As most all of you know by now, I work at a call center. I often wonder why some people insist on calling me up and trying to get me to compensate for the fact that they messed up something and that now they want me to fix it for them. Basically they’re trying to get me to make up for the fact that they’re the ones who made a mistake and now they’re blaming me and the company I work for for not being able to correct something which is not our fault but their’s.

Case in point, the company I represent is one of Canada’s most popular and well-known online and in-store book retailers. Every day I get inundated with calls from befuddled, confused, irritated, frustrated and sometimes downright rude, belligerent and irate people, most of them of the fairer sex I should add, who’re upset over the fact that our website is not behaving the way it’s supposed to, or at least, in their opinion, the way they think it should.

Every day it’s the same story. I get called to say that ‘I didn’t get free shipping, but I have enough books to qualify,’ or ‘It’s not letting me put in my credit card information, promo/coupon code, gift card number, etc…’, or ‘I specifically chose to have my items shipped to a store but it looks like they’re going to be shipped to me. That’s not what I want!!!’

Every time, I have to patiently walk the customer through the steps of the online ordering process, always making sure to not imply much less come out and say specifically ‘look lady, you obviously screwed up somewhere in the process, otherwise it wouldn’t be doing what it’s doing. It’s just a stupid computer! You’re supposed to be the intelligent human who tells it what to do so that it can do it!!!’

I often get the impression, often from the answers I get from these ladies that ‘well why doesn’t it just do it automatically?’ And I feel like telling them ‘Well no.. you have to click, ‘save’, ‘next’, ‘refresh’, etc to get the computer to execute the commands that you’re ‘expecting’ it to do ‘automatically.’

I get the impression that they think they’re talking to their husbands, and that, well, ‘you should know what I mean by now,’ or ‘you should know what I’m thinking and just do it!!!’

Funny thing, computers must be male or something, because they lack the distinctly telepathic talents necessary to function in this estrogen-laden environment. Come to think of it, last time I checked, computers were still mostly designed by engineers who were mostly men who went through university imbibing prodigious quantities of beer and sitting in front of a…. well.. COMPUTER!!!!

AAAArgh!!! The techno-psycho-sexually constipated and incestuous implications of this are just too scary to even contemplate much less envisage.

So I think I’ll have to tell all those 50-60 + something ladies who call in next time to just bear with me and not get too upset if my own telepathic skills are a little lacking or if my graduated bifocals cause me to have a pre-senior moment-type of optical brain fart when I look at my screen and see a bunch of letters and numbers in some customer’s e-mail address or name all cobbled together like so much indecipherable Greek!

Then they’ll wonder why I’m not quite as telepathic as both their husbands and their computers. Thing is, I’m just a little younger than their husbands and starting to get a little crotchety myself and I’m also sitting in front of a computer which was, again, designed by those same beer-drinking dudes who are also sitting in front of a computer!!!

Pretty scary. Do I see a pattern emerging here? Looks like we’re not quite out of the woods yet when it comes to solving the great mystery of life: Why are we here? Who put us here? What’s our mission? Can anything good come of it?

One thing’s for certain, I’m not going to order a book online on the subject from anybody and struggle with the website and end up calling myself for help at Customer Service only to find out that I’ve already telepathically figured out what to do with this situation: I want to go to bed and not have any pre-geriatric ladies come with me! Leave me alone! Good night and God bless…

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