I'm not sure if the same rule applies to the US as it does to Britain, but chances are if you live in the UK and have studied at University, then you have probably had the misfortune of working at one or a number of call centers during your studies, and probably a long time after them. Let me fill you in quickly on the setting.

During your summer months, for at least 9 hours a day, 5 or 6 days a week, you're crammed into a building that looks like it's been shat out the wrong end by a construction company, with 200 other people in a room with a maximum capacity of 150. The person on your right has lots of degrees, and the person on your left has lots of drugs. You befriend both.

Day after soul-destroying, energy-sapping day, you deal with a rich chromosomal mix of customers. Your friendship with the guy on the left makes it a little easier to deal with. What was once youthful "I am going to conquer the world" enthusiasm has been slowly and painfully eroded into "the glass is half empty, broken, and stuck up my ass" cynicism. Because let's face it, people are cunts!! Give a person a phone and an inflated sense of purpose and there is no stopping them from rushing to the phone demanding justice from the company you work for, which, from their reaction, appears to be the corporate equivalent of gang rape.

Call center cubicles
"CALL! SELL! CALL! SELL!" It's the stock market, no, it's a poker table, wait….
Over the years, I have become rather fond of certain complaints; not because of their merits, but because some have been so monumentally and dangerously stupid that it's quite simply a miracle no one has been hurt by some of the ideas perpetuated by these customers.

Here are some of my favorite complaints.

1. "This is absolutely ridiculous, why have I not phoned the right company?"

This is probably one of the most consistently stupid complaints that I have received in all the call centers I have worked in. I am terribly sorry that you do not have the mental capabilities of finding the correct number before dialing, but if you're that aggrieved, take if up with the fucking company you're looking for.

2. "But this is the number I was given."

This is an offshoot of number 1, but still merits a mention in its own right. Repeating "This is the number I was given" is not going to magically make it the right number. It's not like Dorothy's red fucking shoes—saying it three times does not achieve anything. You're just wasting my time, your time, and your phone bill.

3. "I'm friends with the man who sells me donuts, can I get the details to his policy?"

"Data Protection" seems to be two words the majority of the public struggle with. "I don't understand why you can't tell me the personal account details of the man who stays across from me, that's ludicrous." It's a simple premise: if you can't confirm security, or you're not the person whose details we have, then we can't speak to you. It's that fucking simple.

4. "Why do you want to confirm my details? You phoned me!"

Another priceless Data Protection tidbit. Many a day have I phoned a customer, asked to confirm their details, only for them to defiantly wail, "BUT YOU PHONED ME!!!" If you have ever found yourself exclaiming this down the phone to some poor bastard who really doesn't care who you are, ask yourself these simple questions: "Are you the only person who lives in your house?" If no, then is there a chance that you may receive a visit from time to time from family and friends? And finally, "Do any of these people have working limbs and a voicebox?" If the answer to the final question is "YES! THEY DO!" then congratulations, you're a moron and your argument is deeply flawed.

5. "Why are you calling me?"

Because I saw your name on the phone list we have on our system and thought, "Hey, that looks like a fun guy, I'll phone and chew the fat with him." No. It's because I have a shit job and my bosses made me phone you. No other reason. Just that.

6. "I know you just answer the phone but…"

Well isn't that just wonderful! Cushion a torrent of bile and abuse by highlighting the fact that I have a shit and unfulfilling job. Why not just punch my granny in the fucking tits.

7. "I want to speak to Jim."

"You want to speak to Jim do you? Certainly! No problem! Just one question though. WHO IN THE NAME OF FUCK IS JIM? There are 20,000 people in this call center alone, and there are 20 more centers up and down the country. Can you be more specific? Thank you very FUCKING much!"

8. "Do you have a calculator to say when I'm going to die?"

I used to work in a call center dealing with life insurance policies, and I got asked this question not once, BUT TWICE! Yes! TWICE!!! Two people within the British Isles both, individually, came up with this insane thought. This thought should have been filtered out well before it was combined with the spoken word. This question was so monumentally stupid, the first time I was asked this, I laughed, assuming the customer was joking. The second time, I said, "Yes, we do…. Have a nice day… Enjoy it while you still can."

We're all doomed!!

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