Monday, August 14, 2006

I'm Really Beginning to Hate Bob Farkas**

I have no right to be blogging right now, was sitting at my workstation from just before 8 am til 6:30 pm exactly.. Then I went straight to rehearsal to do a run through of the one play where I play a catatonic woman.. Wasn't much of a stretch from the employee I pretended to be today, as I used the back of my business cards as cue cards to help me memorize my lines.. This in between taking calls at the call center where I work.. Ever the focused Tamar, one of my first customers was Paul Ellis.. I do my schmucky greeting, he interrupts me in the middle of it (the only thing worse than saying a schmucky greeting is to have someone interrupt your cadence by cutting you off during it.. Really insulting, in the books of customer service reps, ranks right up there with being cursed at).. 'Tamar', he says, in his big, loud, Brooklyn-accented, business man can't-be-bothered-with-greetings way.. 'I opened my phone bill, and see you're offering $39.99 a month for long distance, and here I'm paying WAAAAAY too much!' As I finish jotting down my lines from page 15 of my script, I matter-of-factly remind Paul that, as I had told him before, unless he was willing to make a commitment, he would not be eligible for that promotion.. I set up phone service for this guy about 3 weeks ago, and since then, every thought that crosses his mind that is telephone related, he calls me and demands I return his call right away, as it's very important.. I'll never forget this guy.. He actually first called for a rep named Melissa, but then discoverd that Melissa went on to greener pastures (collecting payments in our front office.. A little greener, I guess..) So he latched onto my soul, and from then on I was his personal slave.. At the end of our first 45 mminute call (which should have only taken 7 minutes, but Paul needed special attention), he said.. 'So I guess you're my new contact?' 'Yeah', I said, kind of touched that Paul wanted to keep me as his contact.. He ended the call with, 'Don't go getting promoted like Melissa'.. The touching moment was never to return, as he called me so many times, I started saving his messages for future restraining order evidence..
So back to this call on this morning.. As I pull up Paul's account this morning, and realize I've been very flippant with him, reminding him of his commitment fears, and that he is a DSL subscriber, 'as I recall', I said so callously to him, therefore he would not be eligible to take advantage of this promo, for which he tried to bite my head off about not being informed of .. The lightbulb went on. Paul Ellis was not the same customer that I had burned in my memory as public enemy #1.. No, that honor was reserved for a Bob Farkas, who though had a similar accent and manner as Paul, was in fact not.. Paul was in fact.. The man that has been my director for the past month! Ha hahaha! Foiled again! As soon as I realized this faux pas, I acknowleded it.. 'Oh, Paul, the director Paul?' Yeah', he said, relieved that a nicer Tamar was somewhere underneath that stuffy demeaner.. 'You didn't know it was me?' I'm always so impressed when I do that.. And more impressed that no one has been insulted yet.. This even happended with my own boyfriend that I was living with! He called me at work to ask me a question, and I was so focused on my position as a service rep, that my brain never recognized that this was not only someone that I knew, but someone that I lived with! (I never understood why he didn't get mad or think it was even funny that I didn't reconize him? Clearly a doomed relationship..a good chess player, though..) OK, so that was my morning excitement.. It happend around 8:40 am, then nothing exciting happend that day at all.. A torturous 10 hours of taking phone calls.. OK, wait.. Some cute Southern accents thrown into the mix, but really, nothing memorable or sticky note-worthy.. Then on to rehearsal.. My eyes were really burning, had I known that NO ONE had their lines memorized, I wouldn't have stressed so hard about getting my lines down.. The female director of our group gathered us after the run through to quickly go over notes.. I guess I was really tired, and I started swinging my legs under the stage, you know, kind of trying to keep myself awake.. And this woman who is in the plays.. Touched my knees and told me to stop it! Can you believe it? I didn't want to be rude to the director by making a scene, but I felt some response was necessary.. What was this woman, my MOTHER?? I heard her bossing one of the actors during rehearsal, too.. When he messed up his line, he said 'Oh, SHIT!!', And she said, 'Stay in character', and he said 'What?' and she repeated it.. I can just imagine what he was thinking.. Actors HATE to be told what to do, but only tenfold* when it's coming from someone other than the director.. OK kids, I'm really beat.. Til next time..

*yes, I realize this isn't a word.. you word-Nazi!
** The subject title of an email I sent to Melissa after Bob's 3rd callback to me in the same day


~Deb said...

Come on, it can’t be as bad as me pretending to be a customer, and you not knowing. Now you’re on to me and basically, my jig is up. I would prank you and say, “Oh Tamar, hello. Can you read the name on the account please?”

And you would clear your throat…put me on mute…*to laugh* and then begin to say my name.

“Yes, Mrs. Titsink…how can I help you?”

It’s sad when I rummage through the phonebook like a 10 yr old trying to get that perfect prank!

Til next time… mua ha ha!!!

tamar said...

deb! ah, the good old days of mrs titsink and irma kuntz.. how little it takes to amuse us.. ;-)

Jon said...

Well it sure made me laugh my ass off. You ladies are too awesome.

~Deb said...

Well I certainly hope Ophelia Cox doesn't call again. I think she was confused. Although, Dorothy can think hem.

FU said...


another struggling actor working in a call centre like me??

gadzooks. i think i'm in luurve.

haha.. nice blog! i found you thru big mama.. i'll be back to visit :)

~Deb said...

Don't they usually work in restaurants waiting tables? Jis' sayin'...

tamar said...

jon~ glad we can amuse you! have a minute? we have plenty more where those came from!

deb~ ?? dorothy and ophelia? that meclizine must be kicking in.. why is it that perscriptions give you the side effects symptomatic of your ailment? WHY Deb??

FU~ cool, I thought I was the only one in the universe.. most call center employees are too burned out to do much else besides reality tv..

Melissa said...

Poor Bob, if only he knew just how annoying he can be... I wonder if he would ever call again if someone were to tell him...I think that is the answer to our problems... I want you to be the first employee to the new telephone company I will be opening, Tell it Like it is, Communications... I think it will be a hit!!!

Of all customers to give you Tamar, I had to give you the most annoying, sorry!!!

tamar said...

melissa~ no apology needed, you're not bob's mother! I don't think he'd get it if you told him anyway.. a lot of people feel it's their duty to be loud and obnoxious to ulitily employees.. Ha ha, they'd really get a surprise if our mute buttons stopped working though, wouldn't they?

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