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Thursday, November 15, 2018

Billy from Customer Support

This little story is a gift to two friends of mine whose birthdays are today.

Another day at the office. Everyone looks like they haven't slept in eons. I myself can feel my eyes slowly beginning to shut on their own.

Customer support. It's not the most enjoyable thing l. Sometimes, there are legitimate issues that grief those that call us. Much more often than not, they're just high school dropouts that think the disc tray is a cup holder.

Ring ring

As is the norm, my phone rings. I pick up and say what I've said the past fifty times I've had to pick up Alexander Graham Bell's bastard love child. “Hello, this is Microsoft customer support. Billy speaking.”

“By God's goodness graces, you speak English?”

“Yup.” I peer out from my cubicle. Cautiously, I place my hamburger into a drawer.

“Well, golly. This is Martha.” She sounds like she's thirty and her bed life is as dead as the Tyrannosaurus Rex. “I recently purchased an Xbox One X and discovered that I'm not able to play the game I purchased with it.”

I purge the desire to sigh and tell her that Don Mattrick's comment about playing a 360 over the One didn't meant you could play the formers games on the latter.


“Sorry, I was pulling up something so I could see what your problem may be.” I close my Pornhub tab and clear my throat. “So what exactly is it that you're experiencing when you try to play your game?”

“Well, you see, the game won't start.”

I stare in disbelief. Never before has a more descriptive and thorough analysis of a problem been delivered unto my ears so that I may solve their plight. Truly these words are what will allow me to solve her issue.

“Have you plugged everything in as the instruction manual has told you to do?”


The color from my face drains. As quick as EA is to implement microtransactions into their games, I grab my limited edition Call of Duty™ helmet and put it over my headset. I take a swig from my water bottle as I ready my body to utter the sacred nine words.

“Have you tried turning it off and back on?”

“Yep. First thing I tried.”

By Bill Gates’ diamond encrusted forceps. This is clearly a job for someone who understands the plight of a suburban mother of two. Peering out, I can see Aarav tending to what's clearly a category six menstruating single mother. I pity him and his hair.


I snap back into reality, narrowly saving my helmet in the process. “I'm still here, Martha.” I click on a few random things to pretend I get paid more than a gas attendant. “Where have you hooked up the console?”

“To a seventy inch ultra high definition television my husband bought.”

My eyes widen. This woman has a television three times the size of the one I own. Absolute bull crap. “Well, have you attached the cables to the correct—”


“Just making sure.” Bitch. “Is the console new.”

“Absolutely, I purchased it an hour ago from Best Buy.”

“Alright, well, have you checked to see if the disc may be scratched?”

“I did and it's as new as the console.”

Dang. She's good. She's done more checking than anyone else who called today. “Have you made sure the game's installed?”


Ah-hah. Another bonehead who doesn't follow our glorious corporations design philosophy of installing several gigabytes worth of data into their underpowered machine. Good thing I stick to PC.

“Yes, every game must install onto the console before you can play. There's usually a patch that must install afterwards.”

“Gimme a second.”

I can hear Martha mess around with the console and start it up. It takes a bit, but she eventually speaks up again in English as opposed to ‘incomprehensible grunts and moans’. If I didn't know any better, and wasn't a thirty-one year old virgin that has a manga collection worth six-and-a-half thousand dollars, I'd assume her bed life suddenly sprang back to life from fiddling with outdated technology.

“It has not installed. Want me to do that?”

“Yes,” I respond. “After that's done, you should be able to play the game.”

I once again can hear Martha fidgeting with what I can only assume is the console. For someone who recently purchased a several hundred dollars piece of technology, she's callous as hell with it.

“It won't read the disc.”

I raise an eyebrow. “Ma’am, if I may ask: what is it exactly that's appearing when you insert the disc?”

“It says the game's no compatible with the system.”

I blink and replay what she just said to me like it was the answer to the meaning of life. “What exactly did you purchase for the Xbox One X when you bought it?”

“Uncharted: Thief's End.”

I can feel each if my brain cells partake in a  game of Russian Roulette with napalm. It doesn't take long for the spine tingling sensation of my brain seeping out from my ears to overwhelm me.


“Ma'am, I'm afraid to inform you that this is a situation that requires the assistance of my supervisor,” I say, my eyes slowly roving over to Aarav, who's now tending to a game of Minesweeper.

“Oh my,” Martha says. “I'll wait.”

“I'll be back momentarily.” I take off my headset and rush over to Aarav's desk, my eyes as wide as his must've been when he was talking to that category six earlier.

“Afternoon, Billy,” he says, his accent as thick as a oatmeal covered in peanut butter.

“Afternoon,” I reply. “Listen, there's a woman that bought a PlayStation 4 game for her Xbox One X and I don't know exactly how I should break the news to her that she's a braindead moron.”

“I understand. I'll take it from here.” Aarav stands up and marches over to my desk. He grabs my headset once he's sat down and clears his throat.

“Hello, this is Aarav—”

As suddenly as food poisoning, the furious screams of a woman with no bed life explode out of the headset. It's unlike anything I've ever heard in my time on the force here. Yet, Aarav's face is as deathly neutral as mine is. Then, just as suddenly as it all began, the sounds cease, and the tranquil silence returns.

Aarav takes off the headset and stands up, chuckling. “She hung up.”

I smile. “Thanks, Aarav.”

“Anytime,” he says. “Happy birthday by the way.”

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