Joys of Customer Service

What a week! I can sum it up with one sentence…I am too old for this shit! And to make matters even worse…after working a week of 12 hr shifts I have to do another week of them. 7:00 AM till 7:00 PM. This means I have to get up at 5:30. Now a lot of other people do this all the time and it is no big deal. Well I am accustom to being home and having no alarm clock. Not that I sleep in I am up by 8-9 but still I do not have to rise in the dark! Added too the fact that normally I have to have a re-charge rest during the day…this pushes me to my max of coping. But I am a tough nut to crack so I will survive another week of it. I will be on and off till Nov. I do not remember if I mentioned it but this is a contract job with the QEII hospital lottery. I help them out during the home lottery taking ticket orders. No it is not a volunteer position. I am not that generous. I actually do 3 lotteries so I deal with multiple deadlines. I am always very busy!  So let us deviate today from our normal chat about serious matters and talk about my job. It is never a boring one.

First I should explain that this lottery is to support the hospital here. Now what age group would be so passionate about supporting the hospital that they will pay $100.00 for a ticket and most often purchase more than one? Seniors. I have to ask their age when they call because supposedly that is how they gear their prizes so I can confidently say 70% of all that purchase a ticket are 65 plus. That may not seem all that strange until you look at all the prizes. Keep in mind many of these seniors are in their eighties and nineties. A million dollar show home which is approx 4500 sq ft. Sports cars. Trips to sunny Jamaica and other Countries. Skidoos and motorcycles.  Now you know why I say they “supposedly” gear their prizes towards ticket buyers. Just for the home it would take them a week to make it to the bathroom. And I have met some spry 90 yr olds but I have yet to see one on a skidoo or a motorcycle. I curse them when we are behind them on the road in a car! Let them lose on a bike and I would give them about 20 mins before they or someone else was dead.

But they call up and order the $525.00 pkg which includes 6 lotto tickets and some other stuff. I have never checked who won the prizes so I cannot tell you how many of these folks ended up with a useless prize. One man asked if he could advertise the home on kijiji if he won it. That is an online classified site where you can sell second hand stuff like toasters and golf clubs. A million dollar home might not go as quickly. It usually takes me 5 mins to process an order and I have seen times where I am 15 mins trying to explain the process of purchasing a ticket and someone wants to give them a motorcycle! And do not get me started on the volume I have to speak at. I am not one of those people with a soft gentle voice. You know when I am around (actually I think I need to get my hearing tested!) But sometimes I am downstairs and they can hear me upstairs while I am chewing on the mike trying too speak so they can hear me. No wonder I have a scratchy voice by about 5:00.

Some of my customers can go from frustrating to hilarious. This man was 82 yrs old and asked if any hot chicks came with the cars. He was looking for a wife. Then there was the man who I think was about 75 and he darn near drove me nuts. “….”means at least a 3 min pause. Here was the conversation:

Me: “What would you like to purchase?”


Me: “would you like to purchase a ticket?”

Man: “ya”

Me: “How many?”

Man: “Ya….”

Me: “Just one?”

Man: “Ya”

Me: “Would you like any add ons?

Man: “ya….”

Me: “So what would you like?”

Man: “ya….”

I then had to go through each and every thing and waited for him to give me his “ya” on the right ones or if it was a “no” he just went silent. When I was getting close to the credit card info I figured I was going to have to guess the numbers but he finally spoke. Oh and even when I asked him his name he replied “ya.” Luckily their name and address comes up with their phone number, I just have too verify the info cause if not I would have been on a guessing game for his name too! It ended up being a 18 min call. No we are not timed I just have a system which lets me be so quick. Plus I talk fast. EXCEPT when they are over 75.

Let’s not forget the guy who was telling me about why he was supporting the hospital. His wife had been riding her bike when she got hit by a car and died 4 days later. He had started to tell me the story when he broke down sobbing. Crap! Now what was I supposed to do? Yes I am very compassionate and I felt terrible for this poor man so I listened and encouraged. His wife had worked at the hospital and he told me all the nurses had done for his wife. He continued to sob. So I told him that it all proved what a beautiful woman she was. All the while praying I was handling it correctly. He told me his wife was looking down on him. Then I told him he had better be well behaved or she was going to know. He chuckled and thanked me for listening. In my job you do not get much of an opportunity to feel good about call but I felt that I had made some sort of difference with that call. After all the frustration I dealt with I felt good. Then I said a little prayer that his heart heals.

So it goes for 12 hrs. Oh and let us not forget the bitches! Oh the province is not lacking in those! God forbid if you make a mistake!!!!!! If I get one number wrong when taking their credit card # they have a melt down! And they call me on phones that do not work and i cannot friggin hear them! Or they sound like they are calling from inside a tunnel. Then they are the ones with 15 letter last names which look like you put a bunch of letters in a hat and just spelled as you hauled them out. And they get pissed when you cannot pronounce the name! What the heck sound does a “tmlz” make? I am not making that up!

I go back for another 60 hours of being as sweet and patient as possible. The unfortunate side to this is that I do not drink cause a beer after work would be appreciated. Either that or a straight shot of scotch. Fri is the Bonus Draw deadline so all the seniors have to get their tickets because the draw is 10 trips for a romantic vacation to Jamaica. They would not want to miss out on that! I think they may even be too old to enter another Country. Just in case they die over there. I know I am horrible! I think when it comes to prizes they should have more of what the seniors can actually use. Like a whole shit load of 50 dollar Tim Horton’s gift cards (coffee shops that have groopies of senior citizen addicts). That makes much more sense when they spend $250.00 on 3 tickets. Man those lottery people know nothing!


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