Wow. I feel like I'm back in a call centre. There is a reason I stopped working in customer service, and today those reasons have come back to haunt me!
One poor guy, who I will call Mr X, has followed incorrect procedure and sent something directly to us instead of going through a third party (which he needs to do because said third party has information we require). The item has gone missing at some point, either in the post or in our internal mail processing/delivery systems. He urgently needs it back so that he can follow correct procedure and then get a response from us before March, so that immigration don't kick him out of Australia. I started out feeling sorry for him, but he's been calling four times a day for the last week or so, and today I had to get firm: "We have told you all we currently know. I fully appreciate the urgency of your situation, but you in turn have to appreciate I can do no further right now. We are looking into it, and calling us every few hours is not going to speed up the process. You are not telling me anything I don't already know." And so on and so on.
And then there's the woman Sylvia has been talking to all day. The woman has failed the test once already, and is currently so afraid of failing again and disappointing her family that she is in tears. Sylvia is playing "mum" and telling her to think positively, to practice and revise and learn... this has been going on for hours now.
And that's about my day so far - apart from lots of paperwork, letters, spreadsheets, and lunch!