You all know I work as a customer service rep. If you just stumbled across this blog and didn't know.. BOOM you are caught up! That was easy. It is an inbound call center where someone would call for a free service before they dig to have utility lines marked with the paint and flags you see all over the place (We do not do the markings, the utility companies do, the call centers like this one across the country simply notify the utility companies so you don't have to make 27 calls to all of them yourself, please do not call one of these centers and bitch at the reps for digging in your yard or putting the flags and paint on your bushes and sidewalk; we didn't do it)
We have asked the same questions everyday for the last 9 years that I have worked there. Yet, there are contractors who call every day and rarely have the info ready that we ask.
After we verify the company info we have on file for that company, we ask questions so the utilities know what they need to know before they send out their people to mark. A lot of the questions consist of yes or no, or otherwise direct questions that
My conversations (as well as some other reps') go something like this:
ME: What type of work will you be doing?
Customer: Excavation (really? Imagine that! Calling in to a call before you dig center and you are going to be digging?)
ME: Riiiiiight! But why?
Customer: OH! Utilities
ME: Installing, removing, repairing? Power cable, phone, water, sewer, drainage? (WORK WITH ME!)
Customer: We're installing Sewer (I hope the rest of the call won't be like this)
ME: How deep will you be digging at the deepest? (See? Direct question.. psh whatever)
Customer: Not very deep at all
ME: OK I will put "unknown"
Customer: Oh! I will only be going down about 8ft (hmmmmm that's pretty deep if you ask me, but what do I know? (Don't answer that you smartass stalkers of mine)
ME: Will you be using a machine to do the digging? ("Will you" indicates an yes or a no answer, right?? I used to think so too)
Customer: We will be using a trencher (that can be hand held or a machine powered tool)
Me: Is that a YES or NO? (you know, because my crystal ball is in the shop and all)
Customer: OH that's a NO it's one of those walk behinds ("no" is the answer I was looking for)
ME: Have you marked the area that you want to dig in the color white? (see how simple these questions are?)
Customer: The crew is on site (WTF?? That doesn't tell me anything)
ME: Did the crew mark the area in the color WHITE? (louder this time to break the idiot shield)
Customer: Yes it's all marked out in orange (sigh .... what a dumbass)
ME: OK I will put no because orange is not white (me.. making a noose out of my phone cord)
Customer: Oh you need it marked in white? (can you put someone more intelligent on the phone please)
ME: It's just a question the utilities want answered that's all.
Customer: The crew is there they can show them (Did I ask that question? NOPE)
(Finally.. on to the next question)
ME: How long will the digging take? (another seemingly easy question)
Customer: How ever long it takes us to get the job done (are you beginning to think he was dropped on his head one to many times? I know I am.)
ME: OK, I will put "unknown"
Customer: Oh you mean like how long? (did I stutter?)
ME: Yes.. how long? an hour, a day, a month, a year, 5 years HOW LONG!?!
Customer: Only about 4 hours (see that wasn't so hard)
Then there are a few more questions that bear some explaining, so I'll skip those.
ME: In what county is the work taking place?
Customer: What country? (Remember these idiots call here almost EVERY day)
ME: C O U N T Y county
Customer: OH I'm sorry, Orlando
ME: Thank you for the
Customer: I don't know what county it's in (THEN WHY ARE YOU CALLING ME?)
ME: It's Orange county
Customer: Thank you
ME: What's the address to which you'll be digging please (so simple)
Customer: You mean for this job I am calling about now?
Customer: It's on Williams St (like that helps)
ME: OK and is there an address?
Customer: Well let me read what I have written down (shouldn't you have done all this BEFORE you called here?) It says please mark the entire property at 1234 Williams street. (that would be the address, tardcart)
If there is an address, we ask for the closest intersection..
ME: What street touches or crosses (in other words intersects) Williams St closest to the address?
Customer: There isn't one (OK so after you parachute down, how do you get there?)
ME: It has to come off of something somewhere!
Customer: Well, you get off at exit 42 go about 3 miles and turn left next to the red barn then you go about 2 more miles and turn right on Smith Rd and its on the corner of Smith Rd and Williams St (did I ask for the bloody driving directions?? NO!)
ME: OK.. so isn't Smith Rd the street the touches, crosses or intersects closest to the property on Williams St seeing as how it is a corner property?
Customer: Well yes ma'am I guess it is, I just didn't know that's what you were asking for. (Riiiiiiiiight, because I switched from speaking English
FINALLY, I get to the last and again very simple question.
ME: What part of this property will you be digging (~~~crosses fingers~~~.. please please please get this one without an explanation)
Customer: What do you mean "what part" (OMG ARE YOU SERIOUS?)
ME: The front, the rear, the sides, entire, north, east, south, west, WHAT PART?
Customer: The front and the back (you would think)
ME: (because I know better) Not the sides?
Customer: Well yes the sides too (see?)
ME: So you want the entire property marked then is that correct (because entire means everything not just the front and the back .. AND its only two syllables, therefore wasting less of my time and breath because I have to read all this shit back to him)
Customer: (Beginning to understand what an idjit he really is) Yes ma'am, I guess that's correct. (you GUESS??? EITHER IT IS CORRECT OR IT'S NOT!!)
Now.. this whole process normally takes about 3 minutes tops.. assuming the streets are on our maps and the customer (who calls everyday, sometimes 50 jobs in one call) knows what the frack they are doing. But because this and many other people can't answer direct questions, the process will take 6-10 minutes.
So please people, I beg you on the behalf of all the call center reps out there, give a direct answer to a direct questions. We really don't care about any specifics that we don't ask you. Just answer the fucking question and move on.
Thank you for calling and