Saturday, 9 July 2011

When Hell comes Calling!!!

Do listen to this audio before we even start this topic...

Poor Gunjan! Sharat took the daylights outta her!  How good is our telephonic conversation skill? Having worked for over eight years in Railway Enquiry, i can categorize calling customers as these types-
1. Hurrying Harry
 He calls you as if running a 100 meters race. The moment you greet him warmly, he bombards you his question. Sorry, no time for pleasantries. Impatient to the core, he cuts his call when you are explaining, but seriously about the vacancy position in all trains. You can realize a few seconds later that Hurrying Harry is gone. Whoooosh!

2. Doubting Thomas
  Mr Doubt- fire is certainly on fire, immediately on connecting the call, he asks- " Oh! Madam, is it afternoon?" Then comes a flurry of questions- " What time is the train? Which platform?  How many minutes will the train stop? Which side will be S4 coach?" Finally you lose your patience when he asks- " Will there be water in the coach" Only after your sharp retort- " How do i know if there will be water in S4 coach on 29th July, 2011?" , will he budge, saying a lethargic Thank You which you can never hear anyway...You would yourself be disconnecting the call already!

3. Deaf Duffy
 This man is probably at home, all alone, in his late 70s. His son or daughter will certainly be in US, you can bet! He needs to travel to Chennai to receive the grand children, so far so good. But when he calls up to ask if there is accommodation in a specific train, starts your nightmare. Here goes the conversation-
You- " Good morning! Railway Enquiry."
DD- " Excuse me madam, is this railway station?"
You- " Yes Sir, RAILWAYS"
DD- " Oh son is in US"
You- " Good sir, what can i do for you?"
DD- " He is working in an IT company, a green card holder"
You- " Ok sir, how may I help you?"
DD- " Is this Railway station?"
You- Gritting your teeth- " YES SIR. RAILWAYYYYYYS"
DD- " Don't yell, i am not deaf, okay?"
You- Oh no! " Ok sir...what do you want?"
DD- " I want to go to Chennai"
You- " Which train, sir?"
DD- " No, is not raining here..."
You- " No sir, i am asking which TRAIN you want to go?"
DD- " hehehe....train? Rockfort Express"
You- " What date sir?"
DD- " Any rate is ok for me"
You- OMG..." I am asking you what DATE you want to GO?"
DD- " hehehe...i am little old you see? On July 20"
You- " Waiting list 21- second class"
DD- " Oh...are there seats in Second class?"
You- grrrrrrrr..." No Sir, it is waiting list 21"
DD- " No, No, i want to go on 20, not 21"
You-  ( almost yell) " I said WAITING LIST 21"
DD- " Be patient with customers madam. Talk softly. Why are you shouting?"
( As if he would understand, you explain again that ticket is not available and by the time you finish the conversation, you seriously need a hearing aid and a mike!)

4. Touch Me Not
 This is seriously a different type of customer. You pick up the phone after a few rings, what with attending two other phones, you can't attend all the calls in a single ring. Touch me not starts the second you say Hello. " Why did you not attend the phone for a long time? What were you doing? I am trying this number for the past half an hour. I want to complain about you." And ultimately comes the shocker- " What is your name, huh?" You can react two ways- either duck or chuck. I always prefer chuck, i say- " I am really busy here, if you have no other question to ask, shall i hang up, sir?" There! That does the trick usually, but not Touch Me Not. If he wants to teach us a lesson, or if his Madamji is on full fledged war with him, you are doomed! He barks some expletives over the phone and hangs up while you watch stupefied at the receiver. Well, you have been a receiver here!

5.  Repeat call Romeo
 If there is the worst of all customers, it is this type. He loves to ring, hear your pleasantry and hangs up dutifully. May be that is his pastime, but it sure unnerves you when all the other three phones ring tring- tring in unison and Romeo on the other phone chuckles at you! How much ever you scold, threaten or reason out, Romeo never gives up. May be if he sees you once, just once, he will run for his dear life, never touch the phone ever, all his life. Period!

Oh...and i must not forget to mention a tribe from my own side- Brother No Bother. Cool lad, he is, how much ever the phone rings, he is unmoved. He attends one out of every fifty calls, or worse he picks up a phone that never rings and talks to the absent customer for over ten minutes! It is these Brother No Bothers who earn a bad name for us, the customer care.  Calling enquiry? Count your lucky stars you don't end up with Brother No Bother! And in customer care? Pray, you don't want to talk to all the above types!!!



  1. hmmm...seriously...funny....

  2. Funny though true.Such specimens abound in plenty.Talking crisply to the point and politely is a trait that does not comeby to all

  3. LOl! I was ROFL while reading the old mans convo! I would say i am the first category. Hah! Really that is me!

    You must be having quite a lot of patience isnt it. I mean 8 yrs!!!

    Great post! Laughed a lot!

  4. hehe possibly d frst tym m readin a post frm d odr end n woah! its just as harrowed! :D

  5. *a whooping laughter*....where do i start from ehn??...go sister, you are so funny

  6. Loved every bit of it, you are too good.

  7. Love this!!! I must say that if all staff in the railways are as pleasant and patient as you obviously are then you will have more " Repeat call Romeos" !!

  8. hahahahah

    "I have bag. no V.I.P,I am talking to English!"

    Hilarious ..!

    and Bravo for dealing him so patiently!

    and it was such an observation that you shared with us here..great read:)

  9. Too bad that my slow network won't allow me to listen to it, but I have heard quite a few call center escapades and they can range from funny to filthy.

    No wonder the people out there need to have more patience than anyone else. Plus, knowledge of what they do, and what they may be asked.
    Nice post.

    Blasphemous Aesthete

  10. Sounds funny but must be so irritating! And I am pretty sure the list just keeps getting bigger and interesting by the day ;-)

  11. Gee Thanks, dear Thinking!

    Rightly said dear KP:) Talking crisp is becoming a rarity these days:(

    Hey Red handed...glad you loved the post. So you are that Hurrying Harry, huh? See you next time;)

  12. Hahaha! Sadiya, there are two sides to each coin:P Thanks for the comment.

    Hi Ibhade! Happy you enjoyed the post!

    Thank you so much for the compliment dear Rama:)

  13. Oh My! now definitely scared..No more Romeos puhleeeeeeeeesssssss! LOL!!!

    Dear Mishi, thanks for the comment. The audio is not actually from my side, it has been shared by someone on youtube:) I just liked it sooooooo much that i shared here!

    Thanks dear Blasphemous Aesthete! That is a really understanding comment:)

  14. 1.After reading yur post i called to RLY RES enquiry over the phone.. for whic had no takers..

    2.FUN reading thru out.

    3.afterall why do defame ur Principal ?

  15. lol
    call u later
    nice one
    enjoyed conversation

  16. Thank god for on line reservations and e tickets- haven't called up railway inquiry ever since I passed out from school :)

  17. nice one nivedita...and very things have improved with privatisation of railway call centres in many places..


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