Many summers ago, I worked as a temp for the local cable company, doing a variety of tasks which included answering some customer service calls.
I was used to at least slightly miffed and occasionally rude customers (this was, after all, the cable company), but one fella was particularly vulgar and particularly stupid.
From the moment I picked up the phone, he was ranting and raving, and using some pretty creative language. I soon figured out that he was significantly irked about losing his HBO reception in the middle of a movie.
Via the wonders of caller ID, Mr. Smith’s number and address soon popped up on my screen. Hmm… that’s funny… he never ordered HBO!
“Mr. Smith,” I pleasantly interrupted, “Are you calling from your home phone right now?”
Indeed he was.
“Sir, I’m terribly sorry about this! I’m going to PERSONALLY have this taken care of right away, you have my word!”
I sent two of our bigger and no-nonsense guys out in a van to pay Mr. Smith a visit. They knocked on the door, asked to come in and inspect his premises for a black box, and — when Mr. Smith tentatively refused — they offered to stand right there and invite the police to come visit.
Mr. Smith turned white, let them in, and moments later, they walked back to their van with — yep — two black boxes.
He was charged retroactively for a month of HBO, and told that if the cable company ever detected any further theft of services, he’d be arrested.
Moral of the story: Only thing worse than being a thief is being a thief stupid enough to piss off Customer Service 😀
Seriously, though, I don’t understand how otherwise rational people who wouldn’t raise their voices to their DOG think nothing of barking orders at a clerk, screaming at an operator, telling off a waiter (“For dressings, we have Thousand Island, Italian, or spit”), and so on.
I wish more rude people got what they deserved.