmed to just wait an hour or so and itd get warmed by a mortar. He shut up after that, and i left with a smug look on my face.

WoW...sorry to leave you with so much text.

-Khep

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Postby Sparti » Fri Feb 08, 2008 12:04 am

My best call of all time just took place. I have to share.

Guy called in because his phone's internet wasn't working. checked, he wasn't provisioned for digital broadband, reprovisioned him, and then he wanted a phone number change. So I changed his number and as the process was going through we started making typical small talk.

Long story short, the customer went into a 20 minute long diatribe about how Ron Howard and his father Rance Howard and their "partner in crime" Clint Howard have been conspiring against him; Last year, they broke into his home, filled his air ducts with dirt and connected video cameras all over his house. He goes on to tell me that they were using these video cameras to monitor him, interfere with his electronics, tap his phone, and ultimately, aim a home-made Microwave Gun at his legs, feet, and hands, crippling them with rhumatoid arthritis.

Because of Ron, Rance and Clint, he was forced to get a new home, in an apartment which he tells me "sat open for a month" after he signed the lease, which was enough time for the "Howard Gang" to pay off "the mexicans living upstairs" to pound on his ceiling all night so he couldn't sleep, and destroy his electronics with "jammer signals" in his mouse so he would have to spend a lot of money fixing up his office.

Why would the Howards do all this? Because he knew all about their secret drug trafficking and wild parties. He tried to go out and tell the media, but the Howards were two steps ahead of him and 'shut him down'.

such a good call.
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Postby Nicos » Fri Feb 08, 2008 8:09 am

Probably not real... but it still made me chuckle.

--

Qwest
It's a great day at Qwest! My name is (name ommited). How can I help you?


CUSTOMER
Yes, mortal, cower before me and serve the almighty Camaxtli!


Qwest
Umm...I'm sorry what was that again?


CUSTOMER
Foolish human! Can you not recognize the power and might of an almighty god?!


Qwest
...you're a...god?


CUSTOMER
Of course! I am the great Camaxtli! God of War, Fate and Hunting! Inventor of Fire! Creator of the Heavens and the Earth!


Qwest
You created the world?


CUSTOMER
YES! ...Well, I HELPED!!!


Qwest
...Ok... Well, Camaza...cama... SIR, are you a current Qwest customer?


CUSTOMER
I am the most salient, and holy of customers! And you will address me as "my mighty lord Camaxtli, High god of Fire and War"!!!! Though "my mighty lord" will do.


Qwest
Umm, Great! If I can get your billing telephone number from you I'd be happy to, uh, (clears throat)
SERVE you, my mighty lord...


CUSTOMER
That's better! I shall grant you the blessing of my account information, servant... 555 555 5555


Qwest
Thanks so much for that, I'll go ahead and pull up your account, it'll just take me a moment. I do want to let you know that the information on the services we provide you is confi-


CUSTOMER
PESTER ME NOT WITH YOUR STATEMENTS OF LEGALITIES FOOL!!! I am a god and therefore above the laws of mere mortals!


Qwest ...ok, I'm sorry... my mighty lord... Ok, I show that account as listed under another customer's name...


CUSTOMER
Of course! I have given a pseudonym for my account! If you were to enter my divine name into your puny mortal computer systems they would become overpowered and crash instantaneously. Qwest has not displeased me enough for that punishment.


Qwest
Sure, ok. So, can you go ahead and verify the name and address on the account?


CUSTOMER
You accuse the mighty Camaxtli of lies!!!!! You need more than my divine word that I am who I say?!


Qwest
Let's just say I need to make sure I have the RIGHT account up, ok...my lord?


CUSTOMER
Very Well. John D Smith of 9999 99th Ave, anywhere, MN 99999.


Qwest
And the last four of your social?


CUSTOMER
It's ****. That is now thrice you've benefited from the blessings of my information! No more will I grant!


Qwest
(Mumbles) So even gods need Social Security, huh?


CUSTOMER
What was that?


Qwest
Nothing, sir--I mean, my lord-- so how can I help you today?


CUSTOMER
I demand an offering of Internet service at the highest of speeds!


Qwest
Ok, great! Let me go ahead and run a quick check on your address to see if you qualify for Broadband at your location.


CUSTOMER
You will provide the service lest you feel my wrath! I WILL SMITE YOU!!!


Qwest
Ok, ok, I ran the check and it looks like you qualify for up to-


CUSTOMER
I REQUIRE DOWNLOAD SPEEDS OF 3000 MEGABITS PER SECOND!


Qwest
Umm, well we only have availability for up to 7m in your area.


CUSTOMER
FOOL, PREPARE YOURSELF FOR DAMNATION AND ETERNAL FLAME!!!!!!!


Qwest
Well, sir--


CUSTOMER
MY MIGHTY LORD!!!!


Qwest
Right, sorry, "my mighty lord", do you mind if I ask how you're going to be using your internet service that's going to require non-existent download speeds?



CUSTOMER
I like to play games online, download Pop and Hip Hop music and I require email service!


Qwest
So you're an online gamer? What games do you play? World of Warcraft?



CUSTOMER
NO...um I like to play online checkers and... flash dress-up games...


Qwest
(Silence)



CUSTOMER
SO I REQUIRE THE MIGHTIEST OF SPEEDS!


Qwest
Well, my lord, for your needs I would say that our available download speeds should suit your needs perfectly. I'd say even our 1.5m speed would work just fine. You wouldn't even need our up to 7m speed.



CUSTOMER
OH! Well then... I will now order the 1.5m service.



Qwest
Great I'd be happy to place the order for you, my lord! How would like to get that service for 26.99 for life?



CUSTOMER
You cannot provide the service as an offering to me in exchange for blessing of great fortune for Qwest Corporation?


Qwest
Unfortunately we can't accept divine blessings as legal tender.



CUSTOMER
Well I'll just have to have my priests dip into the temple tithe to pay the bill for me.


Qwest
Sounds good. Like I mentioned before, bundled with your other services we can get you the service at the price 26.99 for LIFE if you agree to a term commitment.



CUSTOMER
Term Commitment?


Qwest
Yes, a contract.


CUSTOMER
Ah! So if I enter into a covenant with Qwest I'll have the price for eternity! How long is this covenant?


Qwest
It's a two-year term...covenant.



CUSTOMER
Acceptable. I will enter into the covenant. Shall I have my priests draw it up that you may seal it with your mortal blood?


Qwest
Actually it's just a verbal agreement.


CUSTOMER
But should you break the covenant I will still be able to claim the eternal souls of all those associated with Qwest?


Qwest
Um, sure I guess. Why not!


CUSTOMER
Agreed.


Qwest
Great! Would you like a professional technician to come to your home to install it for you?


CUSTOMER
Is he of a spiritual capacity to gaze upon my divine countenance without bursting from the sheer power and sanctity I exuberate?


Qwest
I think he'll be fine...but if he does explode on you, you can just call it a sacrificial offering and we'll send you another tech.


CUSTOMER
Proceed then.


Qwest
Almighty, how does this Friday sound?


CUSTOMER
If that how long it will take for your servant to cleanse his body and spirit in preparation to be in my presence, it is acceptable.


Qwest
Great! It will take jut a few moments to complete and issue your divine order and then we'll be good to go! (Pause)
So, I don't think I've heard of you before. Are you a Greek god?


CUSTOMER
I am not a heathen deity of the people of Greece! I am Camaxtli! Tribal deity to Chichimec people of Maya! Creator of fire! Lord of hunting and War!


Qwest
Oh, you're a Mayan god? Awesome.


CUSTOMER
YES! I inspire fear and awe in all mere mortals!


Qwest
As you should! Well, my great and mighty lord Camaxtli, whose billing name is John D Smith, I have issued your divine order and Qwest will send its humble technical servant to bring the offering of Broadband internet service to your "temple" at 9999 99th Ave, Anywhere, MN 99999. this coming Friday. Would you like to take down the Confirmation number for the order?


CUSTOMER
We have made a COVENANT SEALED IN BL-- I mean-- VERBAL AGREEMENT. I require no confirmation!


Qwest
Great! Then we're all set!


CUSTOMER
Very well! You have pleased me, good disciple. You will be greatly blessed for all eternity.


Qwest
Thank you very much, my lord! Is there any other way I can serve thee today?


CUSTOMER
That is all, Ben, great servant of my mighty Will.


Qwest
Well thank you again, my mighty lord, for calling Qwest and have a divine day.


CUSTOMER
Farewell!
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Postby Echevarian » Fri Feb 08, 2008 8:18 am

This was on the radio morning show I usually listen to driving to work

http://www.crainium.net/jdjArchives/audio_clip/

scroll down to "A telemarketer's nightmare"
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Postby Sabindeus » Fri Feb 08, 2008 9:23 am

kvark wrote:- A lady called and asked if we could get her kitten down from a tree, whereof I just had to reply.... "Madam, this is not Duckburg"


Life is like a hurricane
here in
duckburg
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Postby Echevarian » Fri Feb 08, 2008 9:27 am

Life is like a hurricane
here in
duckburg


Race cars, lasers, aeroplanes - it's a duck blur!
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Postby Sabindeus » Fri Feb 08, 2008 10:28 am

Echevarian wrote:
Life is like a hurricane
here in
duckburg


Race cars, lasers, aeroplanes - it's a duck blur!


might solve a mystery
or rewrite history!


DUCK TALES
WOO WOO
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Postby Emoir » Fri Feb 08, 2008 11:26 am

Sabindeus wrote:
Echevarian wrote:
Life is like a hurricane
here in
duckburg


Race cars, lasers, aeroplanes - it's a duck blur!


might solve a mystery
or rewrite history!


DUCK TALES
WOO WOO


Every day they're out there making

DUCK TALES
WOO WOO
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