Don't Mince Words


Phone fun with the EDD

Posted on September 02, 2009 by Marna

I don’t envy phone customer service reps in any business. It is a thankless job. But it has to be especially painful if you are working the phones for the Employment Development Department for the State of California.

My claim form hasn’t arrived, so another Outtie friend supplied me with a way to bypass the system and get a rep on the phone faster. I waited seven minutes for a human to answer the phone and this is what transpired:

EDD Woman: …(seven seconds of garble followed by) “How may I help you.”

Marna: “I guess you need my social security number to start with?”

EDD Woman: “No, I have that, it is tied to your phone number.”

Marna: “Oh, good. Well, I have received my Insurance Award notification letter, my Claim Filed letter, and the Notice of Requirement to Register for Work. But I’m in week three and I still haven’t received my first claim form.”

EDD Woman: “What is your Social Security Number?”

Marna: “I thought you said you had that.”

EDD Woman: “Please verify for me.”

Marna: I repeated the number for her.

EDD Woman: I hear clicking on a keyboard followed by, “Are you serious. For real? He can’t be?” There was laughter and it sounded like my phone rep was chatting with the woman on the other side of her cubicle wall.

Marna: After three minutes of listening to this woman talk to her friend, I broke in with “So, are you looking for my claim form status?”

EDD Woman: “What’s your address?”

Marna: “XXXX North Spaulding Avenue” blah blah blah.

EDD Woman: “Like the basketball?”

Marna: It was becoming apparent she didn’t have my record pulled up. “S-p-a-u-l-d-i-n-g”

EDD Woman: After holding with an open mic for another three minutes she said, “OK, we’re going to mail another claim for out to you tomorrow. Fill it out as best as you can.”

Marna: “Thank you.”

I’m sure I can fill that form out better than she can manage her phone manners. Seriously. For reals.

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  • About Marna

    Marna’s writing career started as a Pentagon intern. Early exposure to $500 toilet seat press releases made her appreciate creative nonfiction. Now she has more than 25 years of senior-level marketing and communications success working with Fortune 100 companies, government, nonprofits, small businesses, startups, and agencies.

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