The Odd Call

There are many immutable laws in the universe, but today I heard a story that serves as a prime example of two.

Rule #1 – When you work in a call centre the customer is invariably an idiot.

Rule #2 – People will be offended by anything if they’re crazy enough.

I went for a visit today to see the IT department of one of the contractors that The Work uses. They’ve been having some issues accessing one of our systems and I went along to see if it was something that I could help them with. It went fine and everything was running smoothly with just an hour of tinkering at their connection settings.

Now I should explain that they’re a medium sized firm of about five or six hundred people. Their IT department consists of two front line guys with headsets that deal with all the day to day stuff like lost passwords, corrupted files and such-like. There’s a couple of sys-admin/second line technician guys who sit behind them, kind of like the bridge of the USS Enterprise, who do the actual infrastructure support etc.  Over in the corner behind them sits their “Director IT” who is a jolly man who looks like Santa Claus after he went ten rounds with a pie and ale special.

Seemingly he’s also the fire warden and does some surveying part time as well.

While I was there helping out the two second line tech guys a phone call came in to the operators and the guy was talking away to the person on the other end. I wasn’t paying much attention at that point, but he seemed to be having some difficulty getting the person on the other end to understand his instructions. Suddenly the operator guy tore off his headset and shouted over to teh IT Director, “Here you want to speak to this guy?”

THe IT Director shook his head and asked,”How?”

“He wants to speak to my manager,” The Operator said.

The IT Director shrugged a bit and asked the obvious question, “About whit? This isn’t fucking Debenhams. Can you no sort it?”

“He’s being a prick, a stupid prick,” said the Operator.

The IT Director sighed, got up and went over to the operator. He picked up the headset, introduced himself and asked what the problem was. I could see a bewildered look cross his face and then he rolled his eyes dramatically before saying a line that wouldn’t be out of place in an episode of Still Game, “Listen pal F T P stands for File Transfer Protocol. It does not, has not, and will never stand for Fuck The Pope or any other sectarian slogan you might think it does. OK?”

The guy at the other end obviously embarrassed at the rammy he had caused rung off almost instantly leaving the poor IT Director standing there unsure if he should laugh or cry.

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