Running a call center must be very difficult, you know, with all of the rules that must be followed. For starters, all customers must wait on hold for inordinate amounts of time. Customers will probably stop trying after being on hold for more than an hour. With persistent customers, you must pick up the phone, feign ignorance on the issue, and transfer to another department where they will wait on hold for even more time. Continue this for at least three hours. If a customer calls an hour before closing time, make sure they wait on hold for longer than an hour, so that they may remain on hold until everyone comes back in the morning—those morons shouldn’t be calling at the end of the day anyway, it’s not like they have jobs or anything. (On a side note, the majority of your call center hours should be the same as the average work day hours. God forbid people be able to call you.)

If a call back is promised to a customer, don’t call back—this is very important. When they call back in two days to figure out what the fuck is going on, feign ignorance. Also, never give out claim numbers—they will need them and without them they look like liars to the less educated individuals in your call center. In fact, just don’t record anything at all—without a paper trail nobody will get what they are promised. All of your employees should be making promises to get customers to shut up, and then promptly never follow up with those promises. (Once again, don’t give out claim numbers. They’re not real anyway, kind of like the Unicorn or the Minotaur.) When a customer asks to speak with a supervisor, put the receiver down . After 5 minutes, transfer them to another department.

If a customer calls in after not receiving a shipping refund that was promised, especially if it has been over a month, feign ignorance. Tell them you are having the issue looked at, and email a supervisor to have them investigate as well as another individual in another department who has nothing to do with anything and will likely be all like “What the actual fuck, y’all?” When the customer receives a call back from the person who has no idea what is going on, make sure that person calls two minutes before they leave for the day so that the customer can’t possibly reach them in time—somebody else from that department will just transfer them to the proper department anyway.

Once the customer reaches that department, tell them that a supervisor has determined that a refund will not be given because the order was delivered on time even though that wasn’t the reason why they were offered one to begin with. When the customer demands to speak with that supervisor, tell them the supervisor is in a meeting that is much too important to leave, even though the customer has been trying to get a refund issued for over 30 days. Tell the customer that you will leave a note on the desk of that supervisor, who will promptly not call the customer back.

When the customer calls back the next week and demands to speak with someone who will help them, and demands not to wait on hold for another hour, run over to the department and have somebody pick up the phone—but only after they wait on hold for 30 minutes because you’re the slowest runner on earth. (Pick up the phone once in the middle of it all and pretend like you don’t know it’s the same person who you just put on hold. Pretend the system had an error.) When that supervisor picks up the phone she must immediately say that the customer has been denied a refund at every step of the process and that all she can offer is 50% of the shipping as a gift card. When the customer says that’s unacceptable tell the customer that it is the best you can do. When the customer asks to speak to the supervisor’s supervisor, make sure to tell them that the supervisor’s supervisor is not in. When the customer demands to speak with somebody who can help, make sure that you run to the department manager and speak with her—return to the customer with an offer of 100% of the shipping as a gift card. When the customer complains again, and asks to speak with the department managers supervisor, tell them he is on vacation—don’t offer to go up a level above that because at that point the customer has already reached the top of the call center food chain and will need to call the corporate office.

After the customer requests the corporate number, go back and speak with the department manager, who will magically be able to offer 100% of the shipping to the original form of payment but make sure you tell the customer that the shipping is now magically nonrefundable under normal circumstances which has never been mentioned before even though it was promised and reviewed so many times that the customer is now speaking with the department manager. Promise the customer an email with a claim number and all of the corporate numbers when they tell you that you want to complain to them directly—never send it.

P.S. This entry is dedicated to the people at the IKEA national call center. More specifically, to the department manager of the after-sales department.

P.P.S. Where is my email?!