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Dreadful pits of hellish torture for both customer and the people who work there. Press 1 to leave an amusing story, press 2 for us to send you a lunchbox full of turds.

(, Thu 3 Sep 2009, 12:20)
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tongue tied
Working for a directory enquiries company several years ago - let's call them Fun Fun? Nay - I had to say the same phrase every 30 or so seconds 'Welcome to 118118 how may I help you?' (Not how CAN I help you, mind - the wording had to be exact.)

For some reason saying those words over and over to a colourful collection of ungrateful, rude and idiotic people, made my brain flip and decide it could no longer say the phrase - my tongue started to spasm and I just couldn't get the words out.

Six hellish months later and I had modified my greeting phrase to something like 'Hello, can I help you.' I promptly got called up during a 'monitoring session', asking why I wasn't saying the right words. Was there something wrong? No, they didn't see how such a mindless repetitive task could cause something like that to happen.

That was the final straw and I quickly got out of there, but to this day I still can't say 'Welcome how may I help you' without my mouth literally convulsing in fear. . .
(, Thu 3 Sep 2009, 23:55, 6 replies)
of course it's grammatically correct to say "may". "Can" assumes that you can help without even knowing what the problem is.
(, Fri 4 Sep 2009, 0:08, closed)
But of course, failure was not an option
(, Fri 4 Sep 2009, 0:12, closed)
mentioning it, as I used to work in a call centre and had the exact same thing told to me!
(, Fri 4 Sep 2009, 7:56, closed)
"Can I help you?" is a simple factual question. "May I help you?" is an offer to help.
(, Fri 4 Sep 2009, 9:06, closed)
This is very true, but I think the finer grammatical point was lost anyway on the *ahem* clientele
(, Sat 5 Sep 2009, 17:18, closed)
At least back in the old days of 192 we didn't have to do this. While you were hanging up on your current call your recorded "Hello 192 how can I help you" was already playing to the next caller, the first thing you got was "Smith!" "Stevens" or whatever.
(, Fri 4 Sep 2009, 11:49, closed)

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