I started a new Job working for the city for 311 and today I was suspended for the day because of an impatient caller who assumed I was not understanding her quite enough to provide the information she needed.
Out of courtesy, and a good 311 operator as I am, (at least I know that) I went ahead and even gave her more information related to her question which she completely ignored by turning to her children asking them loudly to listen to their teachers well to what they ask them, because if they don't they can't provide the right answers.
Now, by being polite, I was put aside for the day because when I called the supervisor for help, I said she was being an ass! I did not say that while she was on the call, she was on hold. I understand that the policy of the company does not allow cursing or any fowl words on the floor. The problem here is that I meant to say dumb or unlearned lady who refuses to understand what I'm trying to tell her, and by asking her probing questions to make sure of what to look for in the system.
I was misunderstood for what I meant, but I understood for what the word really meant in its context in English -- ASS. Now ASS in my country means BURRO, which is not a foul word but an animal -- Donkey. WE call people BURRO when the person refuses to listen and understand you, or she understands nothing at all. ASS to me could be butt, which is foul, but as far as ASS meaning dumb, it totally caught me by surprise.
I learned my lesson for today, and I'll make sure I'll keep that out of my mouth. Luckily, the lady was generous enough to allow me to keep my job, otherwise I would be looking for a new one tonight because of an woman is being an ASS, and now I mean what I say.
For those who call 311 to bitch and moan about anything and any issue, please don't waste your time with us if it's not a big issue and you know you could solve it yourself. We help you with information, we don't fix problems. Screaming and judging the person on the phone who is trying to help you the best he or she can it is not going to help your cause.
311 provides information that is available on our screens nothing more than that and anything beyond what we see can't be done. PERIOD!