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Episode 3 of The Adventures of Bob, the Typical Cingular Customer

by repCB    Jul 30, 2005, 12:43 PM

It's a hot yet beautiful summer day outside, and Bob is driving down the street with nowhere to go and nothing better to do. What better time to call Cingular to have his text messaging fixed...


Fifteen minutes into the conversation...

Bob: No, I'm on it right now! Can't you just press a button and fix it while I'm on the phone?

Rep: Sir, I'm trying to explain, we need to check the settings in the phone. This type of issue is usually caused by an incorrect message center number programmed into the phone. If I could have you check that numbe--

Bob: I don't have time for this technical mumbo-jumbo. Do you know how many important messages I'm missing?

Rep: Well sir, I can fix it if I could call you back on another phone. If you are busy, I can call you back at a later time.

Bob: No, I'm much to busy to be called later. I'm a businessman! I run a very important online business!

Rep: Oh, you have a website?

Bob: Yeah, its w-w-w dot geocities dot com, slash noodles-for-oodles. I sell good quality chicken soup noodles at a good price. I buy the soup at my local grocer, dump out the noodles, repackage them, and sell them online. It has the potential of being a very profitable business, but in order for it to get off the ground, I need for my text messaging to work! Now, if you could just fi-- WATCH OUT!!! AHHHHHHHHHHHGH!!!


While yelling into the phone, Bob doesn't notice that he's actually driven onto the sidewalk. As he swerves to avoid hitting a little girl walking her puppy, he speeds into a gas station lot and crashes his car headfirst into a pump island, exploding on impact...





Bob opens his eyes and looks around. He first notices that he's sitting down, but not in the driver seat of his car. He's sitting at a desk behind a computer, and he's wearing a headset. Its incredibly hot, and Bob is already sweating.


Bob: Where am I? What's going on? And...whew, it's hot!

Bob wipes the sweat from his forehead, then looks around and sees that he's surrounded by orange. Everywhere he turns, at every angle, enough orange to turn his stomach.

Bob: This is creepy. What is going on? I just wan--AH!!!

He jumps at the horrible sound that blasts into his ears through the headset.

Headset: BEEP! BEEP! WAAWAAWAAWAAWAAWAAWAAWAAWAAWAAWAAWAAWAAWAAWAA WAAWAAWAAWAAWAAWAA...

Bob: AH!! What is this?! Get this crazy thing off my head!!!

Headset: WAAWAAWAAWAAWAAgimmecreditWAAWAAWAAWAAWAAWAAW AAWAAWAAfreerazrWAAWAAWAAWAAWAA...


Bob tears the demonic device off his head and runs for the nearest exit, only to find that there isn't one. After running around in circles for half an hour, he finally finds a door that reads "CEO".


Bob: Hmmm, a CEO, huh? I've always wanted to talk to a CEO. Maybe once I find out just where the hell I am, I can complain to him about...something.


Bob opens the door, but an explosion knocks him through the air and into a wall, and out walks...

Satan: WHO DARES INTERRUPT THE PRINCE OF DARKNESS????


Bob is in awe for about two seconds, then rises to his feet, dusts himself off, then marches towards Satan.


Bob: So...you're in charge of this place, huh? Well I've got a few complaints.

Satan: YOU HAVE THE MITIGATED GALL TO SPEAK TO THE LORD OF EVIL IN SUCH A MANNER????

Bob: Uh...yeah? You're the boss around here, right? Well you can consider me a customer.


Satan grows angry for a moment and considers blasting poor, unsuspecting Bob into the next circle of Hell, but instead decides to have a little fun with this mortal. Calming down, he morphs into his true form...


Bob: STAN SIGMAN???

Stan: Yes, that is correct.

Bob: YOU are the lord of darkness and ruler of Hell???

Stan: That's correct. Welcome to Hell's Call Center, or as we call it, the HCC. Our "up top" reps know this place as the Office of the President.

Bob: So this whole time, I've been justified in my paranoia...when you agree to a Cingular contract, you sign your soul over to the devil?

Stan: Yes, but only for two years. That's why we offer free upgrades, to keep 'em signed on for as long as possible. And with the...ahem, "merger", with AT&T, we've gotten more victims...eh, I mean, customers, then we could imagine.

Bob: But they technically didn't agree to join you, did they?

Stan: Well, we have some wonderful lawyers down here. There's a loophole in just about anything, and you wouldn't believe how many lawsuits I've crushed in court. We've also had gross adds of 4.4 million, and we delivered net adds of more than one million for the third straight quarter. Our reported margins on Operating Income Before Depreciation and Amortiza--

Bob: Stan? Why should I give a damn about this?

Stan: Umm...well, I guess you shouldn't. Sorry, its just that I can't help but pat myself on the back sometimes. Anywho, I'd love to show you around and introduce you to my henchmen, De La Vega and Dowling, but this is Hell, and you've got work to do.

Bob: Work? I didn't plan on doing any wor--

Stan: Bob...kiddo...don't make me do the whole horns and pitchfork deal again. Just put on the friggin' headset. You've been assigned to spend eternity doing the lowest, most hated, and most disrepected form of grunt work imaginable...Customer Service!

Bob: NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO! !!!!!


Bob is dragged back to the desk, where the headset is forced back onto his head. Bob endures the horrible sounds being drilled into his ears for what seems like years, possibly decades. After what feels like close to a century, Bob rips off the headset once again, and decides to take a stretch break.


Stan: What are you doing?!?!? Who told you to stop??

Bob: Aw, c'mon, can't a man get a five minute break? Eternity is a long time.

Stan: Eternity? Hahahaha...weak little man, you've only been on the phone for 45 minutes. Get back to work.

Bob: 45 MINUTES??? Are you sure? I must have taken a million calls. And they are all asking for the same thing, credit, credit, credit!

Stan: Exactly. And do the voices sound familiar?

Bob: As a matter of fact, yes. And if I didn't know any better, I'd say it's the same guy.

Stan: It is, Bob. It's you.

Bob: Me?!? That's ridiculous. This guy's an idiot. Who would melt their phone in the microwave?...well...ok, so I did once, it could happen to anyone.

Stan: Mmm-hmm...

Bob: And what about this guy who accidently mixed his phone into a bowl of dog food and fed it to his Golden Retriever? Sure, it's happened to me, but that was a freak accident. And the guy who complained about not being able to receive calls after the phone was powered off?

Stan: It's all you, Bob. For years, you've provided pure hell for your fellow mortals living up top. Now, you're feeling the wrath of that hell. Now, have you learned your lesson?

Bob: Umm...what lesson? I sent all the callers free phones?

Stan: You did WHAT??? But how...what...wha...?


For the first time in eternity, Stan, the Devil, is speechless. This lowly simpleton had defeated his most demonic device. Stan was angered for a moment, then thought up another sinister idea.


Stan: Bob, I have never admitted defeat, and I'm not about to start today. I could hold you down here for all of eternity, but you'd only ruin my operation but sending everyone free phones. However, I do need a...devil's advocate, so to speak...to whip my reps into shape. DE LA VEGA, GET OVER HERE!


Ralph De la Vega, Stan's right hand flunky, walks over.


Stan: Ralph, have the plagues been unleashed on the reps yet?

Ralph: Yes, sir. The PAR system has been in place for some time, and CSP is being slowed down again. We have also initiated plans to require reps to give their full name, home telephone number and address when answering calls, and stand on their heads while troubleshooting customer accounts.

Stan: And the Telegence and POS updates?

Ralph: Telegence 8.5 will be the worst version yet, sir, and we're working on POS III, which will be coin-operated, like an arcade game.

Stan: Excellent. Now, I want you to send our friend Bob up with the plagues. The worst thing we can do to our reps is send them customers, and Bob is the worst one yet. Bob, we're sending you back home, we could use you up top.

Bob: Great! And hey, before I go, can I get a free black RAZR?

Stan: Umm...sure...call customer care, they'll send you one. Tell them you're friends with the CEO...hahahahahahahahahahaha!!!!


Bob closes his eyes for a moment, and opens them to find that he is sitting in his car, parked on the side of the road. His cell phone is still in his hand.


Rep: Sir? Hello, sir, are you still there? Caller, if you can hear me, I cannot hear you. Please call back from a landline at 1-800-...

Bob: No, wait, I'm here. I guess I blanked out for a second.

Rep: *sigh* dammit...I mean, oh, great to hear you're still there sir. Was there anything else I could help you with today?

Bob: Yeah, as a matter of fact, there is. I was told that I qualify for a free RAZR...



Next: Episode 4...My Kid Didn't Do It!

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