Thursday, March 26, 2009

Stupid is ...Stupid does

So I seem to have fallen into some kind of blog writing rut. Well to be honest, I've fallen into a rut when it comes to all aspects of my writing. Reading has sort of taken over right now. I'm reading the Twilight series and reading a lot of Derryan's writing. The story is coming along so great I'm excited and very happy to be a part of it. A part of it as his agent, a part of it as his creative inspiration, but the biggest part of it because we are cell mates. :) Friends for ever and I'm so proud of him.

Anyway this blog isn't about Derryan and his writing (although for a sneak peak you guys should make friends with 'Angel Morland' on Facebook). I spent a lot of time today reading blogs and I noticed a common thread on most of them: STUPID PEOPLE. No I don't mean the writers were stupid, but they were complaining about stupid people and who am I to ignore such a delectable topic?

I've had a lot of recent run ins with stupid people but the one from a couple of weeks ago really really stood out. I was home sick for 3 days with gasto (seriously the most unfun sickness you could have. You can't do anything but stay close to the bathroom!!) So since I was home Georgie called me and asked me to call Bell Canada about our satellite upstairs. For some reason the satellite in our bedroom would constantly lose the signal and more than half the channels wouldn't show up. It was the most annoying thing ever but we never had time to call because we only watch tv up there for like 20 minutes before bed. I was home so I might as well call them.

Now before I get to the phone call let me give you some backstory to me. When I was 13 years old I was diagnosed with a disease called myasthenia gravis. It's an immune disease where my body produces too many antibodies and therefore gets bored of me not being sick and attacks my ATP cells which totally reduces my energy and my strength. It is managable but when I am sick or stressed my disease completely skyrockets and I feel like I'm dead. It ends up affecting my muscles so I'm pretty weak and have hard time going up and down stairs etc. When my disease acts up it can be bad to the point that you'd think I am physically disabled. In fact, the goverment of Quebec seems to think so and I have a handicap parking tag. Don't worry about me, I've come to terms with it...anyway.... By now you should know HOW I felt when I called Bell.

So I'm downstairs in my living room watching TV when George calls me to talk to Bell. I sit down and dial their number and go through this whole automated thing where I enter my phone number, say why I'm calling and blah blah. The lovely automated operator, Emily, informs me that I must be in front of the tv that I am calling to trouble shoot. I hang up the phone and drag my sick ass up the stairs and have my puppy nipping at my heels. Heaven forbid he be downstairs alone!

Now I'm in front of the tv that isn't working properly and I call Bell and when I get a human on the phone I realize that the trouble is starting, not the trouble shooting process. I get a guy named "Sam" on the phone and I can tell you one thing. Wherever "Sam" comes from Sam is NOT a common name. A more common name in his area is probably something along the lines of Harminder or Abu. His accent is really thick and heavy and I'm just trying to understand him clearly. We start trouble shooting by pushing a bunch of buttons on my remote and checking the settings on the receiver and all kinds of other not fun things. Finally "Sam" decides that it is not something he can fix by having me push buttons and now its time to see if the problem is with the receiver or not. He asks me to unhook this receiver and take it downstairs to see if it will work there. At this point I proceed to tell "Sam" that I am physically disabled and unable to move heavy furniture, disconnect the receiver, struggled down the stairs where I would have to move more heavy furniture, disconnect the currently set up receiver and reconnect this one.

At this point "Sam" tells me that it is protocol and that he can not skip a step in the trouble shooting process. I tell him that I work for a company that also has a lot of calls for customer service and that we too have protocol but there are special circumstances that require us to skip our protocol and just make executive decisions. I told Sam that I think he should send a Bell tech out to my house in order to replace the receiver to fix this problem as it is not the first time I am having the same problem with the same reciver. Sam basically tells me to go fuck myself and that he can't skip any steps. I ask to speak to a manager. I get a floor supervisor named "Dan". Believe me he wasn't a Dan either. After explaining the situation to him and getting the same result my blood is pumping and I'm furious. I want to beat the living shit out of everyone where Dan and Sam work. I ask to speak to someone else and then I must have gone though 5 customer service reps /pseudo tech agents and I start to demand to speak to someone in CANADA. I tell the last person I'm on the phone with, "John" that when I pay my bill I pay it in Canadian dollars at a Canadian bank for a Canadian service and I'd like to speak to someone in my country which is when I get a line like "Yes Jenny, I understand but Bell Canada has many offices all over the world if you hang up and come back into the queue you may get your call answered by someone in Canada or India." I roll my eyes and hang up the telephone. Are these guys serious?

I pick up the telephone again and start the process again. Instead of asking for tech support when Emily asks why I'm calling I say CANCEL. Wouldn't you know that within 10 seconds I had a lady named Sarah on the phone, and guess what, she probably was a real Sarah, from Canada! Sarah asks why I'm canceling since I'm such a valued Bell Canada customer and I explain to her how Sam over in India wanted me to risk my life, at the very least, my face, in order to save Bell some money by having a tech come out to my house. She's completely horrified at the situation and schedules an appointment to have a tech come to my house early the next morning and gives me 30% off of my entire Bell bill for the next 12 months.

What I don't understand is how you can ask someone who is telling you they are HANDICAPPED and UNABLE to go down the stairs to still do it just because the script on their screen tells them to. I was completely shocked.

A few days later I get an apology letter from Bell telling me they are sorry for my experience calling their call center and they gave me a telephone number to call in case I have any further problems with their services which they hope I don't.

So yeah, I kind of found that to be pretty fucking stupid. How does one go about asking a cripple to hobble down the stairs? And for those of you who know me, I can be really descriptive. I was explaining to Sam, Dan, and John how much work it would be for me to get the reciever and carry it down the stairs without me misstepping, falling, rolling down a flight of stairs before landing on my face and hitting my nose so hard that fragments of broken nose bones get into my brain and render me dead within seconds....

Ah, the wonders of outsourcing for cheap labour.


  1. That story made me angry. I hope Sam was fired. I hate stupid people. There aren't even any words...

  2. So much tech support has been farmed out to cheaper labor in India and it is terrible. It is not only difficult and frustrating trying to communicate with them, but they also tend to be too rigid about their protocol and can never think outside of the box to fix an issue. A totally essential part of being tech support if you ask me. You did the best thing, threaten to cancel, and boy do they jump through hoops to fix the issue then.

  3. You know, once I was driving and I saw a bumper sticker that read STUPID PEOPLE SHOULDN'T BREED. I had to pull over to quit laughing.

    This story reminds me of that bumper sticker.

  4. Kearsie, I actually laughed out loud when you said what that bumper sticker said. LOL. That's awesome.

    Great post. I too hate stupid people. And the customer service these days at most places is a total joke!

  5. My boss has been on the phone for over a week with Sony and Microsoft's tech department and at one point my boss juse said "Listen can you please be a little less poliete and a lot more effective". They don't listen to what you have to say they just read their script that on screen and don't let you get a word in edgewise. They called while he was on the phone so I picked up his call and they are like "Hello Jenny, is it okay if we call Daniel back in one hour on this number". I say "Yes". They say. "Okay Jenny so in one hour we will call Daniel back ont his number, is that correct" "Yes". "Okay then Jenny, thank you and please let Daniel know we will call him back in one hour on this number". "GOODBYE!"


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