Monday, May 08, 2006

Things to do in a call center when you're bored

A call center work day can be extremely tedious. Even the very act of calling in to customer service can be monotonous beyond enduring sometimes. Do your callers and your co workers a favor and spice up their day a little with any or all of these suggested boredom-killers --

* * * When you get someone on the phone and they are talking about their husband or wife, interrupt them to say "Oh, you mean your gay transvestite live-in lover, right? Yeah, we know all about that here." Then kind of sniff and say, "I'm not allowed to tell you what I think of that." Then fill your voice with obviously false cheer and say "So, how can I help you and your... 'husband/wife'?" Try to let them hear the quotes in your tone.

* * * Pretend you don't speak English. When people who know you insist that you DO know how to speak English, advise them that you obviously have some form of aphasic amnesia affecting the speech center of the brain. Then continue to act as if you don't speak English.

* * * When you get someone on the phone who has a very heavy accent, try to speak that way back to them.

* * * Repeatedly warn people for using foul language to you, especially when they aren't. Tell them you'll disconnect if they continue to be profane and personally abusive. Then do it, before they can say anything else.

* * * Advise your immediate supervisor that you're doing your best, but you forgot to refill your medication so you're "flying by the seat of your pants today". If they express any reservations, roll your eyes wildly and insist that you're fine, you're fine, you're GODDAM FINE, and anyway, Jesus is looking over your shoulder, and he's better than any goddam Haldol pills any time, so as long as nobody messes with you, nobody will get hurt. Then specify that it's JESUS that would hurt them, not you, because "just between the two of us, the Savior is a little grouchy today, because I ate the last bowl of Corn Pops before he got out of bed. I didn't mean to. It just kinda happened."

* * * Mention casually to someone on the phone that if they're not careful, they could end up wearing your ass as a hat. Say it just that way... "By the way, sir/ma'am, if you're not careful, you might end up wearing my ass for a hat." Say it in a very noncommittal tone. If they get upset, or ask you what you mean, tell them they'll have to speak with the Master about that. Then immediately transfer them into voicemail, preferably for someone who hasn't worked at your company in months.

* * * Ask whoever you're speaking to if they're a dwarf. Advise them very gravely that while company policy requires you to provide service to broads, kikes, jigaboos, spics, gooks, Chinks, and "those fucking little bucktoothed bastards from that one set of islands in the South Pacific, you know the ones I mean", it doesn't say a damn thing about dwarves. You've read it VERY carefully. So, if they're a dwarf, they can just frickin' forget it, buddy. No service for dwarfs. Not a hope, not a prayer.

If the person on the other end states they are not a dwarf, tell them you can't take their word for it, they'll have to submit written proof. Give them the White House fax number. Then hang up.

* * * Scream "OMYGOD SPIDERS!" into your headset, shriek piercingly, and leap up onto your desk. Stay there, sobbing hysterically, until someone offers you money, or at least pizza, to come down.

* * * Tell someone at random when they call in that you can't tell for sure, of course, of course, but you're reasonably sure they have a very pretty mouth.

* * * Occasionally, instead of whatever greeting you're supposed to give, say "Thank you for calling, and please remember at all times during this call that we know where you live. Now, how can I help you?"

* * * Mention to one of your callers that when YOU say fuck you... which of course, you're not saying right NOW, not to them, of course... but when YOU say fuck you, you mean it as a compliment. Really.

* * * Tell the next woman you speak to that it's not sexual harrassment if she WANTS it, and "you chicks ALL want it".

* * * After you finish providing a customer with information, advise them that they are "DAMN well told".

* * * The next time someone asks to speak to your supervisor, allow as to how you'll connect them over, but it won't make any difference, because you've got that bitch so damn cock-whipped she'd lick your shoes at high noon on Main Street if you offered her a milk bone. Then hang up.

* * * Sing "Unchained Melody". Loudly. When people object, advise them that you're the next American Idol and they'll be sorry they were hatin' when your royalty checks start rolling in, dawg.

* * * Sob uncontrollably. When someone asks you what's wrong, snarl and retreat into the furthest corner under your desk. (This works best if you've previously stashed snacks down there so you can stay there all day.) Warn everyone that if anyone calls the cops, you'll start killing hostages. Talk to yourself in different comical voices. Insist that it's Tommy who's doing this, Tommy's the bad boy, the rest of you are very well behaved. (When you speak as Tommy, give him a high falsetto voice like Mr. Bill.)

* * * Cackle. Everyone loves it when you cackle. Trust me.

* * * Tell a customer that you need to review their records before you can answer their inquiry. For the next minute or so, say things like "Oh my god" or "Jesus" or "That ain't right" as if muttering to yourself, but making sure they can hear you. Then mock-whisper, half covering your headset mike, "Hey, Julian, start the recorder and get that Homeland Security guy on the line. I think I've got one." Then go on with your call as normal.

* * * The above is especially cool if there is actually someone working with you named 'Julian'.


  1. Okay, see, first, I had the read the title three times. 'Cause I thought it said "Things to do in a call center when you're boned". And I got a little distracted and started down a very weird tangent.

    And then when I actually read your post, I saw that you were on a very weird tangent, too. But, apparently it was an entirely DIFFERENT weird tangent.

    * What about answering your phone "Wolfram and Hart" or "Sunnydale AIDS Clinic", or some other whimsical establishment?

    * Apologize for your tourette's syndrome and then cut loose!

    * You could ask them to key their social security number into the phone and then tell them that they miskeyed it and they will only get one more chance to get it right.

    * Tell them to please deposit another $2.35 before continuing the call.

    Geez, there's probably enough to keep anyone entertained.

  2. Anonymous2:57 PM

    "Things to do in a call center when you're boned".

    Would that be another deal involving Highlander and SG and Opus and me not being in the building?

  3. I, uh, I can't possibly top what's already been written, insofar as blase comments go.

    I liked the Homeland Security one...

  4. SG,

    What are you, trying to get me fired? Yeesh!


    You can be in the building. But you're going to have to take calls.


    Of course you like the Homeland Security one. Jawohl, mein Fuhrer! VE MUST NOT ALLOW A MINESHAFT GAP!!!!

  5. What are you, trying to get me fired? Yeesh!

    Oh, I thought that's what YOU were trying to do.

    You can be in the building. But you're going to have to take calls.

    Sorry...I'll bet Scott is wondering what kind of calls...