Saturday, February 12, 2005
The Phone Monkey Knows No Fear

There's those few seconds of unsettling silence between me and the customer after I relay the bad news. It could be that they can't install on both a Mac or a PC at the same time, or maybe they have to pay for technical support, or it could be that their version is only supported online. Whatever it is, there's that small amount of time, which technically is just a drop in the bucket of the time-space continium, but seems to last much, much longer than it actually is.

"I'm sorry, but the license only allows you to install on one platform, even if we allow two machines per copy..."

"Unfortunately, the support for your version is only found online"

"Aside from our online forums, you can choose to log a paid incident for phone support"

Then the silence ensues. As I've said, it ranges from 3-5 seconds, which is really not a long time at all. But it feels like forever considering the white-knuckled anticipation of what the caller will say next. In fact, I feel like one of those war correspondents on the battelfield waiting for the maelstrom that will follow after hearing the sound of the mortar firing. The next few seconds could mean greivious harm, or a narrow brush with death.


"You have got to be kidding me."

"No way, this is bullshit."

"Oh, okay."

Predictably, the last response is the one I always hope for. I secretly exhale a sigh of relief when they actually accept what I have to tell them. Of course there will be times when the customer will give you a piece of his/her mind in a not-so-eloquent fashion. Ah, such is the life of a phone monkey. Not that I'm really complaining now, my last call center gig was ten times worse, given that 90% of calls you get involve a seething, computer illiterate homeowner. Add that to the lousy management, which made me quit 3 months into the job. So you see, it's just a little something I observed from my current work.


On to other things, my sister nearly lost her life recently due to food posioning. Not spoiled food mind you, but chemical posioning. They were making homemade corned beef and the excessive amount of sodium nitrate was the culprit. The recipe called for about half a teaspoon of the stuff to go with a pound of the beef. Apparently, it was the maid that erroneously added something like FOUR fucking tablespoons of the additive. Propotionally that would make it an overdose amounting to 400%. That caused my sister to collapse in front of her kids after ingesting the tainted meat. Had they gone to Makati Medical Center, she wouldn't have made it since she was in Alabang at the time. It was a good thing they sought treatment at a nearby hospital instead. Otherwise, I'd be on funeral leave right now. Her face was stiff and her hands slowly turned black for christ's sake.

So kids, remember to check the amount of death sodium nitrate that you put into your homemade corned beef, because that may be the last thing you'll eat in this god-forsaken earth.