Not Always Right on Facebook Not Always Right on Twitter Not Always Right Unfiltered on Tumblr
Featured Story:
  • Getting Owned By The Owner, Part 7
    (2,011 thumbs up)
  • November Theme Of The Month: I Don't Work Here!
    Submit your story today!

    A Birthday Fit For A King

    | Belgium | Language & Words, Top

    (This call takes place during pre-Internet times, back when I was a student working a holiday job at a call center for a national telecom operator. My job was to look up international phone and fax numbers for our customers.)

    Me: “International inquiries, how can I help you?”

    Elderly Male Caller: “Hello? I need the number of The King of Morocco’s direct line.”

    Me: “I’m sorry, sir, but that type of information would be classified. I can give you the number of our embassy in Morocco if you like. Maybe someone over there can further assist you? ”

    Elderly Male Caller: “No, no, that won’t do. Your colleague already told me to dial [embassy's number], but that’s no good. I want the direct line of The King. He lives in Casablanca.”

    Me: “I’m sorry, sir, but I’m afraid we cannot help you.”

    Elderly Male Caller: “Are you quite sure? It’s The King I’m looking for, he lives in Casablanca, which is in Morocco, and I’m quite sure there is only one of them in the whole country. Surely you can look up his number?”

    Me: “I’m afraid I can’t, sir, as I’ve explained before—”

    Elderly Male Caller: *sadly* “I used to have his number, you know, but I’ve lost the notebook it was in. Oh well, I’ll just have to wait for him to call me then. Goodbye…”

    (The caller hangs up. However, over the next hour, several of my coworkers get the same call, with the elderly man sounding more desperate, and repeating over and over he needs to speak to The King in Casablanca. Eventually, I get him on my line again.)

    Me: “Sir, I’m really sorry, but there’s nothing more me or my colleagues can do for you. The King’s direct number is private. We simply cannot access that kind of information.”

    Elderly Male Caller: “But it’s his 68th birthday! I ALWAYS call him on his birthday! Ever since he moved to Casablanca, over 25 years ago! My brother, The King!”

    (At this point, it finally dawned on me that “The King” he was trying to call was simply the elderly caller’s brother, Mr. De Koning (“The King”, literally), who had indeed moved to Casablanca, and who indeed turned out to be the only “De Koning”/”The King” in the Casablanca telephone directory. When I finally gave our customer the number of “The King” of Casablanca, he was extremely grateful!)