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What people who work in customer service say vs what they really mean

A lot of pain lies behind each one of these sentences.

1. “Yeah, sure I’ll check the stockroom now!”

shutterstock_529147135 Source: Shutterstock/evgeny kondrashov

This means one of the following:

  • “I guess I’ll genuinely look for it, but only because I’m really bored.”
  • “I already know for a fact it’s not in stock but I know you’re not going to believe me so I’ll go in and stare at the wall and count to thirty.”
  • “Thank God, I really needed to check my phone. I’ll be back in a minute.”

2. “Hey, sorry. Just letting you know we’ll be closing in fifteen minutes.”

shutterstock_519430672 Source: Shutterstock/Claudio Divizia

“Get out. Get out right now. Go home to your family. Leave us alone.”

3. “Is it OK to use Contactless?”

shutterstock_436281433 Source: Shutterstock/Davizro Photography

  • “I cannot bear another second of small talk with you.”
  • “Jesus Christ look at the queue behind you.”

4. “I’m really sorry about that.”

shutterstock_360261098 Source: Shutterstock/Production Perig

“I actually don’t care, but I just have to say sorry because it’s the polite thing to do.”

5. “OK, I’ll call [the relevant department] now and check.”

shutterstock_291867131 Source: Shutterstock/Gajus

“I already know the answer is no and my superiors will get annoyed if I bother them again, so I’m going to make a fake phone call.”

6. “Don’t worry, I’ll fold that. It’s OK”

shutterstock_451623925 Source: Shutterstock/Africa Studio

“You’re only making it worse. Just put it down and go somewhere far, far away.”

7. “Have you got a loyalty card?”

shutterstock_605346464 Source: Shutterstock/AlexandrBognat

“I know you’re going to snap at me in 40 seconds and blame me if you forget to present it  yourself and pay before your loyalty card is swiped. I’m asking out of fear.”

8. “Oh you don’t have a loyalty card? Would you like to sign up for one?”

shutterstock_223210405 Source: Shutterstock/Aleksandra Gigowska

“I have a feeling you’re a secret shopper.”

9. “Make sure you hang on to your receipt.”

shutterstock_521934514 Source: Shutterstock/Pushish Images

“If you come back here without a receipt in three weeks and expect me to be able to do anything for you, I’m going to scream.”

10. “We actually don’t know when it’ll be in stock again. Sorry.”

shutterstock_453103507 Source: Shutterstock/Hit1912

“We actually don’t know when it’ll be back in stock again. Sorry. We don’t have a conspiracy to prevent you from purchasing this item.

11. “Yes, I’ll forward your complaint to the manager.”

PastedImage-76580 Source: Clean Wal-Mart/Flickr

“They will care even less than I do. In fact, they’ll probably laugh in my face if I tell them about your tiny concern in a shop you barely ever visit.”

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About the author:

Kelly Earley

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