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Mama Deb
mamadeb
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Mama Deb [userpic]

Well, that was snide.


Okay, we owed money on our Sprint service, and I was prepared to pay it when the man called in the middle of my cooking.

But as I fished out my credit card, I mentioned that we'd been called on Monday. "Which was a holiday."

"Which holiday was that, ma'am?"

"Passover." You nitwit.

"We had no way of knowing that."

"Look at a calendar." You ignorant nitwit. "Would you call someone on Christmas?"

"It's not a business day for us, but they do have service on that day, if you understand what I mean."

Actually, that makes no sense. "I'm not permitted to answer the phone on that day, so having service is not a factor." And it's not a business day for me.

"Your religion is not on your information."

This is, of course, true, and there's no way of figuring out that certain zip codes might have a preponderance of Orthodox Jews, and anyway, he isn't aware that such people might even exist because we're not Christian.

Then there was the strong hint that if I paid my bills on time, I wouldn't get such phone calls. True. I'd get phone calls for offers and deals instead. But he said in such a snide way, and with no sense that he might be insulting someone else's religion.

And I'll bet there are Sprint employees who did take Monday off.

Of course, it came out of their vacation time.

The phone call was being recorded. :)

Comments

I'm with the guy on this one. They don't call anyone on Christmas, because they're closed, but I'll bet anything that they do call on Good Friday, which isn't a holiday in this country. And if they were open on Sundays, they would call on Easter as well. And if they were doing business in Israel, where Xmas is not a holiday, they'd call then too, even though Xians make up a greater proportion of the Israeli population than Jews do of the USAn one.

In addition, your suggestion that Sprint could have known Monday was Passover by checking a calendar would not have worked; The only non-Jewish calendar I've ever seen that notes the second or subsequent days of Jewish holidays is the NYC alternate-side parking calendar. Any normal non-Jewish calendar would say that Passover was on Sunday; in order to avoid calling you the operator would have to know that it lasts 8 days, and that observant Jews don't answer the phone on the first 2 and last 2 days.

I agree that it was a waste of time to comment about being called on Monday. The person to whom Deb was speaking has no choice about the business days of this country. Christmas is a national holiday, not a Sprint holiday. Passover is not a national holiday. *shrug* 'Snot Sprint's fault. Blame the government for making *any* religion's holy days into national vacation days. Is stupid. If we're going to have "holidays" as perks at our jobs, they ought to give us X number of "holidays" like they give us vacation days and sick days, and then we can allot them for whichever days our religion counts as holy days. THAT would be right. And then one's office would shut down for holiday whenever you didn't have enough people to be open for business, due to holiday, simple as that. Ah, well.

As for the calendar thing...only stupid people don't know that Jewish holidays run from sundown to sundown. I think her response of 'looking at a calendar' was acceptable. The calendar hanging on my wall shows Passover on Sunday, which to my brain means it started Sunday night and ended Monday night. But then, I have little tolerance for stupid people.

But we all have our hot buttons, and Deb's is the national Christianity calendar. Has been for a long time. :) (It's not even so much the cultural Christianity, as it is the national calendar. The pervasive holiday assumptions in the fall, even amongst those who have no actual religious belief, just that everybody celebrates this winter festival and calls it one thing.) What I see is pervasive stupidity; I've long since learned to just sigh and deal with it. I've yet to figure out how to help her quit taking it personally when it comes to the calendar assumptions. *shrug*

As for the calendar thing...only stupid people don't know that Jewish holidays run from sundown to sundown.
I beg to disagree. I don't see why your fairly-well-read Iowan of average intelligence would have occasion to know that. I certainly don't expect him to.

On a similar note, I expect said Iowan to know that Jews don't eat certain things, among them pork, and, well, er, other things. Shellfish, perhaps? And that kosher means food Jews will eat. Anything more he knows about kashrut is good but not expected.

I think her response of 'looking at a calendar' was acceptable. The calendar hanging on my wall shows Passover on Sunday, which to my brain means it started Sunday night and ended Monday night.
Ah, but it didn't. It started last Saturday night (23-Apr, that is), and just ended tonight. The first day, last Sunday, 24-Apr, ended at dark on that Sunday. Monday was the second day, and the Sprint caller, calling from a literal or figurative Iowa, can't have been expected to know that.

As for the calendar thing...only stupid people don't know that Jewish holidays run from sundown to sundown. I think her response of 'looking at a calendar' was acceptable. The calendar hanging on my wall shows Passover on Sunday, which to my brain means it started Sunday night and ended Monday night. But then, I have little tolerance for stupid people.

As much as I'd like to believe that this is true, I must agree with zsero. First of all, your assumption about the calendar is not correct. Most secular calendars that note a Jewish holiday on, say, a Sunday, are actually referring to a holiday that begins at Sundown the night before. Secular calendars are a pain in the tuchis that way... there's not a common understanding of how they mark Jewish holidays that way.

Second, In certain types of populations, sure, most people know that Jewish holidays start Sundown the night before, but actually, some don't realize that this is just always the case. I know a lot of people that "get" that my Sabbath begins at Sundown Friday and ends at sundown Saturday (more or less), but they don't get that the holidays work the same way.

Every employer I've ever had has "gotten" that I need off for Rosh Hoshana and whatnot. But they don't get the first days/last days thing of the festivals (Pesach/Succos... and they've sure never heard of Shavuous, or Succos for that matter). And they don't get any holidays they've never heard of. Succos, Shavuous, Tisha B'Av, and Purim aren't on secular calendars. And you know the best part? They don't understand why I don't need time off for Chanukkah.

It's not fair to assume that someone's igorance equals stupidity. True, if someone grows up in Brooklyn, it's likely that they'll have a clue about Jewish holidays. But if someone grows up in Cumberland, MD, there's not necessarily a need for them to know about Jewish holidays and the particulars of it.

So while I don't think it's Sprint's problem to not call on Jewish holidays, I also don't think it's reasonable to expect them to understand when Jewish holidays fall, if only because secular calendars are terrible with Jewish holidays.

It's not fair to assume that someone's igorance equals stupidity. True, if someone grows up in Brooklyn, it's likely that they'll have a clue about Jewish holidays. But if someone grows up in Cumberland, MD, there's not necessarily a need for them to know about Jewish holidays and the particulars of it.

No, I agree that ignorance and stupidity are not the same. And I'm not at all saying that I expect someone to know what all the holidays are or WHEN they are. Hell, I don't know what most of those you listed off are, and one of my five best friends is Orthodox. Love her to death. Know when her holy days are? Nope. Do I expect her to tell me when a day is important to her? Yep. Expect her to know when *my* holy days are? Nope. (Though since most of mine are astronomically-based, she tends to know them anyway, as they're easier to keep track of. ;)

However, I will still contend that only a stupid person would manage to reach adulthood and maintain the ignorance level required to not know that the Jewish day --ALL Jewish days, and if you know Friday Sabbat starts at sundown, then ALL Sabbats start at sundown, and the inability to make that very simple logical deduction equals stupidity-- starts and ends at sundown, then the person is stupid.

I accept that I was apparently incorrect about which days most calendars show. I merely glanced at the calendar on *my* wall, and based my commentary off of it. It's a generic, mass-produced, advertisement-based calendar. It's got an advertisement for a local garage on it, and was given to us free; we kept it because it has very pretty classic restored cars in beautifully arranged pictures on it. I made the assumption that it had whatever generic information that most mass-produced calendars would...and it has most Jewish holidays entered on the night they start, not the day they take up most of. Don't ask me why. *shrug*

So while I don't think it's Sprint's problem to not call on Jewish holidays, I also don't think it's reasonable to expect them to understand when Jewish holidays fall, if only because secular calendars are terrible with Jewish holidays.

Oh, I never said I thought it was reasonable to expect them to know ahead of time when Jewish holidays fall. I don't expect any company to make a difference based on religious holy days; I think it would be wrong of them to do so. But I did think his answer of, "And how would *I* have known that?" in a rude tone of voice was beyond wrong, and Deb's answer of looking at a calendar was highly appropriate. I couldn't say the same, if I were to have complained, for instance, about someone calling me on this past Sunday, and saying that it was a holiday. Beltane is not on many calendars, unless you buy religion-specific ones. (Hey, Mama! Even you can get your holy days marked on generic calendars in your AREA...*I* have to buy religion-specific ones! So there! :P ^_~) "May Day" is on some calendars as a note of interest, I suppose, but the holy day isn't.

Not that I care. Just noting. A rare moment of devil's advocate, I suppose. Ooh, I should go home now. It's late. Buh-bye! :D

Yep. I know when yours are because they are either astronomically based or, well, Beltane is Beltane.

And, you're right. One can at least find the Jewish New Year and Yom Kippur, plus Chanukah and the first two days of Passover on most calendars. And that's far more than Wiccan, Buddhist or Muslim holy days get.

I really didn't expect them to know - when we got the initial call, I even said to my husband that they probably didn't know. I just thought that maybe they *should* know, and I mostly thought the guy was rude. Ignorance is not stupidity, but rudeness is rudeness.

Sprint customer service stinks!

After fighting with them for several months for a rebate of some sort, and being told it was on its way, and it not showing up, my husband was informed by a customer service rep that they have been instructed to tell the customer the answer that they want to hear. Nice, huh?

Have a good Shabbos and a good yontif!

Re: Sprint customer service stinks!

Oh, Sprint's business practises in general stink, and I wouldn't advise anyone to do business with them. But expecting them to know not to call you on the 2nd day of Passover about a late payment is a bit much.

I have been in customer service for 20 years. Much of that time as a manager. There is only one appropriate response to that situation. "I am sorry for the inconvenience. I will add a note to your file so it doesn't happen again." Period! If anyone I was supervising responded differently I'd be all over them. The customer's religious practices are none of the rep's business and all he did was extend a conversation and antagonize a customer needlessly.

I'm with you. I don't think it was the worst offense in the world to call on Monday. But, when Deb explained why she didn't answer then, an apology should have been the only response, not some claim of ignorance, not some suggestion that their ignorance was okay because the bill was late. He was snide and rude because someone at Sprint has allowed the service people to treat customers who are behind as less than human. That's just a poor plan of business: Folks fall on hard times and can fall behind. But those same folks tend to remember who treated them well and who didn't when they are more flush and then they are very likely to take their business elsewhere. I know I would!
The sad thing is that it is actually a lot easier to be polite to people than to be so antagonistic. What a jerk!

I'm actually in agreement with this.

It really wasn't the worst crime that I was called on Monday, except it woke me up from my nap.

It's more his rudeness that got me bothered (especially since it's Friday and I was wrist deep in dinner, so I didn't need the interruption.)

I with you on this one. Having worked in call centers for years, that's precisely what I would have told people to say (though I rarely did anything involving out-bound calls).