Will I get fired?

I work for computer anti-virus support. I have been for about 1.5 years.

We close at 8:00 PM pacific. At about 7:50 pacific an old man calls about his computer constantly getting knocked offline… his 40th call in 8 months.
(He tends to like to call late also)(40 calls is alot)

So I start to try to help him… my girlfriend’s work Christmas party started at 7:00 PM. I was going to for sure miss an hour and ten minutes. We close at 8:15, usually get off around 8:00.

8:15 comes around, the guy says he can’t get his email, so I can’t just send him email instructions, he wants me to walk him through his problem. I am not even sure what it is. I try to get a diagnostic log for our technicians to review, but his dial-up internet connection will not stay up long enough.

I tell him to go to control panel, he starts talking football to me. I cut him off and ask him to read add/remove prgorams to me… “I take it you are not a big fan of football?” he asks.

“No”, I say, bluntly and coldly, “I have a Christmas party to go to, and we are closed”

“Oh…,” he says

15 minutes later…Long story short, 55 minutes after call center closes, 40 minutes after my shift is supposed to be over, I just hung up on him.

He wasn’t listening, he was “trying” different things I did not tell him to try. I just broke apart a pen and let one of the pieces fall on the hang up button.

I was supposed to call my girlfriend if I was not coming, because I sprained my ankle two nights ago… of course she got no call, because I was on the phone with him.

I rush home to change… and there was my girfriend with some of her friends… party was already over, they had already left.

I am still angry at him. I have had the angriest customers you could ever imagine, but it’s just RUDE to keep somebody on the phone after they are closed. Especially if the problem can be solved tomorrow. I would never do such a dastardly thing. I feel guilty for not finishing dinner five minutes after a restaurant closes.

I don’t care… I am sick of helping computer imbeciles try to fix very complex problems, all the while they tell me how it’s my software’s fault, or having to explain over and over again it is very hard to protect them from viruses if they ignore our warnings, or disable our firewall…

Rant over.

You might not get fired, but you could have handled the situation more tactfully.

Your fault for staying on after hours. I work in a phone center as well and if it’s after my shift is over and I must go to class I transfer them to someone else. If it’s after hours we tell them we’re closing and to call back the next day if the problem persists.

You probably wouldn’t get fired for getting him off the phone after closing, but you definately can for being an ass about it.

Funnily, we have no such policy.

I wish I had thought of that, but by then, I already knew I would not be meeting my girlfriend’s co-workers. I knew I was screwed out of the her work Christmas party. I am just glad she wasn’t upset about it.

I am still mad. If I get fired, I lose 13 days of vacation and holiday pay, which I was trying to get done before quitting. Of all the people, he got to me. I want to go to his house and beat his pathetic face in. I know he was playing stupid with me, and I know he knows all the tricks we use to get people off the phones, and he has called before right before close and kept people on for long periods of time after close.

His reason for not being able to get his email was total bull.

You would think after 40 phone calls over a $60 dollar a year software, one would cancel. It sure as hell would do our company alot of good if he did cancel, He has cost us at least $500 in support costs. 1-800 numbers are expensive, and the technicians aren’t exactly cheap either.

I just hope I can cool down and grovel enough to keep my vacation I earned, (and was lawyered out of last year, another story), so I can quit so immediately after.

I would say no. My experience as a manager would be to give you a caution at most (if that) and possibly make it up to the customer with a follow up email. The issue is one of tact - you are in a customer service job - hense customers have to be managed hopfully so that they are mostly happy after dealing with you. "I am sorry sir but if I don’t leave in the next five minutes I will be locked in the building … security have already been past my desk … can I call you back first thing tomorrow? … "

I feel for you - customer services is not easy. But keep cool, always stay on the edge of truth and always try to see it from their point of view.

One happy customer gets you 10 to 20 possible customers through word of mouth.

He’s probaly a lonely old man or was just hitting on you, who knows, but if hes not trying things you suggested, he probaly was expecting it.

I would tend to agree with purple on this one, as I too am also a manager.

purple also makes a goo dpoint with the way he stated you should have ended the conversation. Hanging up was a bit over the top for sure, but I doubt you will get fired for it.


Most you’ll get is a telling off for hanging up.

But the manager will probably sympathy with you cause he sounded like an idiot.

Ahhh, memories. I used to work tech support for a nationwide ISP (starts with a V) after I got laid off and before I could find a programming job. I knew we were being recorded on each call, and never knew which call would be pulled at random for my review. Whenever I got a problem caller, or was going to have to stay late to help someone malicious or so slow they bordered on a learning disability, I would just dump the call, then say “Hello? Hello, sir??” for the 10 seconds after hangup that the hardware recorded. Then just log out and go home. If that call comes up for review, it still looks like the user accidentally hung up. Maybe they had a cordless phone and accidentally hit the button with their ear, who knows?

I’ll have to remember that one DoggettCk :smiley:

You got the word in wrong order.

“But the manager is probably an idiot and will not show any sympathy for you.”

Even if your customers are idiots, you can’t be a dick and not expect some repercussions.


I can tell you that if I was one of your customers and you treated me like that, I’d never come back to you again. Ever. And I’d be sure to let everyone I came in contact with know about it.

That’s just ridiculous. I think you handled it very poorly.

By the way, just because somebody isn’t as “computer savvy” as you doesn’t mean they’re an idiot. Get off your high horse, guys. %|

I’ll have you know I have dealt with well over 2000 customers on the phone, many of them more dense than this guy, and always handled them with complete care and professionalism.

But this guy, just happened to ruin my girlfriends work christmas party for me, so he was the one I lost my temper and patience with… and he called back today anyway. Call number 41.

I don’t think I am on a high horse, but you should try out this job sometime, and them dismount yours… :stuck_out_tongue:

BTW, I didn’t get a warning, not a word. Nothing. I was expecting at least a write up. Still… I missed my girlfriends Christmas work party, and have to spend another year listening to stroies about people I never met. :frowning:

You got the word in wrong order.

“But the manager is probably an idiot and will not show any sympathy for you.”

my mistake :smiley:

The guy might not be stupid. But he is deffinetly a git. Has called 40 times and each time is nearly time for the help centre to close. It just seems he wonts to annoy poor call centre helpers.

Doing something completely different from what the help person is saying, is just rude.

I feel your pain neomega. I’m also just leaving a job that’s basically a CSR position, troubleshooting internet problems over the phone. It can be very, very trying at times. Sometimes it’s simply too much, a customer pushes your buttons, or is exceptionally rude, whatever.

One thing about computers. They are not toasters. They’re not microwaves. You cannot just turn them on, punch a few buttons and expect them to work well. Using a computer takes a certain amount of knowlege. I may be riding up on my high horse, but there are way too many people with computers who are in completely over their heads. It’s too bad the internet-appliance idea didn’t take off, because a simpler device would be perfect for some of these folks.

When I would get a customer who would wander off, not follow instructions or not pay attention to my instructions, I would always stop them (sometimes you have to be firm), and tell them exactly, “Sorry, sir/m’am, I am trying to help you. If you cannot follow my instructions, I won’t be able to help you.” Give them a brief explanation of what you think the problem is, and start over again. That works for me on the hard ones.

Remember, there is nothing wrong with being truthful or firm to a customer. In fact, I believe it’s better not to sugar coat things, especially when you’re talking about computer issues. Usually that just gets in the way of fixing the problem. Sometimes people will not like it, but as long as you are not rude or insulting, they will likely thank you in the end.

It’s especially hard if you get someone who doesn’t understand any of the common terminology associated with the internet and computers. You know you’re going to have a really bad call when you tell some one to click on the so-and-so icon and they ask, “What’s an icon?” or they say, “Is my mouse the pointy arrow thing?”. All of the urban legends about computer stupidity are true. The difference is that these legends continually repeate themselves, over and over again. I used to think that the old story about a customer turning their monitor on and off over and over again and wondering why their computer wouldn’t work, was baloney. Until I had someone call me with that very complaint.

But you probably shouldn’t have just hung up on him. That doesn’t help you or the customer. A brief explanation, and a follow-up call or transfer to someone else would’ve been more appropriate. I think if you could’ve reined him in early on, when he started to wander off on you, it might’ve been easier to end the call, whether it was resolved or not.

I may not do it professionally, but I do donate quite a lot of my time to helping people out with various computer problems. Yet I’ve never called anyone an idiot behind their back because they don’t know how to install a cd-rom drive. Just like I wouldn’t expect a jeweler to insult my intelligence for not knowing how to repair a watch.

But then again I doubt you have to spend 8 hours a day 5 days a week (just a wild guess. But those are the regular workhours) doing so. Nor has anyone of these people kept you from going to your girlfriend’s christmas party. Nor called for help 40 times, mostly at inconvenient times. Right?

But then again I doubt you have to spend 8 hours a day 5 days a week (just a wild guess. But those are the regular workhours) doing so. Nor has anyone of these people kept you from going to your girlfriend’s christmas party. Nor called for help 40 times, mostly at inconvenient times. Right?[/quote]

correct… and I do what you do whiteboy, donate quite a lot of my time to helping people out with various computer problems… off the clock. Ffriends, family, neighbors, and always offer to help

I have helped (on the job) completely (not computer, but truly, cannot read illeterate) illiterate people do extremely complex tasks, (anti-virus is very difficult, because of the problems they cause to computer functionality), I have helped blind people, rude people, angry people, and all with a calm professionalism, (I never have even told them they will need to follow my instructions, never even used the word sir or ma’am, (which I find condensending, and my co-workers use it alot when they are angry or frustrated). THis guy simply made me snap.

And I have been talked to now, and I may get fired… for blowing up at the floor-manager last night too when he asked me if I hung up on the customer.

My Ex worked at a call center, they were told to keep all calls below 6 minutes (tax call center not computers) anything over the time, they were told to try to finish through a number of trained methods. but they are not ever allowed to hang up.

which means that they do get the occasional old woman/man ringing for a chat. and yes it does happen. there are a lot of lonely people who will do anything for someone to talk to. infact our government set up call lines for these people to ring now. so they can just talk to someone.