A Hilarious and Charming Origin Systems Customer Service Call


Who says every customer service call has to be a negative experience? I mean, okay, probably a lot of them are…but as this excerpt from an email chain between Sheri Hobbs (now known as Sheri Graner Ray) and Rebecca Heidt (an Origin Systems customer service representative) demonstrates, not all of them have to be:

From: Rebecca Heidt
 Date: 01/29/93 08:11 AM
 Priority: Normal
 TO: Sheri Hobbs
 Subject: Re[2]: And now for a PHONE CALL
 ------------------------------- Message Contents -------------------------------
 Yesterday was the WORST day I have had on the phone in a long time. I had
 more than my usuall quota of BUTTHEADS. I mean downright RUDE people. So,
 as you can imagine, this call made my day. Unfortunatly, I was so busy, I
 did not get an address. I am sorry I didn't. We could make them The
 Avatar's Honorary Grandparents or something. I'm sure a few of them would
 also make GREAT NPC's in one of our games.

- Rebecca

What great fun! It's calls like these that must make all the Moses Bernards
 worth it! Did you get an address? It would be fun to send this group some
 posters or something!

-)---- SHERI ----(-

I got a call from an elderly gentleman today, he needed hints for U6. Then,
 and elderly woman got on the phone, and she needed a hint for U4. Then, a
 REALLY old guy, (He said he was 93!) got on the phone and wanted a hint for
 WC2, SO1. ("Them blasted Neutron Guns! Those damn Cats are getting awful
 Hi-Tech.") It turns out, this call was from a Retirement Center that had
 PC's with CD ROM drives in the Recreation/Education Area. They were passing
 the phone around, getting hints for our games. I talked to 8 of them,
 total. After I talked to Mr.James (or 93 yr old Wing Fan.) They put me
 on speaker phone. (They let the folks who were hard of hearing have the
 handsets first, then switched to speaker.) They kept saying things like,
 "Oh, I feel SO SILLY asking you this, but...." and "My mind must be going,
 I JUST DON"T GET THIS, what do I do next?" They were SO CUTE! This one
 older gal had a bad case of the giggles, when I told her she was being bad
 when she stole things from NPC's. She said, "Well, I just don't get the
 chance to BE BAD very often anymore!"

I really got the feeling that our games in some way contributed something to
 these people's lives. There's a therapist who works there who is what sounds
 like a pretty hardcore gamer, and "tech head", and he got them started on
 our games. But, he is on vacation, and they needed hints NOW! As Mr. James
 put it, "I dont know if I am going to BE HERE to finish this TOMMORROW, so
 please excuse me if I am a little impatient for help with this darn thing."

They also wanted me to tell EVERYONE who works here "Hello", and THANKS for
 giving them hours of fun! Because, as we all know.....

 ( I hope I feel the same way if I live to be 93.)

- Rebecca The Strange

This was passed along to the Ultima Codex by — who else? — Joe Garrity of the Origin Museum; he sent it along with some Arthurian Legends-related content that you should be getting a look at next week. You can grab a copy of the Word document from the Origin Gallery, if you like.

So, as always, a big thanks to Joe Garrity…and to Sheri Graner Ray, who passed this (and numerous other materials) on to him when they chanced to meet up earlier this year.